Ancient amber history: Gravner – Breg 1997

Old wines never cease to fascinate me. They invariably come to the table with a story to tell, with baggage attached, with secrets and profundities that are simply impossible in the latest vintage.

This 1997 Breg from Josko Gravner is laden with resonance – it’s one of the first years that Gravner bottled his then “new” style of wine, abandoning steel tanks and French oak barriques entirely, for long skin contact and ageing in much larger more neutral oak vessels. It’s the last year that Gravner kept his old label – the now iconic red/brown vine lable has graced every produced sine 1998. It also predates his usage of amphora for commercially bottled wines.
Large oak maturation vessels at Gravner

Celebrating intoxification at Domaine Canet-Valette

“Did God set grapes a-growing, do you think, And at the same time make it sin to drink? Give thanks to Him who foreordained it thus– Surely He loves to hear the glasses clink!” Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, 91st quatrain, translated by Richard Le Gallienne Alcohol has become one of society’s demons. It may be […]

Fulvio Bressan – Taking the long-term view

Winemaking has developed significantly in the last few decades. Winemakers now routinely draw on a vast canon of research, learning and technology to help ensure that they produce consistent wines and harvest fruit in prime condition, year in, year out. Vintage variation, of the sort that wrote off most early 90’s Bordeaux, is almost a […]

Sunday lunch with a surprise

I’m lucky to have friends who share my passion for good wine, so there aren’t too many bottles of Jacob’s Creek or Gallo Brothers turning up when we meet for dinner – or in this case a leisurely Sunday lunch at Graeme’s place. I came clutching a bottle of the ever reliable Urbina Seleccion Crianza […]