Talking of natural wine, I'm in love with Racines Blanc 2011 from Claude Courtois

This is just lovely. It’s a natural wine (in that it is made with no additions at all in the winery, from organically grown grapes in a farm that’s practising a form of polyculture) from the Sologne region of the Loire, next to Cheverney.

You can read about Claude Courtois and his domaine Les Cailloux [...]

Two lovely whites from M&S: Ferricrete Sauvignon and Earth's End Riesling

Two lovely white wines, cool climate, new world.

Paul Cluver Ferricrete Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Elgin, South Africa
13.5% alcohol. Very bright and focused with subtle green herbs, lemons and grapefruit characters. Sophisticated, pure and linear with bright minerality. 91/100 (£11.99 Marks & Spencer)

Earth’s End Riesling 2013 Central Otago, New Zealand
12.5% alcohol. Made by Riesling experts Mount [...]

Some lovely older South African wines

So I arrived here in St James, Cape Town, South Africa, in time for lunch. It was with the other judges of the Top 100 competition that I am participating in, and it was accompanied by some older South African wines.

We began with decade-old Sauvignon. These are wines you wouldn’t have expected to age well. [...]

Two lovely Sancerres from Jolivet

Sauvignon Blanc isn’t a boring grape. It is capable of greatness. Here are two lovely Loire Sauvignons from Pascal Jolivet. Jolivet has 70 acres in Sancerre and Pouilly Fume, and also buy in grapes (about half their production needs).

Pascal Jolivet Sancerre Les Caillottes 2012 Loire, France
13.5% alcohol. From an 8.65 acre parcel with 40 [...]

Two impressive Sauvignons: Bordeaux and Marlborough

I know that it’s not all that cool, but I really love Sauvignon Blanc. Here are two good ones: an oaked Bordeaux example (which is actually a blend with Semillon and a touch of Muscadelle), and a slightly atypical Marlborough Sauvignon.

Clos Floridene 2012 Graves, Bordeaux, France
13% alcohol. A blend of half Sauvignon Blanc with Semillon [...]

Waterkloof Circumstance Sauvignon Blanc 2013

This is a lovely South African Sauvignon Blanc from biodynamic winery Waterkloof, which I visited last year. It’s the first release of a Waterkloof wine made by new winemaker Nadia Barnard.

Waterkloof Circumstance Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Stellenbosch, South Africa
Ripe, rich pear and peach notes as well as lively grapefruit freshness. There’s a rich texture and mouthfeel [...]

La Roncaia Eclisse 2011 a brilliant Sauvignon from Friuli

This is a new wine for me, and I’m glad that I discovered it. It’s from Friuli, near the Slovenian border, and it’s a blend of mostly Sauvignon Blanc with a dribble of Picolit that adds some more tropical/peachy notes. When I tasted it I didn’t know the varietal composition, and I think that can [...]

In Santiago, and to begin with, a Sauvignon Blanc

So, I am in Santiago, Chile. I arrived here this afternoon, after a fairly gruelling flight on an old BA 777 (predictably, the Highlife entertainment system wasn’t working, so I couldn’t watch any films) and then a quick hop over the Andes with LAN Chile. I’m just here for a couple of days to take [...]

Lunch with Pol, Cloudy, Lapierre, Jamet, Clair and Bachelet

Popped round for lunch at brother-in-law Beavington’s pad yesterday, which usually means that between us we’ll have something decent to drink. (In the process, I also very nobly assist him with his cellar over-stock issues.) All the wines showed really well yesterday.

Champagne Pol Roger NV France
This is showing really well: toast, peach and nuts, together [...]

A lovely Touraine Sauvignon

On my recent travels to the Loire, I have been lucky enough to bump into Lionel Gosseaume, who is making some superb wines. This Touraine Sauvignon really delivers for the price. He’s one of those producers where you just buy anything he makes.

Lionel Gosseaume Domaine de Pierre Touraine Les Sauterelles 2012 Loire, France
Aromatic, fresh, grassy [...]