Must-Have Wine – Red Wine of the Lunar Year (Dragon)

Admittedly my predilection for pinot noir is perhaps a prejudice in my choice of 'Red Wine of the Year' and this sneak preview of my annual retrospective of wine highlights, the Year of the Dragon - 2012. However, the irrefutable fact is, Rippon Mature Vines Pinot Noir 2009 was the most profoundly complex, texturally sensual…

Must-Have Wine: Pyramid Valley – Biodynamic Paradigm

When I was speaking at a corporate wine evening recently, themed on biodynamic wines and having just delivered a crash course on Wine Feng Shui, it was no surprise that one of the more wine-savvy people in audience asked the predictable question, "Do biodynamic wines taste better?" And in the same breath, "How do I…

Must-Have Wine – Mount Horrocks Semillon – Watervale, Clare Valley, South Australia

Of all the noble white wine grapes, none is more polarizing among consumers than semillon. For those who enjoy Sauternes and Barsac, and the more esoteric dry white Pessac-Léognan and Graves, semillon represents the epitome of fine white wine with extraordinary aging capabilities, albeit at indulgent prices. On the other hand, semillon is largely blended…

Must-Have Wine: Australia’s Two-Speed Industry

Having managed to distance myself from the polemic of Australia’s wine image woes, my indifference is largely due to the country’s dominance of pedestrian, industrial wines, admittedly surrendering to the ‘dark side’ of commercial forces with the reality that mediocrity rules. And yet, over the past few months I have tasted in succession some amazing…

Must Have Wine – Maison Drouhin Gevrey-Chambertin 2009

A few months ago I was asked to speak to a group of 30 women at the AGM of the Financial Women’s Association of Singapore. The theme was entirely up to me so I thought it might impress if I put on a small tasting of wines made exclusively by women winemakers, both empowering and…

Must Have Wine: an Oz Pinot

TarraWarra estate maintains an outstanding cellar door restaurant and contemporary art museum, which we went to last year and had a fabulous lunch. I can still taste the 2001 TarraWarra Reserve Pinot Noir that we had which was drinking absolutely perfectly - as silky and complex as La Tache - moreover the splendid local produce…

Must Have Wines ‘Best of the Lunar Drinking Year’

Three Individual Vineyard Cuvees from the 2009 Vintage: Morrison Vineyard – Lowburn Muirkirk Pinot Noir – Bannockburn Stevens Vineyard – Gibbston My first visit to the Central Otago wine country was in the early 1990s. Like anyone who travels through this region, I was awestricken by the rugged beauty of precipitous mountains, serpentine gorges, undulating…

Must-Have Wine: Peter Michael La Carriere Chardonnay 2008

At the risk of being repetitive, whenever I’m asked what is my favourite wine? The answer is invariably, “The one I haven’t tried yet,” and discovery remains my main motivation for my enthusiasm. Moreover, the adage ‘The more you know about wine, the more you realize how little you know’ is pertinent with my lack…

Must-Have Wine: Mahi Sauvignon Blanc 2011

To answer a question from a reader the other day, “Why don’t you score wines?” The answer is I simply believe scoring wine or ratings methods are completely flawed. Does this diminish my effectiveness or relevance as wine writer? I don’t think so, or least I hope not! If one considers two of the leading…

Must Have Red Wine of the Lunar Year

Having already announced Pegasus Bay Prima Donna Pinot Noir 2009 as the “Most Auspicious Wine for Chinese New Year 2012 Year of the Black Water Dragon year”, I had in fact also singled it out as my “Red Wine of the Year”, so impressed by its sheer profundity and energy, yet harmonious elegance. Even though…