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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...
Albino Rocca 2019 Barbera d’Alba – One year on

Albino Rocca 2019 Barbera d’Alba – One year on

I have a love of sleek, bright, intense reds. Lip smacking, long on the palate, full flavoured, savoury tannins, medium bodied and angular frames. The sort of red that will match most budgets, foods, seasons and company. Such is Albino Rocca’s 2019 Barbera...
Giant Steps Wombat Creek Chardonnay 2019 – One Year On

Giant Steps Wombat Creek Chardonnay 2019 – One Year On

The Yarra Valley is on the cusp, or possibly over it, of defining a regional style. Cool, high toned citrus and orchard fruits, coupled with sinewed flesh, linear shape, a boney structure and high, piquant acidity. Of course, there are variations on the theme, but I...
Cascina delle Rose – softly, softly and unhurried

Cascina delle Rose – softly, softly and unhurried

First a little history. Founded in 1948, in the village of Tre Stelle Barbaresco, the estate comprises 5 hectares, 3.5 are vines. Tiny? Certainly. I find it hard to imagine such a small scale enterprise can support a family of four: Giovanna Rizzolio and Italo Sobrino...
Guffens-Heynen 2020 – Hammer and Chisel

Guffens-Heynen 2020 – Hammer and Chisel

Two of our favourite white Burgundy producers are Goisot and Guffens-Heynen. Ironically they are of opposing styles and one is from the northern reaches of Burgundy – Goisot, while Guffens-Heyen the south in the Maconnais. Goisot’s wines are sleek,...
Joh. Jos. Prum 2020 New Release

Joh. Jos. Prum 2020 New Release

Coming off the universally acknowledged ‘great’ vintage of 2019, 2020 would always be a vintage looking over its shoulder. But considering the silky lusciousness and richness of recent vintages, 2020 is a welcome return to Mosel classicism. Shimmering...
Rivulet Wines – Capturing the Magic

Rivulet Wines – Capturing the Magic

Of all Australian wine regions, Tasmania (if we are still able to lump the state together), is touted as the most exciting. It’s certainly popular and the price of grapes is the most expensive in the country. New regions present a new hope and enthusiasm, but...
Yangarra Ironheart Shiraz 2018 – One Year On

Yangarra Ironheart Shiraz 2018 – One Year On

Just for the heck of it, we recently decided to open a bottle of Yangarra’s 2018 Ironheart Shiraz a year or so after its release. The 1.8Ha Ironheart vineyard is set high in McLaren Vale, and consists of sandy ironstone soil, and in these exposed almost arid...
Eisenstone Ebenezer Shiraz 2019 – One Year On

Eisenstone Ebenezer Shiraz 2019 – One Year On

The Barossa Valley is Australia’s most important fine wine region, owing to its history, size, commercial and qualitative success. When I first started drinking wine the Barossa Valley, as with all Australian wine regions, was thought of in the singular. A big...
Domaine Tempier Bandol Rouge 2019 – One Year On

Domaine Tempier Bandol Rouge 2019 – One Year On

Bandol is synonymous with rose and despite the high price, demand outstrips supply of Domaine Tempier rose every year. Their red, however, is another story, yet I can’t help think wine drinkers are missing a trick by not taking their southern French odyssey a...
Badia a Coltibuono Chianti Classico

Badia a Coltibuono Chianti Classico

Chianti Classico is one of the least understood wine denominations. Most of us, if asked where and what it is, would say something like ‘it’s the original part of Chianti’, or ‘the best Chianti’s are Classicos’. Although these...
La Torre – Classic, complete Brunello

La Torre – Classic, complete Brunello

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde would have loved Brunello di Montalcino. There isn’t a wine region anywhere else in the world that encompasses so many personalities and styles, and at their best, perhaps conveys them all. Full bodied, or not, tannic, chewy, rugged,...
La Rioja Alta New Release – Autumn 2022

La Rioja Alta New Release – Autumn 2022

Autumn is the best season to drink the wines of La Rioja Alta. The first smoky wisps of winter, scents of fading flowers and the irrevocable sweetness of summer are glimpsed in these, most delicious bottles. The fruit is brighter than when I first drunk these wines 20...
Quealy Wines – Put an edge on it

Quealy Wines – Put an edge on it

I think it was Tolstoy who said that you will never be content if you look for perfection. I believe wine lovers are absorbed by the twin concepts of greatness and perfection, and thus narrow their drinking habits to fewer varieties. Varieties such as Chardonnay,...
The true taste of Spanish traditions

