Two interesting NZ wines at Shop Eight, Christchurch

Had a lovely evening with a few colleagues at Shop Eight in Christchurch. These two wines were really interesting. The alternative face of New Zealand wine.

Cambridge Road The Naturalist 2016 Nelson, New Zealand
11.5% alcohol. This pet nat is made from organically grown grapes from Nelson. It’s cloudy and beautifully expressive with a bit of spicy bite. Fresh [...]

Two lovely fizzy Italian reds

Fizzy red wines. Not mainstream, I know, but I quite liked these two examples from Italy. They’re being sold by a retailer new to the UK, Tannico.

Paltrinieri Lambrusco di Sorbara Frizzante Secco 2015 DOC Radice, Italy
£14.90 Tannico.co.uk
11% alcohol
This is a family run winery located in the heart of Sorbara, Modena. They’ve been making this Lambrusco [...]

Three from Hoffmann & Rathbone, impressive English wines

Really enjoyed these three from Hoffmann & Rathbone, a high-quality negotiant operation based in Sussex.

Hoffmann & Rathbone Classic Cuvée Brut 2010 Sussex, England
60% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Meunier. 12% alcohol, 10 g/l TA, 7 g/l dosage. Debut vintage from Ulrich Hoffmann. Very bright and focused with pithy, tight lemon and grapefruit characters. There’s [...]

Hambledon Classic Cuvée Rosé

Hambledon is one of the most exciting of all the English sparkling wine producers. They’ve just released their first rosé, and it’s really impressive.

Hambledon Rosé NV Hampshire, England
12% alcohol. 90% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Noir (red wine). 95% of 2014 vintage and 5% reserve wines, some aged in barrel. This is beautiful. It has vivid, slightly [...]

Impressive sparkling wines from Blue Mountain, Okanagan, Canada

Just tried these impressive sparkling wines from Blue Mountain (who I visited a couple of years ago) in Canada’s Okanagan Valley. They are really good, and compared with their peers they represent amazing value for money.

Blue Mountain Brut NV Okanagan Valley, Canada
Pinot Noir (56%) and Chardonnay (39%) with a bit of Pinot Gris (5%) from [...]

Jamie and Treve's Sekt Tape, the start of a new collaboration

Published today, a focus on Sekt, Germany’s sparkling wine. Including Jamie and Treve’s Sekt Tape.

This in-depth focus on Sekt is a collaborative effort. Canadian wine journalist Treve Ring and I have crossed paths around the globe with a joint goal to visit wine regions and tell their stories in a fresh way, making full use [...]

In Nova Scotia, Canada, visiting the remarkable Benjamin Bridge sparkling winery

It was my first time in Nova Scotia. This is on the Atlantic coast of  Canada, and it’s the youngest of Canada’s cool climate wine regions. I was here to visit Benjamin Bridge, the sparkling wine producer that’s making waves, and has the reputation of being Canada’s finest sparkling winery.

I was travelling with three sommeliers [...]

In the Okanagan, BC, Canada: Laughing Stock and Bella

The last couple of visits in the Okanagan were really interesting. The first was at Laughing Stock Vineyards on the Naramata Bench. Cynthia and David Enns (above) were financial people who caught the wine bug, and they bought this property in 2003. They were the ninth vineyard on the Bench, and now there are 30. [...]

In South Africa, day 1, Leeu House and a grand MCC tasting

I arrived in South Africa yesterday morning. Greeted by a bright, brisk sunny winter’s day, I headed off to Franschhoek. This is the tourist hotspot of the winelands, and with its natural beauty and attractive town, it’s easy to see why. It’s also the current hotspot of South Africa’s thriving Methode Cap Classique (MCC) sparkling [...]

In Alsace, kicking off with some crémant

I’m in Alsace, and last night I began with some crémant, Alsace’s traditional method sparkling wine, of which over 30 million bottles are produced annually. Here are a few that I tried.

Dirler-Cadé Brut Nature 2013 Alsace, France
Lively and focused with nice bright citrus fruit and a hint of wax and lemon. Lovely fruity style. 89/100

Domaine [...]