Rhone 2011, a pretty good vintage

 

Isabel Ferrando

It has been a busy day. I was leading a team at the Sommelier Wine Awards in Vauxhall until 3.20 pm, and then I hot footed it along the Thames to Westminster, and One Great George Street, for the Berry Bros & Rudd Rhone 2011 en primeur tasting.

This is a great chance to [...]

A superb, inexpensive Ventoux

Continuing in my theme of brilliant wines under £10, here’s a Ventoux that I was seduced by. It’s one of those wines that manages to hold the sweet fruit and savoury notes in tension. It’s almost Burgundian, in a southern Rhone sort of way.

Gonnet La Jeannette Ventoux 2011 Rhone, France
14.5% alcohol. Not too deep in colour: [...]

Shaw & Smith Shiraz 2010

Met with Michael Hill-Smith today at the shiny new Liberty Wine offices in Clapham, to taste the latest releases of Shaw & Smith.

For me, this is one of Australia’s leading wineries. They make just four wines, all of which are excellent, from the cool-ish climate Adelaide Hills region in South Australia.

The Sauvignon Blanc 2012 is [...]

Three New Zealand Syrahs from the Gimblett Gravels

There isn’t a lot of Syrah in New Zealand. But it’s a grape that does very well here, when it is grown. I’ve had great examples from Waiheke Island, Martinborough, Marlborough and even Central Otago.

The Gimblett Gravels in Hawkes Bay is probably the most famous locale in Kiwiland for Syrah. Here are three good examples: [...]

Lunch at 28-50 - a dream restaurant for a wine lover

Had lunch with wine trade buddy Daniel Primack (of www.aroundwine.co.uk) at the brilliant 28-50 in Marylebone today (www.2850.co.uk/marylebone). I’ve visited the other 28-50 in Fetter Lane a couple of times, and enjoyed it greatly, but this was my first time at the new Marylebone restaurant.

28-50 describes itself as a ‘wine workshop and kitchen’, and it’s an [...]

Two great wines with dinner: Zidarich Malvasia and Jamsheed Garden Gully Syrah

Had Ryan Mostert and Samantha Suddons over for dinner on Thursday night. They are a young couple working at one of South Africa’s most exciting wineries, Reyneke, and so we opened a lot of nice bottles. 11 in all, between four of us. (But we’re lightweights, and we didn’t drink all of them to the [...]

A brilliant, affordable Languedoc Syrah

Love this wine. Affordable but with some complexity. Fun yet a bit serious. Chunky but not inelegant. Ripe yet savoury. A perfect house red for autumn/winter.

Domaine Coudoulet Syrah 2011 Pays d’Oc IGP, France
14.5% alcohol. Fresh, vivid black cherry and blackberry nose, which is rich but defined with sweetness and some floral, peppery notes. The palate [...]

Two lovely, full-on wines from First Drop

I love the packaging of the First Drop wines. The labels seem to resonate with the wines.

And while I’m all for elegance, sometimes it’s great to have full-flavoured Aussie wines from regions like the Barossa and McLaren Vale, when the bigness is allied to freshness and definition, and appropriate oak use. Big can, of course, [...]

Syrah in South Africa, a film with some leading wine growers

The third and final of my varietally focused films interviewing leading South African wine growers focuses on Syrah. I love Syrah, and it is slowly but surely beginning to do really well in South Africa. Here’s what they have to say.

Côte Rôtie, one of my great passions

I often get asked the impossible question. What is your favourite wine?

For a wine professional, you can’t really afford to have a favourite. Let’s face it, the world of wine is full of amazing discoveries at every turn. To single out one region, or one style, seems absurd.

But you have to answer this question when [...]