Guineau Fowls resident at Arlewood Vineyard, Australia The subject of semillon came up the other day, fresh in my mind having just posted a piece on Mount Horrocks Semillon and notes on a vertical tasting from 2001 to 2010. We, that is Master of Wine Peter Scudamore-Smith and I, were reminiscing on our formative wine days in Australia and some of our mutual mentors with the conversation ... read more >
The Standard Newspaper, Hong Kong The Standard is the first free English daily newspaper in Hong Kong. The popular daily publication has an audited circulation of 222,413 copies a day. It has evolved into a powerful, influential medium in Hong Kong with a diverse audience and a broad reach since becoming a free newspaper in September 2007. The paper is distributed Monday through Friday throughout ... read more >
Veritas vineyard entrance, Australia There are no duds in the Rolf Binder range of wines, writes Curtis Marsh, who tracks the rise and rise of the South Australian business. Having recently unearthed some possessions from storage in Australia, not sighted for some eight years, I am rather pleased to be reacquainted with my comprehensive collection of old wine books. When I say old, they ... read more >
David Powell, Torbreck winemaker Self-taught winemaker David Powell is responsible for some of the most revered wines to come out of the Barossa Valley. Among the first English colonists to arrive in South Australia in 1836, Colonel William Light was tasked with seeking a north-eastern route to the Murray River, then the strategic artery of subsistence in the vastness of terra Australis. ... read more >
Schloss Johannisberger vineyard, Germany For a better appreciation of the nature and versatility of this wine style, begin with the Germans. Life is filling in time between meals, and a meal without wine could only be breakfast," my doctrine and usual sign-off in correspondence. It often sparks facetious replies, predictably involving champagne. Occasionally, I encounter more compelling responses, such as this from Schloss Johannisberg: ... read more >
Balhannah overlooking dam, Australia Cloudy Bay may have put a certain white wine and a region on the map but Australian expertise started the trend. Despite being shunned by wine buffs and recalcitrant writers such as myself, sauvignon blanc remains the world's most popular white grape variety and has been for more than a decade, dismissing any notion it is a passing trend. While ... read more >
Chard Farm Vineyard, Gibbston Valley, Central Otago, New Zealand New Zealand pinot noir is joining the fame game with vineyards being name-dropped in the most glamorous of circles. There is a compelling association between Hollywood and the meteoric ascent in popularity of wines from New Zealand, now juxtaposed as a chic destination for the eco-conscious avant-garde. New Zealand born actor Sam Neill, with his exemplary Central Otago vineyards and ... read more >
The Idyllic Villa Picelle, Azienda Agricole Fontodi A hankering for the flavors of Chianti has Curtis Marsh planning a trip. In the meantime, he makes do in Wellington Street. The best laid plans. Everything was set for the archetypal autumn holiday in Italy, two weeks in the heart of Tuscany luxuriating in the 18th-century Villa Pecille, in an idyllic vineyard panorama on the Chianti Azienda (estate) Fontodi, ... read more >
Schloss Johannisberger, Germany The recent revival of the most noble of white grapes brings back memories of sticky situations. Cast your mind back 30 years or more, if you are old enough, when it was de rigueur to order a glass of Hock in a pub or wine bar in England. Ostensibly riesling, the trend subsequently permeated around the globe. It was Queen ... read more >
Flaw in Wine Ratings The wine rating system is flawed, because it doesn't take into account the human factor. The growing cast of wine consumers obsessed with scores - seemingly an inherent process for choosing super-premium wines these days - troubles me. It is not just the credulous trust in scores that is a concern, but the dependence of wine merchants and marketers on ... read more >