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31 July 2023

New Zealand Pinot Noir Part 2: Marlborough.

NZW Inc. Yealands.Estate from www.nzwine.com

Marlborough region, which occupies a large part of South Island's northeast coast inland from Cloudy Bay, has 'almost 30,000 hectares of vines (2/3 of the national total),' and a staggering 80% of this is dedicated to Sauvignon Blanc. Thankfully, the second most important grape is Pinot Noir at 2733 ha, half of all plantings of this variety in NZ. There are three subregions: Southern Valleys (composed of the Omaka, Fairhall, Brancott, Ben Morvan and Waihopai Valleys), Wairau Valley and Awatere Valley. Here's a dozen tasty Marlborough Pinots.

03 July 2023

Languedoc - Fitou: Domaines du Vent, Bertrand-Bergé, Lérys & Château de Nouvelles.

Nathalie Boyer, Domaine du Vent.

The Fitou region nudges against the Corbières hills at the southern edge of the Languedoc before you cross over into the Roussillon, and is split into two parts divided by a chunk of the Corbières appellation in what might have been the middle of it (viticultural history, village politics). In simple terms, the seaside bit lies around Fitou itself and just to the north; and the hillier rockier inland bit is centred on Mont Tauch and the villages of Paziols, Tuchan and spreading north to Villeneuve les Corbières.

16 June 2023

New Zealand Pinot Noir Part 1: Central Otago, North Canterbury, Nelson, Wairarapa, Hawke's Bay.


This stunning shot of Misha's Vineyard in Central Otago reminds us this wine region in the south-of-centre of New Zealand's South Island is distinctly 'cool climate', to coin that overused term. The Pinot Noir variety has adapted well to the climate and landscape here; and local winemakers can confidently claim to be producing some really delicious and fine Pinots, even if, inevitably perhaps, these wines now represent some of NZ's most expensive.

15 May 2023

Languedoc and Roussillon: Terroirs & Millésimes 2023


A series of wine tasting and touring reports from a recent trip to the Languedoc and Roussillon will be published on the site piece by piece over the coming months. In the meantime, I've already posted photos of favourite bottles, smiling winemakers, tasty food, pretty locations and historical sightseeing spots on Facebook.com/WineWriting.

24 April 2023

Rioja: 10 to 20 year-old reds.

This selection of eight gracefully maturing reds in some ways epitomises what many people would consider 'old' cask-aged Rioja to be all about. Although, as seen in three previous posts (Rioja 5 to 10 year-old red wines, Rioja reds less than 5 years old, Rioja 15 white wines), with a new generation of winemakers challenging the narrow perception that barrel age equals quality, there are plenty of great wines to be enjoyed from younger red (and white) Rioja too. This snapshot spans vintages 2012 and 2011 to 2004, 2003 and one delicious wine exceeding twenty years of age, 2001 (a Rioja odyssey?).

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Header image: Château de Flandry, Limoux, Languedoc. Background: Vineyard near Terrats in Les Aspres, Roussillon.