The Finest Rioja: Old World, Old School

What is it about this time of year that begs for open fires, roasted dinners and the taste of fine wines? It’s the latter that acts as a flowing ink joining the dots across memory and landscape. It connects our primordial selves to something we can’t quite describe yet, like soft caresses, translates into the language of pleasure. Yup, that is the work of damn good wine from Rioja!

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Chilean Malbec in context: 3 styles of Malbec

Caliterra winemaker, Rodrigo Zamorano compares 3 styles of this movable grape - Setting the scene for Malbec

The tasting was set up in the basement of Casa Malevo in Connaught Street London, a place famous for exceedingly high quality steak, a frequent food pairing for the malbec grape we were due to taste. 

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Can entry-level Bordeaux charm the British palate?

Bordeaux seems to be a wine region that we all perceive as being a haven of bluechip wines that mortals are denied access to. The £8-£20 price range for regular drinking wines is perhaps not as popular as it should be. Why is that? Does the region need more decoding. There are rewards for journeying into one of the world's most famous wine regions.

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Saint Emilion Grand Cru Classe 2015

Talking to Emmanuel de Saint Salvy from Chateau Bellefont-Belcier, Saint Emilion Grand Cru Classé

What can we expect from the 2015 vintage in St Emilion?

2015 is a very interesting vintage because at the same time we have a very full-bodied vintage but with a lot of fruit… we can drink it today. 

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Errazuriz Max Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

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Tasting Gianni Gagliardo Barolo 2011

It was a pleasure to catch up Elena Gargani at the London Wine Fair recently and taste her range of Italian wines. In particular the Gianni Gagliardo Barolo 2011 stuck out as fantastic wine for drinking now or laying down for many years to come.

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Don Maximiano Founder's Reserve 2013, Errazuriz

Chilean wine is breaking into markets all over the world and disrupting them with a huge combination of great value, high quality and variation.

Errazuriz is one of the leading brands exporting wine around the world and is gaining a reputation for delivering rich complex wines for just about any occasion.

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Contino 2013: tasting with Spain's Jesús Madrazo

Contino is a small single vineyard estate that is part of the Cvne family of high quality benchmark Spanish wines from the Rioja region. Jesús Madrazo is the widely respected winemaker at Contino and has traveled to London for a tasting of the very troubled 2013 vintage.

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Coteaux Champenois: Red wine in Champagne?

Why is everyone talking about “Bouzy Rouge” in Reims? Still wines from Coteaux Champenois are delicious and the Grand Cru village of Bouzy has been developing cult wine status for sometime. Find out more..

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Spanish wine tip: Gran Caus, 1999

We visited the Wines from Spain 2016 show in London recently and bumped into the man behind ‘The Write Taste’, food and alcohol journalist, Robin Goldsmith.

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As COVID-19 conspires with the grimmest of winds and rain to force a societal retreat behind our own front doors, the word ennui springs to mind. The muddle of displeasure is pierced when Natalia hands me a large bulbous glass of a liquid I do not recognise.

 

 

Britain’s lamentable exit

On the eve of Britain’s official departure from the EU, my partner and I decided to explore a small town on the Italian Riviera where thewintry cold doesn’t feel so much like cold war bite.

I had warned my significant other that I would be having an inverse departure party, a release of the sanity valve if you like!

 

Sitting inside the ancient castle walls inside the town of Soave, a short drive from Verona in northern Italy, the unique slightly almond aroma of the indigenous grape, Garganega, rises gently from my glass. The castle sprawls up the side of an extinct volcano that gives the region its variant soil structures that mark out the better quality of Soave wines.

 

Tanisha Townsend decided to move to Paris 4 years ago after regularly passing through the city en route to the world’s most famous vineyards. In fact, it was about 2 years ago at the Printemps de Champagne Bouzy Rouge tasting in Reims that I saw (who we shall now refer to as) GirlMeetsGlass chirpily speaking to her web followers on Snapchat.

 

The cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, the final resting place of Saint James, rises out of the landscape, infested with antiquity. The rambling steep streets give way to shafts of dramatic light, emblazoned chapels, and tightly packed tapas bars, dusty, as old novels pressed together in antiquarian bookshops.

 

Driving into the Entre-Deux-Mers region from the north, the vineyards roll out like a bright green deep-pile carpet across the undulating land. It’s hard not to be excited about tasting wines with so much heritage, as we head to Chateau-Sainte-Marie to meet with 5th generation owner, Stéphane Dupuch. 

 

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