A wine may be rare because it is made in tiny quantities. Or because it is a one-off cuvee, perhaps one necessitated by the nature of a vintage. Or an experiment that succeeded. Or, an experiment that went wrong, and yet perversely succeeded because its oddness became noteworthy. Then there are wines that are rare […]

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There are always amazing discoveries to be made at the Real Wine Fair. The 2019 Fair features some wines from Portugal that are definitely worth the detour. Herdade do Cebolal is nestled on Alentejo coast at the south edge of Setubal wine region, although it can hardly be defined by broad geographical references. It’s all about […]

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Ugly Ducklings into Swans: A Real Wine Event at Solent Cellar

April 15, 2019

Every year, I am kindly invited by Heather and Simon of Solent Cellarto do a tasting masterclass at their cosy wine shop in Lymington in conjunction with Real Wine Month. This year I wanted to nail a particular theme and the idea of demonstrating the potential of so-called unloved varieties sprang to mind, the varieties that most effectively release […]

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Pet-ting Zoo

April 2, 2019

A Pet Nat (short for pétillant naturel) is a sparkling wine from a single vintage that undergoes a single fermentation. The wine ferments with its own yeast in tank or barrel and is transferred to bottle before the process is completed (with latent sugar). The fermentation continues without addition of yeasts, enzymes or sugar until […]

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Doug Decants: The Wines of Mauricio Gonzalez Carraro

April 2, 2019

Mauricio Gonzalez Carraro is part of the Asociación de Productores de Vino Campesino de Chile, organized by natural wine advocate and sommelier Macarena Lladser.  Their group of four all practise within the wine regions inside of the Secano Interior. They dry farm their organic land and mostly old ungrafted vines. Devoted to low intervention winemaking they […]

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The Autobiography of Les Caves de Pyrene. Chapter Six: Of the Psychology of Tasting, Wine Fairs and Feelings – Part Two

March 26, 2019

Read Chapter One Parts One, Two and Three Chapter Two Parts One, Two and Three Chapter Three Part One and Two and Three Chapter Four Part One and Two Chapter Five Part One and Two Chapter Six Part One Continued from Part One: 2011 was a watershed for natural wine in the UK. This was the time when people in the trade seemed to want to decide which side of the natural wine argumentative […]

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Doug Decants: Three Chenins from Intellego Wines

March 15, 2019

Jurgen Gouws worked with Eben Sadie for a vintage in Spain (at Terroir Al Limit in Priorat) and also in South Africa. He did further stints in France (at Matassa with Tom Lubbe and with Stephane Ogier at Roc d’Anglade) and in New Zealand and Russia (where he made the premium wines for a big […]

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I Won’t Call Them Unicorns but I will…Thierry Navarre’s Ribeyrenc

March 14, 2019

Another Unicorn in Our Stable Our spare Ribeyrenc Ribeyrenc, also Rybeyrenc, though grape encyclopaediae will have it under the more prosaic-sounding Aspiran), is a variety that was traditionally grown between Minervois and Clermont l’Hérault, but all but died out with phylloxera and the big frost of 1956. All was not lost, however, as Thierry Navarre’s […]

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I won’t call them unicorns but I will…

March 5, 2019

A new series featuring wines made in tiny quantities (free toy microscope with every bottle). These wines are strictly allocated (alas), so please enquire about availability. As rare as…wings upon a cat, or flowers of air, a rabbit’s horns, or ropes of tortoise-hair –Asian proverb 2016 Comando G El Tamboril A short distance from Madrid, […]

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Doug decants: Jo Landron’s Melonix & Muscadet Amphibolite

March 4, 2019

“The Melonator” Jo Landron, a graduate of the École d’Agriculture in Briacé, which counts a good number of the leading winemakers of Nantais amongst its alumni, has been ensconced at Domaine de la Louvetrie in La Haye-Fouassière for more than twenty years. His wines, in truth like their master, speak very clearly; these are fine, […]

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