Technical themes:

Crus de Loire

Published on June 12, 2013

The Loire valley has begun to break with its long tradition of a single-ranking, single-level appellation system. In 2011 it started to evolve a cru system of appellations.

New Chianti Classico Gran Selezione

Published on April 28, 2013

A new, top tier – Gran Selezione – of Chianti Classico is to be added above Chianti Classico Riserva and Chianti Classico ‘straight’.

A lesson in viticulture at Domaine d’Arjolle

Published on January 23, 2013

Charles Duby, the viticulturist at Domaine de l’Arjolle in the Languedoc gives a great session on the role of the soil.

White wine phenolics

Published on January 8, 2013

When a vertical tasting of bourboulenc at Château d’Anglès, in Languedoc’s La Clape followed on the heels of a viognier masterclass by viognier virtuouso Louisa Rose, one can’t help but tweak one’s thinking on the roles of acidity, freshness and phenolics (essentially tannin) in white wine. Neither grape is particularly well endowed with raging acidity, but both have thick skins which impart a phenolic texture and freshness to the wines they make.

Vine burial in Russia

Published on December 22, 2012

Not some ancient rite of passage for dead vines but a way to keep vines alive during the -26 to -27°C winter temperatures

Domaine Nathalie et Gilles Fevre

Published on December 14, 2012

Nathalie and Gilles Fevre make outstanding wines from their 43 hectare Chablis property, and I was keen to get the low-down on Chablis and minerality from these top-quality guys.

Minerality quote, unquote 4

Published on November 16, 2012

A recent visit to Australia turned up some interesting views on minerality.

Growing season temperature

Published on October 19, 2012

Growing season temperature (GST) may just provide the most refined single index yet for identifying regions of cool and very cool climates. Work by Dr Andrew Pirie, honorary research associate at Tasmanian Institute of Agricultural Research, consultant at Tamar Ridge, and owner of Apogee, a single vineyard Tasmanian sparkling wine, has revised the index.

Calculating the cost of a bottle of wine

Published on October 3, 2012

Why are we paying £7-£8 for a half-decent bottle of wine now, whereas a few years ago we could get something pretty drinkable at around £6?

Texture, structure, savouriness and sense of place – the new Aussie mantra

Published on September 29, 2012

The bywords for the next generation of Aussie winemakers look set to be texture, structure, savouriness and sense of place, (the French would call it terroir), as producers look to express greater individuality in their wines. They’ve cottoned on to the fact that the patch of dirt where the vines grow, and its complete environment, really is the thing that can’t be replicated elsewhere.

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