Some great wines at lunch, including Cristal, Faiveley Corton and Schlumberger GC Saering

After judging the Roederer Awards on Tuesday, we repaired to Chez Buce, where – naturally – we popped a couple of bottles of Roederer’s Cristal. This was followed up with some other gems from the Roederer portfolio (they own MMD, who distribute Roederer and other wines in the UK). Yes, these bottles were a little [...]

Churchill's Quinta da Gricha Vintage Port 2011

OK folks, a real-time tasting note. I’m off early in the morning, but for some inexplicable reason I thought it would be a good idea to open a bottle of a really good Vintage Port (a sample half-bottle, to be precise), before going to bed. I’ll have to drink it all.

It’s Churchill’s Quinta da Gricha [...]

Este Vinhão, a delicious red Vinho Verde from Portugal

Red Vinho Verde, most of which is made from the Vinhão grape variety (known elsewhere in Portugal as Sousão), is a bit of an acquired taste. It’s hard to get hold of outside of the region, even though quite a bit of it is made. A lot is sold by carafe in restaurants. Good ones [...]

In Lisbon with the young winemakers of Portugal

So I was in Lisbon. For one night only. The occasion? The ‘Young Winemakers’ tasting. Vadio, Conceito, Hobby, Clip and Carmelao are five young-ish Portuguese producers (with six winemakers in the group – Hobby has a couple) who have collaborated together to market their wines jointly. It’s a really good idea.

Joint marketing efforts like [...]

A lovely affordable Douro red from Churchill

Very impressed by this 2011 Douro red from Churchill. It’s not expensive, but it offers a real taste of the region, combining ripeness with definition. It’s stocked by Majestic and Tanners in the UK, both of whom still seem to be on the 2010, but will soon switch over to 2011. The 2010 is really [...]

The wine boats of the Douro, a film from 1923

Just stumbled on this on YouTube. It’s a film dating from 1923 showing the wine boats of the Douro bringing the wine down river to Porto. This rabelos would have been navigating a river that had fast-flowing rapids, and it would have required skill and courage to do the journey. These days the Douro is [...]

A good inexpensive Portuguese red

I was impressed by this affordable Portuguese red. yes, it has seductive ripe fruit, as you’d expect. But it has more than this: a lovely floral, meaty perfume and nice freshness. It does what an inexpensive red should do: delivering pleasure, without spoofiness. Available from the Asda Online wine shop, which also has the lovely [...]

At the New Douro tasting, with some of Portugal's finest

Today’s New Douro tasting was remarkable. Five new producers have joined the ND fold, so the tasting expanded to take in two rooms at the Portuguese Ambassador’s residence in Belgrave Square. It meant there was no lunch, which upset some trade people, but I’m of the opinion that if you put a tasting on, you [...]

Quinta do Judeu red and white from Portugal's Douro

As you all know by now, I am a big fan of Portuguese wines, and particularly of the Douro region. It is such a cool place. Of late, I have neglected Portugal a bit. I’m not sure why. Maybe it is because so many other journos are focusing their attention there it has made it [...]

Mirabilis, a serious new Douro wine

This is a new wine from Douro property Quinta Nova, which I visited back in March 2010. It’s made from old vines (interestingly, not Touriga Nacional, the celebrity grape, which used to be quite rare in old vineyards), and has an unusual bottle shape – short and squat like an 18th century bottle.

What do [...]