(Journal) Visiting Brzanov in Skopje, Macedonia

Formed in 2012 by winemaker Tony Brzanov and his business partner Dimitar Stojanovski, Brzanov is a small, independent winery located on the outskirts of Skopje known for producing full bodied reds from international varieties.It's small scale, almost rudimentary when you compare the technology they have available with that of »

The evolution of Kamnik's 10 Barrels Syrah

In modern wine making terms Macedonia is still a very young country. It only gained independence as recently as 1991, and with little history of quality focused producers before this, there is no legacy of fine wines for us to turn our attention to when seeking to understand today's wines. »

Producer Guide: Domaine Lepovo (Tikves, Macedonia)

Macedonia Domaine Lepovo is a new boutique winery owned exclusively by Tikves Winery. As part of their strategy for increasing the company's reputation for premium wine, they set about looking for additional premises and vineyards from which to launch a new brand. In 2013, when Fonko Winery ran into financial »

Ferghettina's 2010 Franciacorta still going strong

I've just opened up Azienda Ferghettina's 'Miolo' 2010 vintage brut to see how it has developed since its release. Although seven years isn't exactly an eye opening period of time to leave a quality sparkling wine to age, I was still curious to see just how much life was left »

(Journal) Judging @ Citadelles du Vin 2017 - Bordeaux, France

There's a fantastic atmosphere in Bordeaux just before Vinexpo. Wine people from all over the world descend on the city to meet clients and do business. This year, I had the opportunity to start the buildup with a four day competition in Blaye, just across the Garonne from Bordeaux city »

Why I'm heading out to Bordeaux for two weeks

So after a decade in the trade, I'm heading out to Bordeaux to take my first serious look at the region. I concede, it's about time. Although I've been to Bordeaux many times over the last ten years I have never given it the professional study I've subsequently given to »

(Journal) Judging @ IWCB - Bucharest, Romania

I'm just back from my first experience with the Bucharest International Wine Competition where I've spent five days in Bucharest judging wines and familiarising myself with the Romanian wine scene. Now six years in, IWCB has grown to one of Eastern Europe's premier wine competitions. With over 1700 samples from »

A mini snapshot of 2013 Bordeaux

I was recently fortunate enough to attend a small intimate tasting of 2013 Bordeaux hosted by Drummonds Bank and Vin-X. Five wines from various appellations were chosen, all small independently owned wineries that, within the context of their respective appellations, all produce exceptionally elegant wines. In general, 2013 was a »

Vintage guide: Etna DOC

The wines of Etna are of growing importance to Italian wine lover and are starting to take up more space in the cellar. It will be interesting to watch Nerello Mascalese mature over the coming years and understand just how apt comparisons with Burgundian Pinot Noir have been. This is »

(Journal) Judging @ Concours de Lyon - Lyon, France

Just back from a nice little trip to Lyon for the weekend. Alongside scouring the wine bars of France's second city, I took part in a spot of judging (Languedoc reds and Swiss reds) at the fairly large Concours de Lyon. It's a massive competition with a huge amount of »

Grape guide: Chinuri

Chinuri is a white variety found in eastern Georgia that is capable of producing complex wines with tangy flavours composed of citrus and spice. It is known for its high levels of acidity, which ultimately make it perfect for use in the sparkling wine appellation of Atenuri, where it is »