This is a series profiling the producers on our list who make natural wines. Within this series we will be highlighting some of the extraordinary and rare bottles and vintages that have helped to shape our appreciation of natural wines over the years. Previous posts from our 100 Great Natural Wines series include Austria, as well […]

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Phantoms of the Armagnac

by blog on October 13, 2020

The Aurensan vineyard – a family venture run by father Bernard and his two daughters, Sophie and Caroline, spreads over five hectares of land in the Tenareze region of Armagnac and comprises Ugni Blanc, Folle Blanche and Colombard planted on chalky-clay soils. The Tenarèze Armagnacs tend to be structured, powerful yet stylish. The estate places […]

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Love and Wine in the Time of Coronavirus: Part Five

October 13, 2020

July The Summer looks out from her brazen tower, Through the flashing bars of July. Francis Thompson, A Corymbus for Autumn Throughout the early period of lockdown, time had seemed to slow down. The quotidian noises of the city had abated, mellifluous birdsong returned, the larks were larking in the sky, the ‘pies were chattering […]

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The Unalternative Wine Glossary: I

October 13, 2020

Here is a lexicon of definitions of key wine words. The definitions are not intended to be scientifically objective and, in many cases, will be somewhat simplistic. Some will describe the technical side of wine(s), others will examine the more abstract and aesthetic ideas behind wine. Previously: A’s, B’s, C’s, D’s , E’s, F’s,  G’s and H’s (that’s right, this is so unalternative we’re even posting […]

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Doug Decants: Ancre Hill Wines, Monmouthshire

October 13, 2020

Is there more to life than Welsh Albarino? Yes, Welsh still and sparkling wines also. Ancre Hill Estates, owned by Richard and Joy Morris, comprises two vineyard sites on the edge of Monmouth, south-east Wales with some 30,000 vines planted on approximately 12-hectares (29.5 acres) and a state-of-the-art, modern winery. The business has evolved from […]

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100 Great Natural Wines: Loire – Part Two

September 30, 2020

This is a series profiling the producers on our list who make natural wines. Within this series we will be highlighting some of the extraordinary and rare bottles and vintages that have helped to shape our appreciation of natural wines over the years. Previous posts from our 100 Great Natural Wines series include Austria, as well […]

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The Alternative Natural Wine Manifesto: Part Two

September 30, 2020

Part One of The Alternative Wine Manifesto can be found here.  I wrote the manifesto below in 2008. A lot of natural wine has flowed underneath the bridge since then. It is time to re-evaluate and see how much has changed in the past 12 years. In the early days, natural wine was associated with […]

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Doug decants: Agricola Biodinamica Vaira

September 30, 2020

Fattoria di Vaira is one of the largest biodynamic farms in Italy, with more than 500 hectares, 40 of which are planted to vines. Here in Petacciato (Campobasso), they cultivate vegetables, grains and cereals, and produce fresh cheeses, olive oil and honey. Grape varieties include Falanghina, Trebbiano, Montepulciano, Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. After several […]

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The Unalternative Wine Glossary: H

September 30, 2020

Here is a lexicon of definitions of key wine words. The definitions are not intended to be scientifically objective and, in many cases, will be somewhat simplistic. Some will describe the technical side of wine(s), others will examine the more abstract and aesthetic ideas behind wine. Previously: A’s, B’s, C’s, D’s , E’s & F’s and G’s (that’s right, this is so unalternative we’re even […]

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Love and Wine in the Time of Coronavirus: Part Four

September 30, 2020

June “I want to say, in all seriousness, that a great deal of harm is being done in the modern world by belief in the virtuousness of work, and that the road to happiness and prosperity lies in an organised diminution of work.” – Bertrand Russell, In Praise of Idleness  May segued effortlessly into June, the […]

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