Highlights from Norman Hardie: some of Canada's best wines yet

Tasting with Norman Hardie

I’ve written extensively about Norman Hardie’s wines before. But on this recent trip I tried some of his wines that astonished me, and are really next-level. These have to be among Canada’s best ever, and are peers of great Burgundies.

Norman Hardie Cuvée Dix Chardonnay 2014 Niagara, Canada
In magnum, under cork. This [...]

IPNC: the non-Oregon Pinot Noirs

One of the great things about the International Pinot Noir Celebration (IPNC) is the chance to taste a wide range of Pinot Noirs from around the world. I’ve already written up my notes on the Oregon wines; here are my notes on some of the other Pinots on show. I apologise for the fact that [...]

New releases from Kutch: truly elegant Californian Pinot Noir

The new releases from Jamie Kutch are out. You can read more about him here: he’s making particularly elegant expressions of Pinot Noir from northern California, and also a lovely Chardonnay.

Kutch Chardonnay 2016 Sonoma Coast, California
12.5% alcohol. Beautiful stuff, combining sweet ripe pear and apple fruit with some lively grapefruit freshness, and also a subtly [...]

New releases from Neudorf, Nelson, New Zealand

Just tried a lovely set of new releases from leading Nelson winery Neudorf.

Neudorf Rosie’s Block Chardonnay 2016 Nelson, New Zealand
13.5% alcohol. This has lovely richness, but because it’s combined with a zippy freshness, it’s not overblown. Fine spicy notes complement the ripe tangerine, lemon and pear fruit, with some mealy depth and there’s nice weight [...]

Tasting the icons and Pizarras wines from Errazuriz with Francisco Baettig

Francisco Baettig

Yesterday I met with Errazuriz winemaker Francisco Baettig, tasting some new releases. He’s the man behind the ‘icon’ wines of Errazuriz owner Eduardo Chadwick, and also the new venture in coastal Aconcagua, Las Pizarras. In recent years, Francisco has been on a journey which has seen him change the style of the icon [...]

Stunning new releases from Domaine Queylus, Niagara, Canada

I’ve written about the wines of Domaine Queylus before. This winery, headed up by Thomas Bachelder, is making some of the most distinctive wines in the Niagara wine region. I met with Thomas and winemaker Kelly Mason to taste through the 2014s and the soon to be released 2015s. These are really impressive wines, and [...]

Exploring the wines of Ontario, Canada

Yesterday I took part in a session for LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) product consultants, focusing on Ontario wines. This was held in Niagara-on-the-Lake, in the vineyards (we started off at Jackson-Triggs, went to Cave Spring, then finished at Flat Rock.) These consultants are the people who work in the government liquor stores as [...]

Some new release Pinots from Seresin

Biodynamic producer Seresin are one of the most interesting in Marlborough. Winemaker Clive Dougall is thoughtful and produces a range of wines that’s quite distinctive, and not typically Marlborough in style (in the best way). I always find the Pinot Noirs really interesting: they have savoury detail to them, and aren’t just about upfront fruit. [...]

IPNC: notes on 33 Pinot Noirs from Oregon

The International Pinot Noir Celebration (IPNC) is held each July in McMinnville, Oregon. This was my third time at this remarkable event, which brings together consumers and trade in a happy celebration of this thrilling grape variety, in the lovely setting of the Linfield College grounds. Over the course of the weekend, I tried quite [...]

Brooks: Pinot Noir and Riesling from this top Oregon estate

The view from the Brooks tasting room

Brooks is one of Oregon’s unsung stars. Their 14 000 case production is split among many small lots, with the largest fermentation in the winery occurring in 2.5 ton fermenters. They source from a range of growers. They’ve also focused more on a direct to consumer model, which [...]