Folium: interesting dry-grown wines from New Zealand's Marlborough region

Takaki Okada came to New Zealand’s Marlborough region in 2003, and began working with Clos Henri. In 2010, he bought an 8.5 hectare vineyard that had been established by Fromm in the Brancott Valley. He began making his own wines.

Marlborough is quite dry (growing season averages around 340 ml of rain, with 640 ml the [...]

Mac Forbes EB18 'P3' Pinot Gris/Pinot Noir/Pinot Meunier 2015

Mac Forbes is a bit of a legend. He’s been a pioneer of lighter, lower alcohol, naturally made wines from the Yarra Valley. As well as his regular wines, he makes small quantities of ‘EB’ (experimental batch) wines. This is one of those, and just 3000 bottles were made. It’s three Pinots together: Noir, Gris [...]

In Oregon: Beckham Estate Vineyard

Andrew and Annedria Beckham (pictured above) are making some of Oregon’s most compelling wines, and they have a great story, too.

We visited their property in Parrett Mountain (in the Chehalem Mountains AVA) on a gorgeous afternoon. They have 6.5 acres of Pinot Noir, plus an acre of Riesling, which they farm organically. They are planning [...]

The 2014s from Evening Land: Oregon's new pacesetter

Yesterday I got to taste the as yet unreleased 2014s from Evening Land Vineyards. This is the first step in a new phase of the project, which is based on the Seven Springs Vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills of Oregon. Rajat Parr and Sashi Moorman (Domaine de la Côte and Sandhi from the Santa Rita [...]

Extended tasting note: Brooks Ara Riesling 2008 and Brooks Janus 2008, Willamette Valley, Oregon

Sometimes, short tasting notes don’t really tell you all that much about a wine. So, in the past, I’ve tried to write the occasional extended tasting note, bringing in the context of the drinking experience and dwelling a little longer on the wine. I tried this sitting outside in the late evening yesterday, here at [...]

In Oregon: Goodfellow Family Cellars

Marcus Goodfellow and Gaironn Poole

I visited Matello/Goodfellow Family Cellars last a couple of years ago (see report here), and it was great to go back on this trip to catch up with Marcus Goodfellow and Gaironn Poole. What’s changed? A few things. First, they have a kid, Fletcher, who entertained us as we tasted [...]

In the Okanagan, BC, Canada: Mission Hill, Cedar Creek, Gray Monk and Tantalus

The second day of this trip was spent immersed in the beauty of the northern and central Okanagan. As a wine region, the Okanagan is simply too diverse to make all that much sense of. The lake is very long, and climate shifts quite a bit from the cooler north to the pretty warm south. [...]

Tesselaarsdal: a brilliant new Pinot Noir from South Africa

There’s a nice story behind this Tesselaarsdal Pinot Noir, which I drank with Greg Sherwood and Higgo Jacobs on Saturday. It’s made by Berene Sauls, who is an employee of Hamilton Russell Vineyards in Hemel-En-Aarde. The wine is made at Hamilton Russell with the assistance of winemaker Emul Ross (who recently joined from Chamonix), and [...]

California, day 1, in Santa Barbara County

Sanford & Benedict Vineyard, Santa Rita Hills

I’m in California again. This time for a press trip, with some fellow UK journos: Oz Clarke, Anne Krebhiel, Jane Parkinson and Erin Smith. We arrived on Tuesday evening, and so yesterday, Wednesday, was our first full day. We spent it in Santa Barbara County, which is the [...]

Seven older red Burgundies

JF Mugnier Chambolle Musigny 2003 Burgundy, France
Ripe and sweet with bold, textured sweet cherry fruit backed up by spicy warmth. Rich and broad with nice silkiness and good structure. Burly yet still attractive. Atypical because of the hot vintage. 92/100

Fourrier Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru Clos St Jacques 1998 Burgundy, France
Lively, fresh, juicy and bright with [...]