Wine

You’ll find everything from individual wine or producer reviews to reports from tastings or winery visits in this section. Here is a selection of recent posts about wine:

Muscat Ottonel, a love story Martin Lichtenburger and Adrianna Gonzalez in their cellar, March 2017Sometimes the path of true love really does alter everything. When Austrian Martin Lichtenberger and Spaniard Adrianna Gonzalez met in 2007, during their winemaking studies in California, they might not have predicted that they’d soon be making wine together on another continent. Not to mention a skin contact Muscat Ottonel (an orange wine).

The dreaded Palomino – Daterra Viticultores Laura Lorenzo pours a sample at Simplesmente Vinho 2017, PortoTasting at a busy wine fair is hard. Where to go, what to taste? Did I miss something mindblowing amidst the crowds? A tall, rather statuesque lady with impressive dreadlocks grabs my attention. I offer my best/only Portuguese “Posso provar os vinhos brancos?”, she retaliates with a stream of Spanish. I catch the word “Galicia” ...

Barking at the moon: Movia – Lunar 2008 Decanting Lunar into a florid Riedel vesselAleš Kristančič is a man whose reputation precedes him. Movia, the family’s estate in Western Slovenia since 1820, has become one of the most well-known producers from the region, and also a trailblazer for the skin contact style.

Tbilvino’s Qvevris Rkatsiteli – big isn’t necessarily bad Tbilvino Qvevris Rkatsiteli 2013Tbilvino is based in western Georgia’s Kakheti – the country’s most important wine region. A product of the modern age, Tbilvino was conceived in a post-communist world – their first commercial vintage was 1999. They’re pretty successful, producing around 3 million bottles a year, most of which are sold to Russia, other ex-soviet countries and ...

Six years later… JR comp - articles published Feb 1 2017A nice bit of symmetry today. Very few will remember how this site (which I’ve now christened “World’s Least Influential Wine Blog”) began – it all started in late 2010 when Fine & Rare wines announced a competition to submit a tasting note about a Bordeaux wine. The prize was the chance to travel with the ...

Making orange wine in the Douro Valley – Part 1 Simon holding Portuguese grape varieties It started with a seemingly innocent question from Oscar Quevedo: “Simon, do you know how to make an orange wine?”. Oscar isn’t stupid of course, he knew damn well I’d have something to say on the subject. We were sat in the tasting room at Quevedo, a port and still wine producer in the Cima Corgo sub-region ...

Tasting orange wines with Hugh Johnson Hugh Johnson admires the colour and sheen that 6 months skin contact in an amphora bringsI’m not sure that I have heroes anymore – and those I once had were certainly not wine writers. That said, if I did, and if they were, Hugh Johnson OBE would be a candidate. Several of his books are on my shelf, and his writings have accompanied my entire journey into wine over the last 25 ...

The unknown Austria – Part 2 Simon having a good sniff....For the introduction to this tasting, please see Part 1. Orange Interlude Austria shares borders with Northern Italy and Slovenia – both parts of the world with a long tradition of using extended skin maceration in white wine. So it’s no surprise that Austrian winemakers have taken to this style enthusiastically, with some now well into a ...

The unknown Austria – Part 1 The Unknown Austria - Line upA year living in the small Austrian town of Eisenstadt developed my considerable love not just for one of its natives, but also for the restrained and elegant wines. The issue? Availability of many of the greatest wines is pretty sparse, or even non-existent outside Austria itself. Inevitably, if a restaurant in London or Amsterdam lists a ...

“Orange wines are a sideshow and a waste of time” People not enjoying orange wine at all“What’s the point of experimenting? We know how to make really good wine. Why do we want to throw away the formula and do something different?” Hugh Johnson, interviewed in the Washington Post, October 2016. Recently I’ve been wondering whether the whole arena of natural wines was becoming so mainstream, tolerated and understood that maybe there was no ...

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