Category Archives: Wine Producers

Paul Pontallier, who died aged 59 from cancer this week, was a towering figure in wine. Partly because he was Director (‘regisseur’) of Chateau Margaux, but beyond that, because he embodied a healthy and rational counterpoint to the view that … Continue reading

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Bruce Cakebread was in London to show off his Chardonnays. Not exactly a piece of cake. This is premium Napa, with history and form, founded in 1973 in Oakville-Rutherford, a name which makes the winelover’s heart beat quicker. Except that’s … Continue reading

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My impression at the Real Wine Fair in March and this weekend’s RAW Artisan Wine Fair, both in London, is that the standard of wine-making at both of these shows, open to trade and consumers alike, has markedly improved.  I suspect … Continue reading

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If cheddar cheese, which is mostly made in factories, was marketed in the UK with some vague references to a gorge near Cheddar in Somerset, implying it came from near there, there would be an outcry.  But in wine this … Continue reading

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You’ll be familiar with the wine snobbery pecking order of white grapes.  I don’t know why anyone puts up with it but it goes like this.  The top grape is Riesling.  You may find it hard going but you will … Continue reading

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The recent very good vintages of 2005, 2009 and 2010, the feeding frenzy of Asia for top claret and a very average 2011 which is overpriced, have left many claret fans scratching their heads.  Most of those august chateaux that could be had … Continue reading

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I’ve always found Spain the most mysterious European country. Don’t ask me why, but it has got something to do with driving alone across seemingly vast and spectacular landscapes to visit wine producers.  The cops can be pretty scary too.  I am … Continue reading

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Paradise is cool spring mornings in the Languedoc. Last week, visiting Minervois wine, I swopped the usual cicadas and heat for near-alpine smells of damp garrigue, the savage scenary of the Petit Causse limestone and gneiss hilltops dappled in pale sun and winemakers relaxed … Continue reading

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The decline in admiration and desire for serious wine engagement in the UK is typified by how little most people, even those who profess a love of wine, know or care about Austrian wine.  Even inside the ark of connoisseurship, Austrian wine shares cinderella … Continue reading

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In 1994, one of the wine world’s more fascinating discoveries (I know we should get out more) took place: a huge amount of what was thought to be Merlot planted in Chile was in fact Carmenère.  That’s another grape variety, not … Continue reading

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