Niepoort's Clos de Crappe: an unusual, remarkable wine

You can’t put Dirk Niepoort in a box. He’s not your standard winemaker. Who releases a wine called ‘Clos de Crappe’ with the description ‘technically a disaster’? (See above from the Niepoort website.) As Dirk explains in the film below, Clos de Crappe was originally a wine made with a view to producing a slightly [...]

Wines of the year (3) Portuguese highlights

I visited Portugal four times last year, and that probably wasn’t enough. It’s such a great country, and the wine scene has never been better. I will be back in 2017 for sure. These are some of the absolute highlights from last year.

Niepoort Bical Maria Gomes Vinhas Velhas Branco 2013 Bairrada, Portugal
Had several times, with [...]

Icon wines at The Sampler, including Latour 82, La Chapelle 78 and Ygay 59

Each year The Sampler put some high-end ‘icon’ wines on their enomatic machines. It’s a real highlight tasting through them, and this year was no exception. The highlights included the almost perfect Latour 1982 and the thrilling La Chapelle 1978.

Domaine de la Romanée Conti Richebourg 1995 Burgundy, France
Beautifully aromatic with cherries, plums and fine spicies. [...]

How Port wine is made, in pictures

 

The Douro Valley in northern Portugal is the home of Port, a famous fortified wine style. The region is one of the most beautiful in the world, with steeply sloped banks rising on either side of the Douro river and its tributaries.

These steep slopes are often trellised so they can be worked safely, but where [...]

How Port wine is made: a film from the 2016 vintage

By Jamie Goode and Treve Ring (Gismondi on Wine)

In mid-September, we visited the Douro Valley in Portugal during harvest. We spent quite a bit of time chatting with the producers. The vibe here was good: most seemed to be in the midst of a successful vintage, and quite happy with the fruit that was coming [...]

Day 2, in Madeira

Francisco Albuquerque and Chris Blandy

Day 2 of our Madeira visit began in the new Blandy’s cellars, which are located near the main Port, just past the airport. They’ve been moving most of their production here from the lodge in Funchal over the last few years simply because it’s much easier to work here, and [...]

In Madeira with Blandy's

I’m in Madeira. It’s my first time on the island. It’s quite a beautiful place.

Funchal

Tasting at Blandy’s wine lodge

The reason? To find out about Madeira wine, with the island’s largest producer, Blandy’s. Day one consisted of a tasting through the current commercially available range of wines, followed by a drive around the island [...]

Lunch with Dirk Niepoort at Trinity, Clapham

Last week we had a wonderful lunch at Trinity Restaurant in Clapham Old Town, with Dirk Niepoort and his wines. Trinity is a great place, and Adam Byatt had prepared a lovely informal sharing menu based on pyrenees kid goat cooked on charcoal. This is the sort of food I love. There was roast goat [...]

Vinhão: red Vinho Verde

I love red Vinho Verde. It’s just so distinctive and different. Usually (but not always) it’s made from a single variety, Vinhão. This has a thick skin, and the result is inky dark, vivid wines. It’s also widely grown in the Douro, where it goes under the name Sousão.

Some people think of it as a [...]

The New Douro Tasting 2016

So, today: the New Douro Tasting at the gritty Vinyl Factory in Soho. I went and tasted widely. I’d just been in the Douro with the Douro Boys, so I didn’t taste their wines here. Instead, I focused on other producers, and found lots to like. It seems that even some Douro table wines that [...]