Varietal focus:

The next steps for Aussie pinot noir and chardonnay

Published on July 29, 2011

On a visit to London earlier this month, Tom Carson, the winemaker at Yabby Lake in Australia’s Mornington Peninsula, hosted a tasting of Aussie chardonnay and pinot noir from some of the regions around Melbourne where these varieties are doing particularly well: Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula and Geelong.

Helm Wines

Published on July 21, 2011

Helm Wines, in the Canberra District, produces the tastiest Australian rieslings that I’ve come across.

Loess is more for grüner veltliner

Published on July 13, 2011

In Lower Austria there is a divide between riesling and grüner veltliner which keeps riesling on primary rock and grüner veltliner on loess. Loess, it seems does remarkable things to grüner veltliner – the wines are creamier, fatter, richer, and more immediately fruity in youth.

Is Soave’s garganega gauche or great?

Published on June 15, 2011

The mainstay of Soave is garganega and the purpose of the tasting was to look at this grape variety to judge whether it deserves the bad press, or if it’s an interesting or even more than interesting grape variety.

Bodegas Valdesil, Godello 2009, Valdeorras, Spain

Published on June 7, 2011

This was the outstanding wine from Waitrose’s recent press tasting. It’s a real stunner, complex, sophisticated, layered with freshness running through its veins.

Douro grapes – lessons for climate change?

Published on May 30, 2011

Portugal’s Douro valley is a complex, extreme, mountainous vineyard region; and it’s hot. Given the region’s long viticultural history, the vines tend to be well adapted to the extreme conditions. Vines are planted at river level, from around 100m above sea level, to above 500m up the slopes. Vineyard aspects cover the full 360°. In wine terms, these guys are at the vanguard of how to deal with a warming world.

A sextet of historic Rheingau rieslings

Published on March 23, 2011

The Rheingau VDP (Verband Deutscher Prädikatsweingüter) rocked into London in early March to promote riesling in their small Rheingau region of Germany, and brought along an historic sextet of riesling to illustrate the point.

Ten minutes with … Bill Downie

Published on March 7, 2011

Having lived and worked half the year in Burgundy for five years, Bill Downie set up by himself, in Victoria, in 2003, with his first Yarra Valley pinot noir, under the William Downie label.

Canberra District – shiraz shining

Published on March 3, 2011

Shiraz from around Canberra is proving to be a little gem, alongside its other jewel, riesling. The region has long had its icon wine, Clonakilla Shiraz/Viognier, Langton’s listed since 2005, coming from the oldest vineyard and winery in Canberra District, and others are aspiring to greater things.

New world pinot noir – a blind tasting tour

Published on October 13, 2010

A blind tasting of pinot noirs from Australia, California, Chile, New Zealand and Oregon revealed less national identity than might have been hoped for.

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