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Bellebonne Sparkling – Serious Frivolity

Bellebonne Sparkling – Serious Frivolity

The best Champagnes are wonderful. Made from fully ripe grapes and a judicious dosage, if any at all. They are however, incredibly intense, concentrated and deep in flavour, so much so that it’s hard to knock it back in 40 degree heat, or drink more than a glass...
Clemens Busch – Mosel Savagery

Clemens Busch – Mosel Savagery

It is a truism that dog owners look like their dogs. The breed is etched into the fabric of the owner. Winemakers are no different. Their personalities, philosophy, politics, dress, you name it are etched into the liquid they produce. This is not meant to imply...
Rippon 2018 – Stunning Pinot Noir et al

Rippon 2018 – Stunning Pinot Noir et al

Pinot Noir outside Burgundy has never been more diverse, exciting and rich in expression. Rippon, from New Zealand’s Central Otago region, crafts structured, tense, ethereal and decadent pinots to rival the finest of the Cote d’Or. The estate’s DNA ...
Margaret River Chardonnay – moved by the breeze

Margaret River Chardonnay – moved by the breeze

Chardonnay is made everywhere in Australia, and to a very high standard. Very few regions however are able to boast genuinely unique styles, or at least a regional typicity. The same can be said of Burgundy, where warm, early vintages have increased the diversity...
Hofgut Falkenstein – Nothing like Prum

Hofgut Falkenstein – Nothing like Prum

Traditions and typicity are key to our understanding of classic wine regions. Style, flavours, textures and classifications are signposts and, to a degree, a generalisation of what may be in the bottle. The acceptance of the VDP by the German wine fraternity and wine...
Pato&Wouters – At once playful and serious

Pato&Wouters – At once playful and serious

“In every genuine man, a child is hidden that wants to play”. Ain’t that the truth. Nietshke it seems, understood a part of our pscyche (genuine man, or woman that is), that clutched and thrashed for the playful in our stiff, structured and serious...
The magnificent wines of Luis Seabra

The magnificent wines of Luis Seabra

I first came across Douro reds in the UK, around the early 2000’s. Quinta do Crasto comes to mind, and they were excellent. Full bodied and round, they wore the sun on their shoulders. Not the scorching stab of mid afternoon Australian sun, but a warm, cosy coat...
Corymbia Wines – 2020 New Release

Corymbia Wines – 2020 New Release

Some wines and their makers are entire unto themselves. They may be varietal, classic even and will no doubt share many characteristics with their neighbours. You may be able pick the region, vintage and winemaking, and yet, they are not like their neighbours. These...
Understanding Nebbiolo Part 1 – The Taste

Understanding Nebbiolo Part 1 – The Taste

Italy’s greatest grape? One way or the other, Nebbiolo makes much of the country’s greatest, most sought after and most delicious wines. Consistency of quality, an iron rule for this wine lover, has never been better. Sangiovese for example can be priced...
Josetta Saffirio – Effortless Expressionism

Josetta Saffirio – Effortless Expressionism

Twenty years ago, and no doubt for many years prior, producers in the Langhe were invariably described as modern, traditional or a combination of the two. Nicholas Belfrage’s seminal work, Barolo to Valpolicella would categorise every producer according to their...
Eva Fricke 2019 Release – Be Bold

Eva Fricke 2019 Release – Be Bold

I first tasted Eva Fricke’s wines almost 20 years ago, in the good old days when anything from Germany was cheap (save the cars). So cheap in fact, that the quality to price ratio was common talk in the UK wine trade. It’s been twenty years since, and has...
Joh Jos Prum 2019 Release – Liberated Energy

Joh Jos Prum 2019 Release – Liberated Energy

The Australian importer of Joh. Jos. Prum once described wine as “bottled energy”, reminding me of Kenneth Clark’s description of a William Blake engraving, Glad Day. He writes “nothing could be more paradoxical than that he should have found...
Antoine Jobard – Wines of Sheer Presence

Antoine Jobard – Wines of Sheer Presence

With just 5 hectares of vines and making around 2000 cases of wine a year, Antoine Jobard is a tiny producer of some of the finest Meursault. Francois, Antoine’s son is now making the wines, and the changes have been subtle. Change is often abhorred,...
Swinney Wines New Release – Taste Deep

