Regional profiles:

French paradox – climats and lieux-dits

Published on September 1, 2012

French semantics are to the fore as we delve into the fog-bound world of attempting to differentiate between Burgundian ‘clos’, ‘climat’, ‘lieu-dit’, ‘cru’ and ‘appellation’. Some are easier; others require increasing magnitudes of microscopy, combined, perhaps, with a small gallic shrug for the inevitable French paradoxes.

Tasmanian sparkling wine

Published on August 24, 2012

It’s been estimated that some 40% of the total Tassie harvest tonnage goes into making sparkling wine. That’s some three-quarters of the chardonnay grown and one third of the pinot noir grown on the island state. It’s all about the cool climate.

French brokerage, or courtier, system

Published on August 16, 2012

Courtiers – a word to conjure polarised views, especially of the Bordeaux trading system. But in France the courtier system is not a one-size-fits-all, though the broker still puts together a customer with the wine they want, that they’ve sourced through their contacts.

Thermenregion reds

Published on July 31, 2012

Thermenregion is a region of two halves. The southern part, around Sooss, Tattendorf, Bad Vöslau and further south, is home to red pair pinot noir and saint laurent.

Thermenregion whites

Published on July 23, 2012

Thermenregion starts on the edge of the Wienerwald forest just 5km south of Vienna. It’s a region of two distinct parts, the result of a merger in 1985. Nearest to Vienna, two niche white grape varieties prevail – rotgipfler and zierfandler.

Taste test: semi-carbonic versus de-stemmed fruit

Published on July 19, 2012

Schools of thought are evolving in Beaujolais, especially in the Beaujolais crus, around semi-carbonic maceration versus a Burgundian style of fermentation using de-stemmed grapes with pump-overs or punch-downs to extract colour and tannins. To see if it is possible to begin to taste the difference between these two vinification methods, I conducted a tasting seminar.

Tassie pinot noir

Published on July 11, 2012

With 42% of total Tasmanian vineyard plantings, pinot noir is the island state’s lead variety. Still red pinot noir wine is getting to be a force to be reckoned with, with even latent sub-regional undertones becoming apparent.

First taste of Russia

Published on July 3, 2012

Russia is the world’s largest country, though its population of 138 million ranks it ninth most populous in the world. It is one of those old world countries, with a multi-millennia history of vine cultivation, once again diving into the modern and new world of wine.

Britain’s best bacchus, bubblies and more besides

Published on June 29, 2012

Judging at the English and Welsh Wine of the Year Competition, 2012 was a new and relished experience for me. I came away reinvigorated by the dynamism and freshness of the industry.

Wachau Smaragd – a 25 year view

Published on June 21, 2012

A tasting in Vienna marked the 25th anniversary of the smaragd style of wine from Austria’s Wachau region.

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