Archive for December, 2010


A Toast To Martinborough


One of the greatest thrills when visiting a vineyard is when the winemaker invites you to sample the wines as they mature in barrel. Especially when the wines are from Escarpment Vineyards‘¬†premium Insight Series and the man making the wine ¬†is Larry McKenna. But here we were in the bunker-like barrel room at Escarpment in Martinborough, New Zealand, tasting the progress of the Kupe Chardonnay and Kupe Pinot Noir from grapes picked earlier this year. (more…)

Natural Born Thrillers


For most people, Christmas Day is all about the food. For me (surprise!) it’s all about the wine. This year, the star of the show will be a 2001 Herzog ‘Spirit of Marlborough‘, a smooth mocha, cassis, liquorice and Agen prune-tasting Merlot Cabernet blend. It shouldn’t overpower a gamey, slow-reared Turkey with a punchy stuffing. But if it does, do I really care? (more…)

Smiley, Happy Wine People


Seresin Estate must be the happiest winery I’ve visited. Beaming smiles greeted us from the moment we stepped through the cellar door on a gloriously sunny Marlborough day – to the moment we left. First up was Carolina, who was managing the cellar door. With a warm welcome and an ear-to-ear grin she went off to find winemaker Clive Dougall. (more…)

So Long, NZ Sauvignon


This is the tale of how social media changed my mind about New Zealand wine. I’d got a bit sick of them, you see. All those endless supermarket shelves of gooseberry-screaming Sauvignon Blanc, and those big, jammy Pinot Noirs that all began to taste the same. Which I guess is why they’ve become so popular in the UK. Rather like your favourite chocolate bar, you know exactly what you are getting every time you buy these wines. To price-conscious Brits, that’s manna from heaven. (more…)