©Graham Roumieu

Italian renaissance

‘Now is the time to take advantage of Italy’s best wines, whose prices seem highly likely to rise’

Wine writer Neal Martin
©Daniel Jones

UK critic becomes world’s new wine guru

Essex-born replacement for Robert Parker known for irreverent reviewing style

Illustration by Graham Roumieu
©Illustration by Graham Roumieu

Bordeaux is back

‘2015 is not the vintage of the century but it is pleasing to taste — a modern version of 1985’

Chile: Turning copper into wine

The commodity-dependent nation’s wine exporters have their sights on China’s casual drinkers

Illustration by Graham Roumieu of Chinese flag
©Graham Roumieu

China’s growing pains

‘At least wine in China is now being drunk rather than expensively packaged and handed out as a corporate gift’

Bordeaux on the brink

‘Will the superior quality of the 2015 Bordeaux vintage be enough to revitalise the en primeur market?’

The burdens of burgundy

‘Brokers’ lists suggest that an increasing proportion of sought-after wines are flipped after a few years in specialist storage’

Cracking Krug

‘On the table that day at 10am was a heap of croissants, a bank of Krug’s tulip-shaped glasses and a bottle of Grande Cuvée’

Atlas seeks place on winemaking map

Growing interest in production is tempered by alcohol’s stigma in the Muslim country

The eagle’s nest

‘The property is pretty good at generating income. Bottles of Screaming Eagle retail from around £1,000 apiece’

South Africa winemakers face poor harvest

Weather volatility also hits Spain, New Zealand and Australia

The bargain barrels

‘Producers in Languedoc are making seriously interesting wines, and prices are under half what they could be’

English sparkling wine

‘England’s army of vignerons is bullish at the moment. The total area of Britain under vine has doubled in the past seven years’

Blue Nun and other stories

‘Peter Sichel is probably the only person who left the CIA in fear of becoming an alcoholic — and then went into the wine business’

Oz’s leaps and bounds

‘One of the most obvious concentrations of Young Turkism is in the hills to the east of Adelaide, where temperatures are markedly cooler’

Blind rating Bordeaux vintage

‘It was the Pessac-Léognan whites that really cheered us up. Here were the sure-fire successes of the vintage’

What’s in an appellation?

‘Quality-conscious wine producers would love to see those who run the Rioja region acknowledge different quality levels’

How to be fine at wine

‘The main point of wine is to give pleasure, not to generate social confusion and angst’

Vintage value

‘The 2014 burgundies feature exceptional whites and many reds that will provide considerable pleasure’

Grenache’s ripening

‘An exciting new style of wines is being made from old Garnacha vines’

Burgundy 2014

‘White burgundies are the real stars of 2014. Some shone particularly brightly’

Rhône comforts

‘St-Péray is now the source of some of the most interesting white wine made in France’

Sweet somethings

‘This wood-aged vin doux naturel tastes of almonds and orange peel and would go well with a not-too-sweet Christmas pudding’

12 shades of white

‘Look carefully and you can find whites that have benefited from considerable bottle age at bargain prices’

Etna’s explosive reds

‘Many of the best Etna reds seem to have a suggestion of volcanoes or lava about them — a sort of warm earthiness’

A toast to England

‘England’s best sparkling wines now offer much to those who thought only champagne would do’

New model Pomerol

‘Wine lovers would be surprised at the fluidity of the boundaries of the various Bordeaux châteaux’

The rise of the sommelier

‘I was told that nowadays some New York diners choose a restaurant on the basis of the sommelier’

Review: ‘Thirsty Dragon’

Vintage insights into China’s effect on the business of wine

Mind the culture gap

‘Given how dependent Bordeaux now is on China, it seems strange that gulfs in understanding persist’

Bordeaux’s white hope

‘We may see a revival in the fortunes of white wines — not least because whites are more food-friendly than heavy reds’

Bottle v magnum

‘Perhaps there is no point buying magnums unless you are going to hang on to them for a very, very long time’

How to read a wine list

‘I qualified as a Master of Wine back in 1984, but I never hesitate to quiz a sommelier about how various possible choices are tasting’

Australian Chardonnay

‘Such progress has been made that I am now looking for serious alternatives to fine white burgundy in the cooler reaches of Australia’

A village affair

‘The white burgundies of Domaine Coche-Dury are the most sought-after in the world’

To Syrah with love

‘Even some Australian producers have started to call their wines Syrah rather than Shiraz’

A longer vie en rose

‘Domaine Tempier’s garrigue-scented pink wine can be worth ageing for decades’

Companion pieces

‘This selection from the book’s 300 new entries is a revealing barometer of the evolution of the world of wine’

Slickly sweet

‘Aline Baly boasts that @ChateauCoutet is among the top five Twitter accounts for Bordeaux classed growths’

Vintage point

‘I was thrilled to find that most of the 2005 reds from Burgundy are now beginning to deliver pleasure’

EMAIL BRIEFING


Martin Sandbu

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