“I do believe that it is a year where the ‘lesser’ terroirs will shine, as we have great colour, concentration, fruit and balance pretty much everywhere. A ‘great’ terroir will be great throughout various vintages like 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 but a lesser terroir much less frequently and that is for me one […]
I’m currently putting the finishing touches to my annual Rhône Report – over 1,000 2015s tasted, just some final analysis to go. It should be available via timatkin.com in a couple of weeks.
In the meantime, here’s a link to an article I wrote for Decanter magazine, a producer profile on one of the best […]
As you may have gathered by now, I have a bit of a soft spot for the Rhône. I spend more and more time there every year (six weeks in 2017), so I’m getting to know the place fairly well. I often get asked about where to stay, where to eat and who to visit. If you’re […]
What fabulous nectar does the following tasting note conjure up?
“…notes of tangerine, candied orange, cooked peach, stone fruits and hint of lavender on the back of palate.”
A sweet Loire Chenin Blanc? A Muscat de Beaumes de Venise? Perhaps even a Tokaji Aszú? Nope; it’s the Equinox Seasonal Blend from Union […]
I’m currently in the Rhône researching my annual report for timatkin.com; this will be the fifth consecutive vintage I’ve covered for the site. It’s a packed two weeks of tastings and visits, and by the time I’ve included several London tastings, I’ll have worked my way through over 1,000 wines from the 2015 vintage. If […]
On the first day of the Hunter Valley Wine Show, Major Al Lynch, in full military fatigues, explained to the wine judges what was expected of them: “if you are given an order you will follow it without question.” I’ve judged wine competitions in many different settings but this was my first time in […]
“Bonjour!” beamed the skinny young monk as he hurried past me down the steep dirt path, his brown habit flapping behind him. It turns out the local monastery had only been finished 10 years ago. I’d have thought there were sufficient monasteries in France to house today’s crop of aspiring monks, but apparently not. […]
I’ve just returned from a week’s judging at the Hunter Valley Wine Show, a couple of hours north of Sydney. It was a fascinating week, both in terms of the wines themselves and the Australian approach to judging – I’ll be writing about both in more detail in due course. The last day […]
When it comes to organising tastings, Decanter, as you might expect, are pretty adept – their tasting room in London is one of my favourite places to work through a lot of wines. I’ve participated a couple of panel tastings there recently, covering two of my favourite styles. The first is ‘Value Rhone’ […]
Until recently, being a wine enthusiast has been up there with collecting Benny Hill memorabilia or indulging in Dungeons & Dragons cosplay: a slightly suspect but essentially harmless eccentricity that your mates will put up with as long as you don’t tell their work colleagues. A bit like being a member of the Campaign for […]
Shortlisted for the Born Digital Wine Awards 2016 Best Editorial/Opinon Wine Writing
Shortlisted for Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink Awards 2016 Online Drink Writer
Shortlisted for The Louis Roederer International Wine Writers' Awards 2015 Online Communicator
Runner Up in the Born Digital Wine Awards 2015 Best Editorial/Opinon Wine Writing
Shortlisted for Harpers Wine & Spirit French Wine Awards 2014 Best French Wine Writer/Critic
Shortlisted for International Wine & Spirit Competition 2014 Blogger of the Year
Shortlisted for International Wine & Spirit Competition 2013 Blogger of the Year
Off Licence News Top 25 Policy and Opinion Formers 2013
Winner of The Drinks Business Awards 2013 Communicator of the Year
Winner of Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink Awards 2013 Newcomer of the Year
Shortlisted for International Wine & Spirit Competition 2012 Blogger of the Year
Matt Walls first got into wine working in an off-licence in Brighton. He has since worked for Bollinger Champagne and helped manage and buy wines for The Sampler, one of London's best wine shops. He now spends half his time writing about wine and the other half collaborating on various wine-related projects. His first book, Drink Me!, was recently published by Quadrille and has sold over 10,000 copies.
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- Guy Farge Saint-Joseph Blanc 'Vania' 2016, Northern Rhône, France
Just 6% of Rhône Valley wine is white, but it’s well worth exploring. This Saint-Joseph was a stand-out during my recent masterclass on white Rhône at the London Wine Fair. Guy Farge is a fourth-generation winemaker at his family estate and is making some stunning wines. This has aromas of honeysuckle, apricot, toasted almonds and lemon pith. It’s full-bodied, but there's a wonderful tension in the wine, and a balance coming not just from acidity, but also subtle bitterness and a saline streak that I often find in wines grown on granite. Not hugely complex right now, but energetic and textural, with a long finish. Hugely drinkable, deeply satisfying. It’s not cheap but it is fairly priced for this level of quality at £23.99. The 2016 hasn’t quite reached the UK yet, but Bybo have the 2014 (click through).
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