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 [...]

A really good New Zealand Syrah, tasted on video

One of those funny clip things where I taste a wine on video. In this case it is the rather good Legacy Series Syrah 2009 from Vidal in New Zealand’s Hawkes Bay.

Another lovely Kiwi Syrah, at an affordable price

Following on from yesterday’s plug for Trinity Hill’s rather tasty Syrah, here’s another lovely Kiwi Syrah, this time at a nicely affordable price.

Villa Maria Private Bin Syrah 2009 Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
13% alcohol. Amazingly fresh, peppery, spicy black cherry nose. The palate is fresh and supple with light, juicy berry, plum and cherry fruit, as well [...]

A superb New Zealand Syrah

New Zealand reds are exciting. They’re getting better all the time. I caught this Trinity Hill Syrah – a wine I actually bought with my own money (shock!) – in a good place. It held up well over two days, although it’s a miracle that any was left for day 2.

Trinity Hill Syrah Gimblett Gravels [...]

Syrah and Serine

I have just written up the wines of Eric Texier, who is doing some really interesting work in the northern Rhone. For me, his two best wines are both made from Serine, which is a special clone of Syrah (some people claim it is actually a separate variety; there’s quite a bit of confusion about [...]

Mullineux Schist and Granite 2010

Swartland-based Mullineux is one of the most respected of the new wave of South African wine estates, and in the 2012 Platter Guide they achieved a remarkable clean sweep of three out of three five star wines.

Last year they added two more wines to their portfolio: a pair of high-end Syrahs named ‘Granite’ and ‘Schist’. [...]

Northern Rhone series 26, Jean-Luc Colombo Les Fees Brunes Crozes 2009

Cornas-based winegrower and negociant Jean-Luc Colombo divides opinion. To some, he’s too modern – and I have had mixed experiences with his wines, finding some a little oak influenced, and perhaps too polished. But I have had some really nice wines from him, too, like this superb and very typical Crozes Hermitage.

Jean-Luc Colombo ‘Les Fees [...]

Northern Rhone series 25, Pierre Gaillard St Joseph 2010

2010 is an incredible vintage in the Northern Rhone, and this is a lovely, balanced wine that displays the best of cool climate Syrah. I love this sort of wine.

Pierre Gaillard St Joseph 2010 Northern Rhone, France
Subtly peppery, fresh and bright with lovely raspberry and cherry fruit. Finely spicy, even with a hint of ginger [...]