Video: the 2016 VDP Grosses Gewächs tasting in Wiesbaden

On Wednesday I was in Wiesbaden, Germany, for a very special tasting. It was the 2016 Grosses Gewächs tasting, featuring new releases from some of Germany’s top wine estates, all of whom are members of the VDP.

Some explanation is in order. VDP stands for Verband deutscher Prädikatsweingüter (which translates as the Association of German Prädikat [...]

Folium: interesting dry-grown wines from New Zealand's Marlborough region

Takaki Okada came to New Zealand’s Marlborough region in 2003, and began working with Clos Henri. In 2010, he bought an 8.5 hectare vineyard that had been established by Fromm in the Brancott Valley. He began making his own wines.

Marlborough is quite dry (growing season averages around 340 ml of rain, with 640 ml the [...]

Video: judging the Standard Bank Top 10 Chenin Blanc competition

Here’s a short film of the judging of the Standard Bank Top 10 Chenin Blanc competition

Asda's £10 Champagne Louvel Fontaine is actually pretty good

Oh, I know I shouldn’t say this. But Asda’s £10 Louvel Fontaine Champagne is actually quite nice. I’s so much safer to slate cheap fizz, but I can tell you what I experience, honestly and bravely. Well, maybe that’s overstating things. I tasted this at the Asda press tasting, and then wen’t back and bought [...]

Video: RAW Artisan Wine Fair 2016

A short film from this year’s RAW Artisan Wine Fair, held earlier this month at the Old Truman Brewery, London.

Nyetimber Tillington Single Vineyard 2010: an exciting new release (with video)

Nyetimber, one of the UK’s most celebrated sparkling wine producers, has released the new vintage of its Tillington Single Vineyard, the 2010. At around £75 a bottle, this is ambitiously priced, but the debut 2009 was very well received. I reviewed it back in September 2013. So, how is the 2010? I think it’s quite [...]

Video: judging the International Wine Challenge 2016

So, here’s a short film from the International Wine Challenge judging earlier this month. This was Tranche 2 (the other being in November) of the 2016 judging, and 200 judges gathered at the Oval to work their way through thousands of wines, carefully, methodically and accurately. I hope it gives you a flavour of the [...]

Video: drinking Champagne Dom Pérignon 2004 and talking fizz

So, I open a bottle of Champagne Dom Pérignon with brother in law William Beavington, and we drink it, talk about it, and have a broad-ranging discussion about Champagne more generally. The film is here.

Neudorf Rosie's Block Chardonnay 2015, with video

This is the latest release from Nelson winery Neudorf, and it’s a new name for an old wine. Rosie’s Block is named after Judy and Tim Finn’s daughter Rosie, and used to be known simply as Neudorf Chardonnay. They also make a more expensive Moutere Chardonnay.

The wine comes from a block overlooking the home vineyard [...]

Video: reviewing Torres Sangre de Toro, a good honest cheapie

I have a soft spot for Torres. They’re a big company, but they make honest wines. The cheap stuff – the Vina Sol, Vina Esmerelda and the Sangre de Toro – are all really reliable and over-deliver. And they aren’t tricked up. And then Torres also do good expensive stuff, too.

So, continuing my theme of [...]