Swinney Wines New Release – Taste Deep

Newness in wine is highly prized. New producers, styles, vintages and reviews focus the wallet, and it is a special pleasure to drink the latest releases of a treasured favourite. This is only the second release of Swinney’s wine we have been a part of and...
Tyrrell’s New Release – Better than ever

Tyrrell’s New Release – Better than ever

Put simply, great producers make great wine. So when offered a taste of Tyrrell’s new single vineyard releases, I was excited. I have tasted releases of these wines many times, and they have all been delicious, but a taste of these seven wines left me convinced...
Beaujolais – The power and the glory

Beaujolais – The power and the glory

‘Classic’ is an epithet to be found in vintage reports, tasting notes and producer profiles. European producers and wine regions in particular are more likely to be described as classic. The truth is, and Beaujolais is no exception, that the idea of what...
Jurancon Sec – Taste with an open mind

Jurancon Sec – Taste with an open mind

Before even tasting a wine, all of us bring some fixed assumptions of what it will taste like. Generally, we’ve chosen the wine because of these assumptions – for pairing with food or because we feel like a certain wine. So when we opened two bottles of...
Wine Style Guide – What is Chablis?

Wine Style Guide – What is Chablis?

Recently, as I was about to pour a glass of Scarborough Yellow Label Chardonnay, a friend gripped my hand and said “I don’t like Chardonnay”. No problem, I’ve got some Chablis in the fridge. Do you like Chablis? “I love Chablis”....
Christmas Food and Wine Matching

Christmas Food and Wine Matching

It’s that special time of the year when you want everything to be perfect. We’ve put together this handy guide to help you match the perfect wine to your festive feast. Whether you’re having turkey and all the trimmings or a seafood spread, pick one...
Q and A with Stephen Cook from Eisenstone Wines

Q and A with Stephen Cook from Eisenstone Wines

The most discussed subject in the wine industry is climate change, and not the story of what’s in your glass. People are gifted with senses and the ability of expression and yet we have become obsessed with what can only be described as an existential threat. As...
Bistro in the Burbs – Duck Confit with Passetoutgrain

Bistro in the Burbs – Duck Confit with Passetoutgrain

The recent dining out restrictions meant we had to give more thought to dining at home and Bistro in the Burbs was born! Delicious home cooked meals with fabulous matching wines – what could be better? Sometimes modest, other times grand and not always perfect. But...
Featured wine style – Rosé

Featured wine style – Rosé

A friend of mine once said that rosé is rosé, and they’re all crap until you find a good one; and when you do, that’s the one you drink! According to him, no matter the grape, style, price or country of origin, they couldn’t be judged like other wines because...
2018 Joh Jos Prum Release – Thrilling & Wonderful Wines

2018 Joh Jos Prum Release – Thrilling & Wonderful Wines

There is no escaping the commentary surrounding vintages. Knowing a bit often makes you feel like you know a lot, and enough to draw foregone conclusions. After reading various comments and articles about the 2018’s from Joh Jos Prum, I feel compelled to add to...
Q and A with Will Rikard-Bell from Rikard Wines

Q and A with Will Rikard-Bell from Rikard Wines

Orange has never lived up to expectations. We visited recently, confirming for ourselves its status as a region full of potential, but one yet to truly define itself. Our visit to Rikard Wines was a bit of a light-bulb moment – delighting in the discovery of a...
When is a wine fault not a wine fault?

When is a wine fault not a wine fault?

Wine assessment and tasting is by its nature opaque. Countless factors will affect a wine at any showing, and if you were to re-taste the wine, in another context, your conclusions might be very different. To avoid discrepancy and possible misrepresentation, process...
Jean Foillard 2018 – one of France’s true masters

Jean Foillard 2018 – one of France’s true masters

Atypical vintages and atypical work conditions present challenges and opportunities for the vigneron. Discussion of vintages, their characteristics, merits and downsides are analysed and agonised over by wine lovers. However, it is always what’s in the bottle...
Tokaji – a wine style without imitation

Tokaji – a wine style without imitation

All wine lovers, all humans, love to get their money’s worth. There are producers, regions, vintages, styles and countries with whom value is synonymous. I have long believed that, typically, you are more likely to find good value in whites than reds. Regions...
Julian Haart – rising star of the Mosel

Julian Haart – rising star of the Mosel

I have wanted to taste the wines of Julian Haart for several years. Flicking through a newsletter from Mosel Fine Wines is always an informative experience, but it can be hard to tear yourself away from the familiar and famous names. I now have a rule that I rigidly...

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