Adnams Riesling 9%

Adnams Riesling 9% (£9.99, Adnams) ‘Seriously, what’s the point of wine with no alcohol in it?!’ Such was the reaction of a good friend when we told her we’d been doing a tasting of low-and-no-alcohol drinks. (The category is known in the industry as ‘low-and-no’.) On one level, the...

Decanter Retailer Awards 2018

‘May you be in heaven a half hour – before the devil knows you’re dead!’ So runs the famous Irish toast, which I quoted at a gathering of Britain’s finest retailing talent at the Decanter Retailer Awards on 20th September 2018. My chairman's speech was a similar...

Cà dei Frati Rosa dei Frati 2017

Cà dei Frati Rosa dei Frati 2017, Lombary, Italy, 13% (c. £15, independents) I gave a bottle of rosé to a friend recently. He took one look and almost gave it straight back. ‘That’s not real wine, is it?!’ he exclaimed. ‘I mean, it looks like it’s a...

Chilean Sauvignon Blanc on the Rack

Was this the worst Decanter panel tasting ever? Maybe that's over-stating things a bit. It certainly was heroically underwhelming. Dispiriting, even. Of 62 Chilean Sauvignon Blancs from £8-30, only 10 wines broached the 90-point threshold. More than half scored a lacklustre 85 points or less. No 'Exceptional' wines....

Viticultural Paradise Lost

'A viticultural paradise.' That was how some people used to refer to Chile. A country whose vineyards were refreshed by pure Andean melt-water, free from pests and diseases that afflicted other less wholesome nations, and where all vintages were bountiful and even. These days, reality is catching...

Chateau de Bel Franc de Bel NV

Chateau de Bel Franc de Bel NV, Bordeaux, France £23.90-29, Jaded Palates, Queen's Park Wines or via Wine Searcher  This is Bordeaux, but not as we know it. Olivier Cazenave has a broad smile and big ambitions. He's going against the grain in Bordeaux, one of the most...

Letter from Chile: save the south

'My friend Steve Anderson died earlier this year. Car crash, southern Chile. A journalist, campaigner and all-round cranky man, he gave me my first proper job. His main role in life was to be a pain in the backside. Mainly to those in positions of...

Morandé Gran Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Morandé Gran Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Casablanca, Chile £13-14, The Drink Shop, Corking Wines or via Wine Searcher Earlier this year I had the misfortune to participate in one of the most depressing Decanter panel tastings ever. We had 62 Chilean Sauvignon Blancs. The overall standard was thoroughly...

Casa Silva Lago Ranco Riesling 2016

Casa Silva Lago Ranco Riesling 2016, Chile, 11.5% c £20, Field & Fawcett, Portland Wine co, Randalls, Jackson Nugent Vintners I've tried this wine twice recently and both times it has impressed. The first was in Chile in February with the winemaking team. Then, it stood out for...