In this world of corporate buyouts and mass globalisation, the continuity that family ownership brings cannot be under-estimated when we look at the success of a company. Chris Wilson compares the 100+ years of his local Cambridge ironmongers Mackay with the continuing success of Barossa winemakers Henschke, and argues that it is the honesty, hard work and care that you can rely on when a family stamps its name and reputation on a product. A full new range tasting of the Henschke wines follows in the company of winemaker Joahnn Henschke, including the new vintage release of Hill of Grace 2013.
We’re all used to referring to a wine cellar as a cave. But when Peter Dean signed up to a wine tasting in a cave in the Ardèche, little did he realise that cave meant cave – 57km of underground caverns with stalactites, stalagmites and barrels of wine that have been aged for over a year 100m below the vines to give them a unique character. Oh, and the blind-tasting was literally that – lights off.
The recent Corney & Barrow summer tasting was awash with interesting wines for seasonal drinking. Here, Peter Dean turns the spotlight on a dozen that really shone and which are all either a cut above in their categories, or else offer exceptional value for money… or both.
It was a fun way to let journalists and sommeliers spend a morning in the Rhône, travelling by e-bike from one vineyard to another in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. But Ogier had a serious point to prove – that you can easily display the four main terroirs of the region by vinifying four Grenache wines made in exactly the same way but from different soil types; producing the finished wines and then letting journalists taste them in their natural habitat to see if they could taste the difference.
Since 2011 Alheit Vineyards has become one of the hottest wineries in South Africa with flagship wine Cartology arguably the most highly sought after wine from South Africa. Small, ancient, dry-farmed vineyard plots of Chenin Blanc & Semillon have been tracked down and nurtured to produce these wines, which are made by Chris & Suzaan Alheit in their winery in Hemelrand, Hemel & Aarde Ridge, Walker Bay. All these wines are limited in production but Imogen Taylor was lucky enough to taste a vertical of every vintage of Cartology 2011-2017 – because Chris Alheit believes the 2017 marks a turning point for Alheit.
As the Tri Nations Wine Challenges enters its fifth year, so we ask Peter Richards MW to comment on the wines of Chile and New Zealand as they battle head to head across six wine categories. For Chile it was the first time the country has entered the competition. How would it fare, especially in the Pinot Noir and Sauvignon categories? The results were a close run thing.
David ‘Champagne Charlie’ Kermode realised that he had met his match when we asked him to taste through a range of Charles Heidsieck Champagnes at a tasting dinner in North London. Tasting the range with new and old vintages, Kermode had to doff his cap and admit that Heidsieck is the real deal. He also got to meet the team behind The Finest Bubble, our ‘6th emergency service’ that can get a bottle of the finest fizz to anywhere in London within two hours. Maybe it should be our 1st emergency service?
How do you solve a ‘problem’ like Italian wine? So many indigenous grape varieties, so many DOCs, so many difficult names to navigate yourself around, no generic Italian wine body… and yet there are so many fantastic Italian wines made that tasting your way through an Italian event is always a voyage of discovery. Such was the case with Bibendum’s most recent tasting – the first of a series of events called Tasting Editions, which allowed the company to show off their Italian portfolio – highlighting the indigenous grapes of Italy.
Earlier this summer our roving contributing editor and Michelin star chef, Roger Jones, found time to catch up with two people that, for him, make the best Australian Riesling. In fact, Roger argues that it is because of them that he first started falling in love with Australian wine per se; Louisa Rose is the chief winemaker at Yalumba which includes the Pewsey Vale Vineyards while Jeff Grosset owns and runs Grosset Wines.
After fighting off hordes of Riesling-fuelled Austrians at biannual wine fair VieVinum, Justin Keay decides to visit Domäne Wachau, a wine producer that managed to stand out from the crowd. There he gets to discover a winemaker that is successfully achieving high quality across its range – from top end single vineyard Riesling and Grüner Veltliner to mass market regional blends that are being sold through Lidl.