Niagara wine country, Canada, day 3

Just two visits today. But they were good ones. First, Thomas Bachelder, for the second time on this trip, and that’s no bad thing.

Thomas Bachelder

Thomas is a talented dude, and great to geek out with. We visited his cellar, right next to Fielding and Hidden Bench. It’s not a big or glamorous facility, but [...]

The beginning of a new era: the 2013s from Reichstrat von Buhl

I was really impressed by these 2013s from one of the leading Pflaz wineries, Reichstrat von Buhl. This large, important winery has recently made a fresh new start, and this was the first vintage of the new regime. Former Bollinger chef du cave Matthieu Kauffmann is now in charge of winemaking. He arrived in 2013, [...]

Washington State wine, day 1

So, the first full day of my adventures on the Washington Wine route has ended. I’m travelling with a jolly band – Richard Hemming, Treve Ring and Kate Sweet, and we have a full itinerary that should allow us to get a real feel for this region. We began in the city, and nearby Woodinville, [...]

Four very fine Rieslings: Germany, Italy and New Zealand

It seems to be a bit of a season for Riesling. Here are notes from four bottles tried a while back which I have found in a notebook, and feel compelled to write up now because they just deserve to be written up.

Wittmann Morstein Riesling GG Trocken 2009 Rheinhessen, Germany
13.5% alcohol. From limestone soils, this [...]

Influence Wines Riesling 2012 Finger Lakes

This is the first wine I have tried from the Finger Lakes region in New York  State. They are a network of long, finger-like lakes just south of Lake Ontario, and presumably with a fairly similar climate to the Niagara region just a little to the east over the border in Canada.

It’s a Riesling made [...]

My life in Riesling, with Hugh Johnson, Jancis Robinson, David Motion and Stuart Pigott

Thursday night was the Riesling Fellowship dinner at Vintner’s Hall. It quite grand – gentlemen were required to wear jackets and ties. [Aside: whenever I attend a wine trade event in a suit it is amazing the number of people who come up and complement me, as well as expressing surprise that I should be [...]

Two lovely Nahe Rieslings from Schäfer-Fröhlich and Dönnhoff

I’m going through a bit of a Riesling phase at the moment, and here are two exceptional bottles from the Nahe. There’s one from the king of the Nahe, Helmut Donnhoff, and one from a winery to watch, Schafer-Frolich.

Dönnhoff Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle Riesling Trocken Grosses Gewächs 2013 Nahe, Germany
This dry Riesling shows incredible intensity. It’s dry [...]

Stepp Riesling 'S'

This is a pretty serious Riesling. It’s made by Gerd Stepp, from a single vineyard, Kallstadter Saumage, with loess and loam rich soils with a high limestone content, in Germany’s Pfalz. The soils here have lots of tiny fossil shells, resulting in high calcium content. Apparently Saumagen translates as pig’s stomach. Gerd used to buy [...]

Charles Smith The Honourable Riesling

I admit it: I hadn’t really heard the Charles Smith story until I read about him on the blog of a Canadian friend, Nicole, even though I’d run into a couple of the wines (one stocked by Virgin Wines, and one by Wholefoods). How could I have missed him? What a back story! He seems [...]

Erni's remarkable dry Riesling

One of the star wines at this year’s IPNC was actually a dry Riesling. Erni Loosen popped by the table I was at with a remarkable dry Riesling, aged for two years in large barrels on the lees.

It was the 2011 Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Reserve Trocken, and it was remarkably complex, textured and detailed. It’s [...]