Day 5 in South Africa

I stayed overnight at the lovely Schulphoek guest house, a short distance along from Hermanus. It’s a lovely spot, and in the morning I went for a run along the sea front, along a beautiful coastal path. This was soul-restoring.

Back at the guest house, Peter-Allan Finlayson rocked up to show me his wines. His Hemel en [...]

Two promising Rieslings from Chile

I may be in a minority, but I reckon Chile’s whites are a bit more interesting than reds at the moment.

And Riesling, although it’s still quite rare here, could be particularly interesting.

Here’s a contrasting pair that I’ve recently tried, from rather different terroirs.

Gran Valle de Niebla Reserve Riesling 2011 Bio Bio, Chile
Made by Cono Sur, [...]

New Zealand, day 2, Pegasus Bay in the Waipara

Ivan Donaldson

There’s a great story behind Waipara winery Pegasus Bay, which was the second visit of my New Zealand tour.

Back in 1976, Christchurch neurologist Ivan Donaldson had caught the wine bug, and with some of his medical friends planted a 1 acre vineyard in a cold spot on the outskirts of the city. He [...]

Riesling focus, 2: Ostertag Vignoble d'E

Over the last year, I have fallen in love with Alsace. Along with the Mosel and Austria, it is one of the world’s top destinations for Riesling. Here’s a cracking example. This is one of Andre Ostertag’s vins de fruit, where the objective is the primary expression of the variety above that of the terroir. [...]

Riesling focus, 1: Neudorf Brightwater Riesling 2007 Nelson, New Zealand

It’s the grape variety that wine trade peeps and wine geeks love, but which is (apparently) impossible to sell. So it’s just my sort of thing. I’m going to focus on it here on my blog, beginning with this wine, which I was served blind the other day.

Neudorf Brightwater Riesling 2007 Nelson, New Zealand
My notes, written [...]

Visiting Weinbach and Hugel, and lunch with Bott-Geyl

Catherine Faller of Weinbach

Day 2 in Alsace was a busy one, beginning with an appointment at Weinbach. The Fallers – Colette and her daughters Catherine and Laurence – have developed an enviable reputation for this estate, which was a monastery until the French Revolution.

Grand Cru Schlossberg

It was acquired by Catherine’s grandfather in 1898, [...]

Van Volxem Saar Riesling 2011

I really like this. It’s a Mosel Riesling (actually, from the Saar, which now falls under the Mosel banner), and as with all Van Volxem wines it is not in the Pradikat system: just a single wine is made, and not different levels defined by the must weight (Kabinett, Spaetlese, Auslese, etc.). This is a [...]

A delicious, cheap German Riesling

Most £6 wines are distinctly dull. Some are nasty. But a few are really delicious, and this is one of them. I’ll be going back to buy some more. Just a shame the summer is over, because this is the ultimate wine for lunch in the sunshine.

Dr L Riesling 2011 Mosel, Germany
8.5% alcohol. Fresh, crisp [...]

Video: tasting the 2012 Grosset Springvale and Polish Hill Rieslings

Two beautiful wines. The Grosset 2012 Polish Hill and Springvale Rieslings. Here I taste them on camera.

 

Two lovely Rieslings, Alsace and Austria

Two happy hunting grounds for Riesling: Alsace and Austria.

These bottles satisfied, the Trimbach for its purity and freshness, and the Stadt Krems for its depth of flavour and richness of texture. Both are affordable (I bought the Austrian for £10 a few years back, and the Trimbach is similarly priced), but deliver the sort of quality [...]