Viña Tondonia Reserva 2002, in a supermarket near you

López de Heredia, who make Tondonia, is one of the classic old Rioja houses. They are super-traditional, and make fabulously old fashioned and brilliantly ageable wines. They are not for modernists: winemaking here is quite oxidative with extended ageing in oak before release. It’s not quite up to Musar levels, but these wines are a [...]

Don't spit great wine!

In the wine trade, we taste. And then we spit. Have to, really, otherwise we’d all be permanently drunk and would die young.

Sometimes, though, a wine is too good to spit.

When I was tasting through the icon wines that The Sampler has just put on its enomatics, I found myself instinctively spitting the wines. But [...]

So what does a 89 year old table wine taste like?

I have just written up a Marques de Murrieta Rioja tasting, where we got to drink, among other lovely older wines, a bottle of Castillo Ygay 1925. It was remarkable.

Tasting old wines like this can be a bit random. By the time a wine is more than 20 years old, there’s no such thing as [...]

Some highlights from the Waitrose Press Tasting

We wine journos are in the middle of press tasting season at the moment, with all the major supermarkets showing off their ranges. Buying standards for UK supermarkets are very high, but what makes life difficult for the buyers are their margin requirements, especially in the days of 25% off entire range special offers. So [...]

Some great wines, tasted blind

So Stu, Joe, Will and I rocked over to Andrew’s pad in Fulham for an evening of wines tasted blind, together with some rather nice food. We’d initially agreed to keep it to one wine each, but we ended up with quite a bit more than this. It was a fun evening. Our blind tasting [...]

Lindes de Remelluri 2010 - a lovely new-wave Rioja

I was really impressed by this new-wave Rioja from Remelluri. 2010 was the first vintage with Telmo Rodriguez back at the helm of the family winery, and this is a stylish effort. If only all Rioja could be made in this elegant, focused, pure style!

Remelluri Lindes de Remelluri Vinedos de Labastida 2010 Rioja, Spain
13.5% [...]

In Madrid for the ML Wines competition

So I find myself in Madrid. It’s a little chillier than London, which caught me out a bit. But it is a nice place to spend a few days. I am here to act as one of the judges for the ML Wines competition. It’s the third time I’ve judged this: we assess red [...]

Some amazing fine wines at The Sampler

Latour 1961 in the glass

Each Christmas The Sampler puts some rather special wines on its sampling machines, and this year is no exception. I popped into the South Kensington shop to try them; Islington has a different set of wines on. They aren’t cheap, but for many of these wines it’s a once in [...]

Two super Spanish wines, one red, one white, one cheap, one not

Berry Bros & Rudd have been putting a lot of work into their Spanish and Italian lists of late, and the results are very encouraging. Here are two lovely Spanish wines, at different ends of the price spectrum. They both deliver.

Telmo Rodriguez Almuvedre 2012 Alicante, Spain
Beautifully aromatic with bright cherry fruit. Floral and fresh with [...]

Raiding the incredible wine list at Rekondo, San Sebastian

Txomin Rekondo’s restaurant is a wine lover’s dream. He’s allowed his cellar to get completely out of control. With 150 000 wines, and a wine list that consists of a large book, you really need to arrive an hour early just to browse it and make your selection. You can get wines from around the [...]