Just too much like hard work

I have many memories of drinking this wine is the past; I’ve even had some old bottles that I have thought are quite good. It has always been a large-scale wine, but this vintage is just too heroic. Cabernet Sauvignon 2000, Cape Mentelle A very hot, ripe, alcoholic nose (it is 15%) with stewed, jammy […]


Best so far

Fourteen quid well spent on this. It has some real character. Local Growers Semillon 2002, Rockford There is a honeyed, waxy character to the nose. It also has good lemony fruit. This smells quite characterful. The palate is finely balanced with some Semillon weight and a good backbone of acidity. This is pretty good for […]


Stunningly dull general drinking

The two Australian wines I had planned to have with dinner bored the tits off me. Chardonnay 2003, Cullen Soft melon fruit on the nose, some wood too. It smells quite dull; I’ve had so many similar wines in the past. The palate has fruit, acidity and oak, but is frighteningly boring. I am not […]


Not much insecticide

I first tried this at the London wine and spirit trade fair. I thought it seemed a nice enough drink. It is an adequate, but slightly dull, aperitif. Riesling 2004, Plantagenet This has but hints of fly-spray on the nose, a common problem, I find, with Australian Riesling. It is obviously ripe, but has some […]


First of a set

I used to travel from Oxford to London just to buy Rockford’s Basket Press Shiraz. If only I hadn’t wasted my time and money ageing them. This wine is a bit more junior in Rockford’s range than the Shiraz. It is 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Shiraz. Barossa Valley Rod and Spur 2002, Rockford Wines A […]


In the dim and distant past…

When I first got into wine as an enthusiastic youth I used to have a bit of a thing for Australian wines. I would hate to classify all Australian wines as ‘beginner’s wines’ but at the prices I could afford they tended to be well made and fun. As I grew older and my budget […]


One year of drinking

It suddenly occurs to me that I’ve been keeping this blog for a year. I’ve had some great wines during this time and pleasingly few nasty ones. Long may this trend continue!


Five wines from around the web #7

Everybody needs some Pol Roger 1996 in their cellar. Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru 2001, Château de Chambolle-Musigny/J et F Mugnier: One of the star performers in the 2001 vintage, this is a really refined and elegant Bonnes-Mares. £73 from Howard Ripley. Champagne Pol Roger 1996: This is a brilliant, tightly-bound Champagne of great intensity. Quite lovely […]


What doesn’t qualify

As part of the humorous ‘taste crap wines’ weekend that included the quite worryingly disgusting we also purchased a bottle of Frascati. It was quite an expensive bottle of Frascati as far as the supermarket’s selection went: a whole fiver. It had some fruit, a degree of bitter-almonds character and alcohol. It wasn’t bad, but […]


Not my style, nor should it be anybody’s

Dugat-Py are quite well thought of, on my occasional tastings of their wines I have often wondered why they are so popular and so expensive. They are not really beautiful, lovely Burgundies. Gevrey-Chambertin Tres Vieilles Vignes Coeur de Roy 2000, Bernard Dugat-Py This is a very dark wine. It smells more like an oaky Syrah […]