Pitchfork Semillon Sauvignon 2012

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

I told the guy in Latitude, Leeds, that I love white Bordeaux, and had a party coming up, but I didn’t want to break the bank and spoil the neighbours. He recommended this Semillon Sauvignon Blanc from Margaret River, Australia.

It’s crisp, yet smooth, rich and creamy, like an apple tart with custard and a dribble of honey. Latitude sold me this for £11.25 and, for that dosh, it beats most Bordeaux I’ve tried at the price point. Highly recommended. Remember WART rules and serve at the temperature of an oaked Chardonnay – about 10-12ºC (at least half an hour out of the fridge).

And for any of my lovely neighbours reading this, I was only joking. I’ve just received a shipment of Echo Falls for you. I’ll be keeping the Pitchfork for myself.

Pitchfork, Margaret River

Exhibition Sancerre, 2012

Saturday, August 31st, 2013

I have an American colleague, of French origin, who given his own bodyweight in Sancerre would happily sit on his sunny balcony and drink it nonstop in a frenzied Loire-athon. He does admit that other wine regions in France exist but they are either over-priced or under-qualitied. There are no wines produced from outside “l’hexagon”.

I share an interest in French Sauvignon Blanc and the Loire is the pinnacle of how to convert the grape into astonishingly bright, juicy, sunny, flavours.

It seems ages since people seriously contemplated that new fangled New Zealand upstarts like Cloudy Bay might put the Loire Valley out of business. The subtleties of the wines of the French region are rarely found in Marlborough. I love many kiwi zingers, but grapefruity zinginess, if overdone, can test ones mouth ulcers to the limit . Built by Domaine Serge Laloue, Exhibition Sancerre is zingy in a gooseberry bush kind of  a way, but without the cat piss. Very refined and priced to go at £12.95.

Is Riedel right about wine glasses? Château Filhot taste test

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

The venerable Austrian wine glass maker, Georg Riedel, has made a mistake. I know this to be a fact because I have just done a taste test on a bottle of 2001 Château Filhot that I’ve been saving for a while. Riedel recommends a 416/33, otherwise known as a Vinum Sauvignon Blanc (left) for the noble rotten wines of Sauternes. I’ve just received a brace of Rheingaus (right), or 416/1 to the librarians amongst you, as a present. So I thought I would do a taste comparison and, what a shock!


Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc, 2010

Monday, July 4th, 2011

It’s been a while since I slavered over a Dog Point and its Cats’ Piss flavours.  The main reason is that the Wine Society (who I slagged off royally in the same post)  hasn’t stocked it for a while and I have been way too lazy to look elsewhere.

One of the problems of writing about feline urolagnia is where to place the apostrophe.  I mean how many cats do you want to fill your pissoir?  Or is it more pure, and less disgusting, to think of a single cat’s pee as the sole occupant of your bottle?

Actually this is quite tart.  In addition to cats, there is evidence of gooseberry and grapefruit and just a little too much tongue tingling, lip squelching, palate stripping acidity.  Whilst I have since made up with the Society, personally I am a bit disappointed with the wine.  There are much better Kiwi SB’s around at a lower price than the £12.95 that my bank manager credited to the Wine Society.

Sharrow Bay, Ullswater, Cumbria

Friday, March 25th, 2011

If you have just scaled England’s third highest mountain via Striding Edge, slipped and nearly died, wished that you owned a pair of crampons, nearly shat yourself, and in the process built up a hunger hole the size of one of Sherpa Tenzing’s footprints, you could do worse than get your scram at one of the poshest hotels in the lake district, the self proclaimed inventor of sticky toffee pudding.  Make sure you take your Amex Black Card, though.  And check you are still in possession of your arms and legs on the way out.


Le Café Anglais Oyster Bar, London

Friday, March 11th, 2011

I’ve been impressed by Café Anglais on a number of occasions but I thought it was famous for roast chicken, and not particularly great for solo diners.  So, ever since they emailed me to say an oyster bar had opened I’ve been itching to try it.


La Salamandre, Pauillac

Sunday, September 12th, 2010

On a frenzied wine tour through Bordeaux it’s nice to take a relaxing break for a long lunch, and you could do much worse than stop in Pauillac during your Medoc leg.

La Salamandre, looking out directly over the river is charming, top quality, well presented, and has a great wine list.


When to drink Cloudy Bay

Friday, August 20th, 2010

I am deeply unfashionable by nature, and may be the last wino on the planet who still finds Cloudy Bay a good slurp and even (gasp), value for money!

Over the last few years, I’ve been experimenting with drinking it at different stages of youth.  I have just opened a 2007 and discovered a wrinkly old fella.  Tastes flat and tired,- no zing or spring in its step.  Notes of cardboard, straw and sour lemon.

Conversely I find baby Cloudy Bay, on release, a bit uninspiring.  Almost too fresh and grassy.

So I have concluded that my favourite time to drink this Kiwi standard is about 12-18 months after release where I find the classic cats’ piss, gooseberries and lots of fresh zingy grapefruit.

Has anyone tried this with other Kiwi Sauvignon Blancs?

Mahi 2009 Sauvignon Blanc

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

I spend far too much of what economists laughingly call my “disposable” income on wine.  I also buy more shoes than I can reasonably polish.  I like to think of it as keeping in touch with my feminine side.

Imagine my delight then, when I discovered that Oliver Sweeney has been bought out of administration!  I haven’t purchased a pair for a couple of years (but still own numerous), so maybe I am in some small way responsible for their near demise.  Mind you my temporary desertion of my favourite footwear brand was not purely for economic reasons.  I thought the designs lost their way.  Brands are about consistency of product, not advertising.  Any clever agency can get you to try a product once but loyalty is expressed in repeat sales and recommendations, which only come from over-delivery of the promise.

You could consider wines to be micro brands and I was not that impressed by the product quality of a 2008 Mahi Pinot Noir.  Will the Sauvignon Blanc resole my trust, or leave me with a hole in my shoe?


Momo Sauvignon Blanc 2009

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

Yet another strange thought troubled my grey matter when I smelt Momo – more cats’ piss than Dog Point!  And that is a compliment.

It is really zingy with balance provided by honeyed apples and pears.  If you like your Sauvignon Blancs tartier than Bet Lynch, you will love this.