The true taste of Spanish traditions

Do you remember when you were young, thinking and acting like your parents were idiots? You might have even thought that they didn’t understand you, that nowhere within their combined realms of experience, were circumstances that resembled yours. I thought like...
Polperro – Australia’s Best ‘Burgundy’

Polperro – Australia’s Best ‘Burgundy’

You can’t call an Australian wine Burgundy anymore, and fair enough too. Burgundy and Bordeaux are the most imitated wine regions on earth, setting benchmarks for their varietals and styles, which at their best, have no equal in the world. So, in Australia,...
Weingut Rings – You’ve discovered a star

Weingut Rings – You’ve discovered a star

There are very few genuinely exciting wines. Light bulb moments might only happen a couple of times a year, if you’re lucky. Great wines are not necessarily crowd pleasers either. Indeed, many of the world’s great wines do poorly in blind wine tastings,...
German Rieslings of 2020 – Castles and Gardens

German Rieslings of 2020 – Castles and Gardens

Sometimes I wonder what people get out of fine wine. The cheaper stuff, fault free and full of pleasant flavour, will do for most of us, most of the time. Wonderful wines are like wonderful books. They are thought-provoking and evocative, sentimental and familiar. I...
Bernard Defaix – 2020 Chablis & Petit Chablis

Bernard Defaix – 2020 Chablis & Petit Chablis

Despite losing close to half of their crop due to late frosts, the Defaix’s still count themselves lucky. Numbers are terrible for much of France; most Chablis producers being hit with losses in the vicinity of 80%. So, volumes are down, prices are relatively...
Onannon – 2021 wines and single sites

Onannon – 2021 wines and single sites

Our first trip to the Mornington was an excercise in tasting very light coloured reds and frisky, early picked whites. So much so, that I wasn’t sure (still not sure), if it was the nature of the place or the wine producers. Crunchy red fruits and green apple...
Domaine Gueguen Chablis – sleek and finessed

Domaine Gueguen Chablis – sleek and finessed

Chablis’ surge in popularity has come as a bit of surprise. Recently, a Sommelier told me that “it’s the new sav blanc”, and she seemed gratified with this, commenting that it was more versatile and food friendly than the famed Marlborough white. True, I...
Ravensworth 2021 Reds – Sweet Vibrancy

Ravensworth 2021 Reds – Sweet Vibrancy

Sweet vibrancy is such a hard combination to achieve. I would normally associate wines made from healthy ripe grapes that are also refreshing and cleansing with Sangiovese from Chianti, Cabernet Franc from the Loire Valley or the reds of Valpolicella. But regional...
Goisot 2022 Release – Killers on the Fringe

Goisot 2022 Release – Killers on the Fringe

Great producers define their wine regions and grand vineyards or no, they make the best of what they have. Goisot is always lumped into the broader paradigm of Burgundy, which is of course true, but what’s the point in trying to compare wines as far afield as...
New Release Bannockburn 2019 – better than ever

New Release Bannockburn 2019 – better than ever

Great things are happening at Bannockburn under the stewardship of Matt Holmes. All their organically managed, close-planted vineyards will be fully certified this year. Holmes believes that as soon as they had started the process of stimulating vine health years...
Eva Fricke 2020 Release – get excited

Eva Fricke 2020 Release – get excited

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...
Giant Killers of Germany – understanding the rules

Giant Killers of Germany – understanding the rules

Our most read blog is Understanding Grosses Gewachs, but if I were to write a follow up, I would add a section called Giant Killers. Clearly there is good reason as to why most vineyards attract a grand classification, but it’s also true that every year, wines...
La Battistelle Soave – delicate and intense

La Battistelle Soave – delicate and intense

Gelmino and Cristina Dal Bosco farm 9 hectares dotted around the hamlet of Brognoligo. Small parcels are planted to Garganega. The soil here is volcanic, and the best vineyards are ideally situated on south facing slopes, the steepest of which are the Cru of Roccolo...
Domaine de Marcoux – Complete wines

Domaine de Marcoux – Complete wines

Styles of wine are in a constant state of flux and the idea that a wine is ‘typical’ or true to its origin is becoming harder to pin down. When we were buying our first bottles of red in the early 2000’s, thick textures, prominent oak and extracted...

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