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’

Five of the best: wine festivals

From a small Tuscan hilltown to Australia’s largest city, Melanie Abrams on where to find oenophile pleasures

Langhe’s limelight

‘The appeal of Piedmont’s two great red wines, Barolo and Barbaresco, has never looked stronger’

Return to port

‘After two centuries in abeyance, the original unfortified port wines are back,’ writes Andrew Jefford

The high life in Liguria

‘It is agricultural jewellery: tiny vineyards set, in springtime, amid the silver of olives and the golden yellow of mimosa flower,’ writes Andrew Jefford

A Spanish secret

‘Even today, the limpid reds and rich, textured whites of Spain’s Gredos Mountains are known mostly to insiders,’ writes Andrew Jefford

Plan BEE

‘Black economic empowerment brands focus export efforts on Scandinavia where monopolies are willing to help their cause’

One mighty smallholder

‘With a Parker score of 93 out of 100, Julien sold his entire La Fleur Morange 2000 crop for a very decent sum in 20 minutes’

Do not let vineyard dreams turn to vinegar

A proper business plan is essential for those looking to buy a wine-producing château

Brunello’s back

‘Tuscany’s grandest wine is emerging from a period in the twilight after the five-star imbroglio known as Brunellogate’

Welcome to the USA

‘A strong wind of change has blown through the winelands of South Africa, Chile and Australia — so how are these new wines faring?’

Savvy Savagnin

‘Jura wines have become the height of fashion with certain wine trendsetters’

What lies beneath

‘Those who understand geology insist there can be no direct relationship between what is below the vineyard and what is in the glass’

Sparkling success for England’s wineries

English vineyards scoop the prizes at Decanter World Wine Awards

Brave new bubbly

‘Growers’ champagnes, being identified with all this tech spec and with a real live individual attached, have much more of a story to tell’

Santa Cruz: mountains that conquer

‘These obsessively planted and tended vineyards are producing some of the most ambitious Pinot Noir being made anywhere’


Martin Sandbu

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