Northern Rhone series 21, Martine Vandre Champ Morel Crozes Hermitage

I’m not giving up on my northern Rhone series, which began almost a year ago, and is now in its 21st installment. It’s a region I love, filled with great wines alongside poor ones – I guess, like most wine regions worldwide. When its on form, it’s brilliant.

This is a brilliantly focused Crozes Hermitage that [...]

A brilliant Hungarian Syrah

Really enjoyed this over the last two nights. It’s a Syrah made by an Austrian in the Sopron region of Hungary. Thrilling stuff.

Weninger Syrah 2009 Sopron, Hungary
13.5% alcohol. really fresh, peppery nose showing black pepper, black cherry and spice notes, as well as a hint of clove. The palate is fresh with pepper and spice [...]

Northern Rhone series 20, the 2010s from Pierre Gaillard

I was fortunate enough to be sent some cask samples of the 2010s from Pierre Gaillard. He makes wine in a modern style, but avoids spoofiness and over-ripeness. In a vintage like 2010, which I’m beginning to think is the best in the region since 1999, his wines are pretty irresistable. These are all available [...]

I wish more Chilean wines were like this

Costero Syrah 2008 from Vina Leyda, in the Leyda Valley. Bright, vivid, peppery. Sweet fruit, but not too sweet. Some notes of olive. Black cherry and blackberry fruit, with a hint of Chileanness, but not too much.

It was a bargain at £6.99 on multibuy from Majestic a year ago. I wish I had bought more, [...]

A Moroccan red from Alain Graillot

I was interested to try this. I love the wines of Alain Graillot from Croze-Hermitage, but here he’s working with a much warmer climate in north Africa.

The warmth of the climate shows itself in the ripe, sweet fruit flavours. This is certainly not northern Rhone Syrah. But there’s more here than just sweet fruit: there’s [...]

Lammershoek's LAMS - brilliant value from the Swartland

Two wines I shall go out and buy: the red and white LAMs by Swartland start Lammershoek, who since the 2010 vintage have been on fire. These were tasted today at the Richards Walford tasting. Retail price on both is £11, which makes them real bargains. And I love the labels.

LAM by Lammershoek Chenin Blanc/Viognier [...]

Syrah and Pinot Noir, and why I love them

Two wines tonight, shared with friends, which really worked.

The first, a northern Rhone Syrah from the Cornas appellation, but bottled as Vin de Pays. It’s the Les Collines de Laure Syrah 2010 from Jean-Luc Colombo who I met last week. I bought a case of this (direct from Hatch Mansfield because retailers haven’t yet switched [...]

Northern Rhone series 19, Ogier Belle Helene 2007

Normally, I’d shy away from a Cote Rotie aged in 100% new oak. But this cuvee from Ogier seems to be able to take it in its stride. It was first made in 1995, and is named after current proprietor Stephane Ogier’s mother. It’s certainly a modern version of Cote Rotie, but it still has [...]

Picardy - elegance from Western Australia

I have just written up the fabulously stylish Picardy wines from Western Australia’s Pemberton region. You can read the full review here.

They’re just so elegant, and probably my favourite is the Shiraz:

Picardy Shiraz 2009 Pemberton, Western Australia
Initially tight on opening, this really blossoms after about an hour. A really elegant, almost Pinot-like Shiraz with smooth, [...]

Northern Rhone series 18, Equinoxe 2009 from Maxime Graillot

I’m so excited by this wine I’m blogging on it minutes after opening it and trying it for the first time. It’s the Crozes-Hermitage Equinoxe 2009 by Maxime Graillot (Alain’s son), and it’s just fabulous.

Made for early drinking, sealed with a screwcap (saranex liner, mind, good choice), this is inky dark and alive, with vivid [...]