Dare To Be Different

February 14, 2018

Original grapes, traditional styles, quirky stories, oddities, curiosities, accidents and a fanatical urge to push the envelope. Mauvais Temps, Nicolas Carmarans, Aveyron A last chance to try the native Negret de Banhars as fruit will not be purchased from this vineyard again by Nico Carmarans. Truly sanguine wine from the heart of nowhere. The good […]

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What’s (not) in your wine?

February 10, 2018

It is symptomatic of the world we live in that we obsess about the niceties of labelling rather than talk about the quality of the contents of a bottle of wine. Somewhere, in a dusty office, a bureaucrat is smiling broadly, as the more stymied the debate, the more justification for a regulatory helping hand […]

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Doug Decants: Vale da Capucha Arinto

February 6, 2018

The Marques family and their estate, Vale da Capucha, represent the viticultural renaissance that the Lisboa DO has experienced over the last decade. Having grown fruit for bulk wine production for a few generations, they realised that their heritage and terroir was something worth expressing. Winemaker Pedro Marques has taken the reins of the estate […]

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The Cavistes’s Wet January

February 1, 2018

Decanting our wines of last month * Our first soggy plump comes from the parish of Mr Board, who proffers Kolbroek Syrah Intellego as his wine dish of the day being, ‘peppery and intensely savoury whilst having poise and elegance.’ He goes on: ‘It’s the perfect partner for bloody steak and chips which happens to […]

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Tastes change

January 27, 2018

The other day I was trying a wine called In Côt We Trust from the stable of Pierre-Olivier Bonhomme. I remember (back in the time) my first encounter with this Malbec. It was wild, sanguine, hog-roast kind of wine, high on funk, natural wine red in tooth and claw. I wrote at the time: In […]

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New Wine Resolutions: Refresh your palates and wine lists

January 23, 2018

We’re nearly a month out from the holidays, and it’s time to refresh your palates and your wine lists. Ignore dry January for try-new-wine-January (or February or March) instead because, when it comes to wine, a change is as good as a rest. Jura-ssic World The pitter-patter of new little red boots can be heard again. […]

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Doug Decants: Piquentum Wines

January 23, 2018

This is a tale of a son of a Frenchwoman and an Istrian father, growing native Croatian grapes and making them in an old Mussolini-era concrete water tank. Born in French Basque Country (Jurançon) in the foothills of the Pyrenees, Dimitri Brecevic studied oenology in France and then worked at Domaine de Chevalier in addition […]

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Keep on Punching: The Rise of Testalonga Wines

January 15, 2018

Our first batch of 2017s have arrived and the Testalonga wines have gone to another level. Craig Hawkins is in a good place. He and Carla are now ensconced in Bandits Kloof in Piketberg, the northern reaches of the Swartland; He finally has a dedicated winery with plenty of space and a steady supply of […]

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Wine is Politics: Part Two

January 11, 2018

Continued from Part One… DOC, heal thyself – globalisation versus the grower   In France and Italy the official structures (appellations, interprofessional bodies, bureaucratic involvement) have been seen to militate against perceived innovation while proscription is used as a tool to throttle the freedom of the grower. This politicised some growers who were compelled to […]

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Doug Decants: Filippi Wines

January 8, 2018

Soave is normally not sophisticated. At worst it may be a sulphurous travesty and even the better examples tend to be neutrality personified with all the fruit of the thinnest nib of a blanched almond. Filippi’s estate and vineyards are located in Castelcerino, in the highest part of the Soave DOC. The property was owned […]

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