In New Zealand, day 1: Wanaka, Central Otago - Maude and Rippon

I’m back in Central Otago, for my fourth visit. I’m slowly beginning to understand a little about this remarkable wine region, and yesterday saw a lovely set of visits to four different producers, all of whom are doing something quite special. I’ll write the day up in two batches, beginning with a morning in Wanaka.

Mark Haisma's 2014s

Mark Haisma, Aussie ex-pat Burgundy micro-negoce showed his new releases yesterday. Here are my notes. As usual, please treat these scores as a very approximate indication of how much I liked the wines: they are baby wines and it’s hard to be precise at this early stage. He’s expanded his range to take in some [...]

In the Yarra Valley

The Yarra Valley. It was almost a decade ago that I first visited, back in March 2006. It was a lovely trip owing much to the generosity of Tony Jordan, who hosted me and arranged my appointments, Now, it was time to revisit.

I started off right in the south of the region, at Gembrook Hill, [...]

A really nice Loire Pinot: Eric Louis Sancerre Rouge 2013

I’ve never really been all that interested in Sancerre Rouge before. But when you look at the terroirs, and then consider that it wasn’t all that long ago that this used to be a predominantly red wine appellation, you begin to think that there’s potential for some good Pinot Noir here. This is a lovely [...]

Clos de Tart: a vertical tasting of one of Burgundy's most celebrated wines

 

Clos de Tart needs little introduction for most wine lovers. It’s Burgundy’s largest Grand Cru monopole (where the whole vineyard is owned by one producer) and for the last 20 years it has been under the safe stewardship of the fabulous map-making Sylvain Pitiot (above right). Now Sylvain has retired and handed over to Jacques [...]

A new high end Pinot Noir from Torres, Chile: Escaleras de Empedrado

This is quite exciting. It’s a new high-end Pinot Noir from Chile, made by Torres. And it has been a long time coming. 20 years ago, Torres went prospecting for a special Chilean terroir with slate, to replicate the soils of Priorat. They found a site called Empedrado, which was a forested slope with slate [...]

Two Burgundies I liked: Jobard and Bichot

Gotta love Burgundy. Here are two rather nice ones that aren’t stupidly expensive, but which are delicious.

Antoine Jobard Bourgogne Blanc 2011 Burgundy, France
Wonderful stuff: lovely matchstick and citrus nose leads to a palate showing mineral, tangy citrus fruit with hints of cabbage and tangerine. It’s zippy and complex with an amazing vitality. Complex and precise [...]

The new Las Pizarras wines from Errazuriz: high end, terroir-driven Pinot and Chardonnay from coastal Aconcagua

Francisco Baettig, of Errazuriz, is a thoughtful, insightful winemaker. Like many Chilean winemakers, he has been thinking quite a bit about how to make his wines fresher and more interesting, and these two new wines are the latest stage in this journey.

His boss, Eduardo Chadwick wanted him to produce two new icon wines, but Francisco [...]

Bell Hill, one of New Zealand's finest producers

I just love the wines of Bell Hill, a boutique winery in Waikari, North Canterbury, New Zealand (not far from the Waipara Valley). I visited seven years ago on my first trip to New Zealand, and was blown away by the wines and the vineyard. So I was really pleased to catch up with owners Marcel [...]

Thörle Spätbrugunder 2013 Rheinhessen, Germany

I’m a big Pinot Noir fan. I just love it when it is good, and increasingly it’s becoming much easier to find decent Pinot from around the world, and not just in Burgundy. German Pinot Noir? Well, there’s a lot of it, and there are some really good ones, but there’s also quite a lot [...]