Valter’s wine press – hot off the press. Valter Mlecnik The Mlecnik 9ha farm, situated on western end of the Vipava valley, is planted to Chardonnay, Rebula, Sauvignonasse (ex-Tocai Friulano), Istrian Malvasia, Pinela and Merlot, all of which produces a mere average total of 12.000 bottles a year. All the grapes for their wines come […]


A topographical, historico-cultural, vinological account of a swift trip to Slovenia, a small but vital country situated in southern Central Europe located at the crossroads of main European cultural and trade routes, bordered by Italy to the west, Austria to the north, Hungary to the northeast, Croatia to the south and southeast, and the Adriatic Sea to the southwest. Four major European geographic regions meet in […]

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Bang for Your Buck Tasting Reviewed

October 19, 2016

Our Bang for Your Buck tasting was held last week in the Music Room of some rather grand edifice on Carlton House Terrace SW1, arguably the only event in this part of military club-land where one wouldn’t need to don a full whistle and genuflect to massive portraits of frowning generals on the walls. Les […]

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Doug Decants: Burgenland & Oregon

October 19, 2016

Focus on: The very good burghers of Burgenland – Andert-Wein PM? Pull the Andert one. They call it Puligny-Montrachet, or PM for short, we call it wine of grape variety of unknown origin (one perhaps “schmuggled” from a far distant land, we couldn’t possibly say). The princely production of this hen’s tooth wine is 220 bottles; […]

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The New Eagles Have Landed: Part Two – California

October 14, 2016

Welcome to our Hotel California, not a palatial guest house, more of a rusty lean-to out back. The philosophy of the growers that we deal with might best be summarised by Matthew Rorick (Forlorn Hope): “The Forlorn Hope wines were born to connect the thread between California’s boundless viticultural potential and its diverse viticultural history. […]

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The New Eagles Have Landed: Part One – Oregon

October 11, 2016

In my buyer’s backpack I carry a compass which points to magnetic craziness. The wines don’t have to be madly, badly DJ Funkosaurus in the wilderness. They can be beautiful labours of love (where blood, sweat and tears are shed) as in the case of Kelley Fox who channels the raw energy of the Maresh […]

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Words To The Wine

October 7, 2016

“I begin to long for some little language such as lovers use, broken words, inarticulate words, like the shuffling of feet on pavement.” ~ Virginia Woolf Plundering the pornucopia of kumquats and tropical fruit tropes, the archbishops of cantaloupes and prelates of other plumptious fruits have raided the alms-basket of graphic words so often that […]

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Doug Decants: Valtellina, a Trio of West Aussies, and Sherry

September 29, 2016

NEW WINES Les Chiavs de Pyrene have moved into Valtellina Balgera is a boutique winery located in Chiuro, one of the wine growing villages of Valtellina area, in the region of Lombardy. The winery dates back to 1885 and Paolo Balgera is the 4th generation wine maker. The classic old world styled highly fragrant Valtellina wines […]

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Artisans of Oz: a round up

September 27, 2016

And so to the land of Bansky murals, and enough hipsters and bearded baristas to make AA Gill expel the plums moulded to his mouth and break out in hives. For we were in Cargo, a nightclub and pogonophobe’s vision of hell by night and a temporary venue for the Artisans of Australia by day, […]

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Drinking Wine, Not Ideology

September 26, 2016

Simon Woolf’s piece on natural wine in Meininger caused another minor kerfuffle in a carafe in the oenosphere. These articles are always timely in that even though they are written with diligence and fair-handedness, the reactions they subsequently evoke provide an indication about the commentariat’s (lack of) knowledge, understanding and experience of natural wines. Defenders of […]

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