Things Fall Apart

What do we mean when we say a wine has fallen apart? As someone who regularly extols the virtues of bottle age, it seems appropriate to devote some attention to what happens when cellaring doesn’t bring improvement. And it seems to me that interesting discussions about the nature of graceful evolution in the bottle are … More Things Fall Apart

Inimitable Mitjaville: the wines of Tertre Rotebœuf

A visit to François Mitjaville is inevitably memorable. At Tertre Rotebœuf, contemporary Bordeaux—in reality just over the horizon—feels a world away. That’s partly because its proprietor is so uncommon: it would be easy to imagine this ‘charming genius’ at home among the Enlightenment philosophes; an impression only intensified by his elegant eighteenth-century farmhouse and the … More Inimitable Mitjaville: the wines of Tertre Rotebœuf

Wine & nostalgia

The reactions elicited by old wines sometimes recall the proverb, erroneously attributed to Nietzsche, that ‘those who were seen dancing were thought mad by those who could not hear the music’. Though for those who enjoy them there is nothing finer, sceptics suggest that appreciation for ancient vintages is at best an acquired taste; at … More Wine & nostalgia

Lunch with Burt Williams

This article originally appeared in Noble Rot (issue 11). Few North American winemakers are more deservedly celebrated than Burt Williams. Widely regarded as one of Californian Pinot Noir’s most accomplished twentieth-century exponents, his wines expanded the parameters of the possible. Ripe but vibrant and never cloying, above all clearly differentiated by site, in Burt’s hands … More Lunch with Burt Williams

Marc Delienne: a new star in the Fleurie firmament

Marc Delienne quit a job in Paris to pursue his long-standing passion for wine professionally, purchasing the Château de l’Abbeye Saint Laurent d’Arpayé in the village of Fleurie after a stint under the tutelage of Eloi Durbach of the Domaine de Trévallon. He produced his inaugural vintage in 2015, and his two cuvées are very … More Marc Delienne: a new star in the Fleurie firmament

The singularity of Château Rayas

If Henri Bonneau’s wines are the apotheosis of traditional Châteauneuf du Pape, then Château Rayas is something altogether more singular. While Bonneau’s domaine is blessed with fine parcels in some of the appellation’s most celebrated terroirs, it is his idiosyncratically traditional cellar work that makes his bottlings so special. The soul of Château Rayas, by … More The singularity of Château Rayas