Andrew Jefford

Jefford tasting

He’s moved since my last visit, but since he wishes to remain strictly anonymous (a secret agent of sorts) I’d better not describe the house or the street. Both, while…

En Primeur

What’s the most precious thing you own? It might be the story of your life. When you look for a new job or tiptoe into a long-term relationship, your story…

Lafite bottling

Is the electronic word suffocating the printed word? 2012’s surprisingly prolific harvest of wine books would suggest not. Self-publishers are indeed lifting the tide, but it’s encouraging that mainstream publishers…

vines, wine, grapes,

If, like Prince Charles and I, you regard any established tree specimen with reverence and wonder, you will know that these are troubling times.

Block 42 - Jefford

It came rather late in the year (on 12.12.12, ominously enough), but there was one press release last year which I read twice. The first reading was accompanied with growing…

Pic St Loup from glider, Morties to right.jpg

Perhaps we're all biased, but the wine drinker's year seems one of unrivalled sensual excitement: we can relish the scents of distant places, and taste time itself via a seasonal…

Eric Michel and Lydia Bourguignon

My 24th year as a surrogate drinker is drawing to a close. 2012 has been a torrent of stimulation, some of the highlights of which I'll describe this week and…

Jacques Lardiere

Jacques Lardière, one of Burgundy’s best-known (and best-loved) winemakers, is retiring from Louis Jadot, for whom he has worked for over 40 years. You probably already know this: like any…

Periodic table of wine

Much playtime at the recent EWBC conference in Turkey was spent in competitive pronunciation. All of the non-Turkish speakers, in particular, attempted to outdo each other in declaiming “Öküzgözü” and…

Jefford Secret Visit

A little over six months ago, I was standing more or less on the other side of the world. The weather, as I made my way up Stone Chimney Creek…

Turkish vineyard

I was discussing grape seeds and insomnia over breakfast with Randall Grahm when the sirens went off. We walked over to the window and looked out. There, six floors below,…

Decanter Asia Wine Awards

Impressive, beautiful and disconcerting: that’s Hong Kong. I made my first visit for the Decanter Asia Wine Awards a few weeks ago. Seven million people squeeze on to just 25…

jefford

Is there a grammar of wine? Is there, in other words, a system or set of first principles through which the mass of 'wines' can be articulated and comprehended? The…

corkscrew

I haven’t yet dared post a Monday blog about bottle closures. Like ‘natural wine’, the subject rouses such strong, intransigent and forcefully prosecuted views that discussing it sometimes seems pointless.…

Children eating grapes

We’ve done our bit for the 2012 harvest. Virgile Joly, one of the Languedoc’s most convivial growers, organizes a ‘Journée Sécateurs’ every year for incompetent but wine-friendly families; he let…

parker

As we tasted our way through the submissions for Decanter’s Asia Wine Awards the week before last, a persistent rumour swirled around Hong Kong island. It hinted that Robert Parker…

Santo Stefano Belbo

As I took a few pictures (like the one below), I felt puzzled. I tasted some of the wines from these hillsides, and the puzzle deepened to intrigue. A few…

St Emilion

There will have been sighs of disappointment up and down the Rue des Frères Bonie in Bordeaux when the new St Emilion classification emerged on September 6th. The Richard Rogers-designed…

canada,

An unanticipated consequence of living in France is that I don’t seem to need wine retailers much any more. If I want to buy some wine from a particular producer…

Jefford snow, jefford, snow, snow vines, winter,

The last time I blind-tasted 35 top Australian Chardonnays, the wine which seemed to me to proclaim regional origins more clearly than any was the 2010 vintage of Penfold’s Bin…

Jefford on Monday

The scene: a special dinner. The company: wine lovers, gourmets. You’re seated next to other guests you know only fleetingly, if at all. The coming two or three hours will…

Racking -- La Mission Haut Brion

Oak, particularly new French oak, is the most expensive container you can choose in which to age your new wines. We've all damned wines for being over-oaked. "This wine needs…

englsih vines

Heavy industry, light industry, an industrial estate, industrial units, industrial output, the Department of Trade and Industry: have I got your attention? Are you feeling, um, excited? Are you panting…

Mount Everest

I wasn’t in Izmir in June, but I will be in November. It’s Turkey’s year on the wine world’s sorting table. The world’s fourth largest grape-growing nation is preparing to…

Cloudy sky, clouds, dark sky, sky,

What, exactly, has happened inside the heads of the UK’s wine purchasers? Something, it would seem, rather strange. Four years of financial crisis and an ever-accelerating tax take is having…

Perpignan

The world's greatest winemakers receive global adulation. A few wine writers aspire to that kind of celebrity. Wine photographers enjoy increasing recognition for their work. Who, though, can recite the…

Caroline Mooney

I have mixed feelings about social media. I remember watching a young Asian couple, out to dinner together in a top London restaurant a month or two ago. Except they…