Chenin: the grape we love (Part Two – Out of South Africa)

September 21, 2018

Read Part One of our Ode to Chenin Blanc here. Craig Hawkins makes wines in Swartland. His project is called Testalonga El Bandito, wherein he makes a pair of Chenins under the El Bandito label, one from free-run juice and the other with varying amounts of skin contact and “baby” counterparts thereof. When he started […]

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Stefano Bellotti: An Appreciation

September 17, 2018

Stefano Bellotti understood farming and the language of nature at a fundamental level; He made wines that were wild, long-lived and spoke deeply of their origins. He was the spirit of real appellation and fought hard to maintain the integrity of that word, often finding himself deeply at odds with bureaucracy. He was a kind […]

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Doug decants: The Wines of Cascina Iuli

September 14, 2018

Fabrizio Iuli grew up (literally) in his mother’s restaurant and used to help out from a very early age. His grandfather had planted some Barbera in the fields behind the house in the 1930s and the family wine soon became the house wine of the restaurant. Years later, Fabrizio, appreciating the potential of these old […]

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Chenin: the grape we love (Part One)

September 13, 2018

I’d give my goddam soul for a glass of Vouvray. –Jack Torrance This supremely versatile and noble Loire grape makes all styles from pétillant and sparkling through bleach-bone dry, tender, moelleux and sensationally sweet. Extremely popular in South Africa, where it used to be known as Steen (for our older readers), it has acquired new […]

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It was 30 years ago today…

September 6, 2018

As mentioned in virtually every piece that we write now, we are thirty years old this year! A lot of real and metaphorical vino has passed under the bridge; the whole gastronomic scene has been transformed beyond recognition (and continues to be transformed), the nature of wine lists has changed, and how we communicate about […]

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Doug Decants: Capreolus – rare eaux de vies from the Cotswolds

August 30, 2018

When we finally discovered the house on the outskirts of Cirencester we encountered three figures up to their elbows (literally) in blackberries, arms and faces painted in crimson-purple juice. Individual berries were being painstakingly picked over and sorted, preparatory to being gently crushed. Barney Wilczak, the brains and passion behind Capreolus (the Latin name for […]

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New Arrivals: Oregon (Bow & Arrow and Kelley Fox Wines)

August 27, 2018

The United States of Loiregon More power to the Bow Scott Frank of Bow and Arrow obeys the rule of the Loire. For him it involves sourcing the right vineyards and farmers who understand his requirements for grapes that pack fruit and acid in equal measure. In the past we’ve enjoyed his peppy Melon de […]

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Sulphur ye not the little wines

August 22, 2018

Arguably not the last word on the subject To find no-sulphur wines liberating and energising is not to cast aspersions on wines that are made with an addition of sulphur. Sulphur is relative to the wine, and we can discuss it as a substance that may bind and tighten, on the one hand, but also […]

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Restyling wine tastings: A modest proposal in anticipation of our 18th September Trade Tasting

August 16, 2018

Let’s be frank. Tastings are pretty tedious, aren’t they? You might make a discovery or two at one, or have a chance to have a chinwag with a grower at another, but, by and large, they are predictable, occasionally frenetic, affairs, from which you emerge barely the wiser and with the feeling that you have […]

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Does Does: Slovenia (Day Two): Biodynamic diversions with Zorjan

August 13, 2018

Read Doug Does: Slovenia (Day One) HERE. A Wreath of Sonnets – France Preseren (one of Slovenia’s great poets) Send but your rays their glory to renew And let me not look for dawn’s light in vain In your dear face, to hold back night’s domain And calm the wildest storms that ever blew. Fall […]

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