Colet Navazos Extra Brut, original and brilliant fizz

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Colet Navazos Extra Brut 2015

Colet Navazos Extra Brut, original and brilliant fizz Regular readers will know of my love of Sparkling wine and Sherry. They are two unique wine styles with entirely different origins. Two methods defined by their complicated production and maturation processes. They couldn’t be more different from one another. Poles apart, you might say. But what if someone was bonkers enough …

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Pla de Bages and its unique heritage

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Abadal winery workers, Pla de Bages

Pla de Bages and its unique heritage These days, Pla de Bages is a rather obscure Spanish wine region in the heart of Catalonia, Spain. Yet winegrowing has been here since Roman times, and the word Bages comes from Bacchus, the Roman God of wine. North-west of Barçelona, this fascinating region occupies the valleys of two rivers, the Llobregat and …

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WOTY 2019: Llopart Original 1887

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WOTY 2019: Llopart Original 1887 Brut Nature Gran Reserva

WOTY 2019: Llopart Original 1887 Being January 1st 2020, it’s time for the Wine of the Year 2019. Of course, during 2019 there were some outstanding candidates.  Each one brought great pleasure and taught something new.  But the moment I tasted this Espumosos (sparkling wine) at Llopart in Catalonia, I was convinced it would be WOTY 2019. However, a visit to …

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Altanza Rioja – Rioja Crianza and Reserva

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Bodegas Altanza Rioja Alta

Altanza – Rioja Crianza and Reserva Bodegas Altanza makes fine examples of Rioja made in the modern style. Huge investment in winegrowing is now producing wines that highlight fresh fruit flavours rather than the traditional oak-dominant wines of yore. Neither style is necessarily better, but as a wine drinker, it’s great to have the choice. Altanza is a relatively young company, established …

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Llopart – fine bubbles from Catalonia

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Llopart looking towards Montserrat

Llopart – fine bubbles from Catalonia The Llopart winery in Catalonia is just 40 minutes away from the bars and cafés of Barçelona. This is the heart of sunny Penedès, an ancient and thriving wine region. Here, the still wines made under the Penedès DO co-exist with sparkling wines all made, (until recently), under the famous name of Cava. While …

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Christmas 2019 – a dozen wines to check out!

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Happy Christmas 2019

Christmas 2019 – a dozen wines to check out! Happy Christmas to you all, and here’s my pick of the wines for Chrismas 2019. Here’s my Christmas Card as well. It’s the skating rink at the Christmas Market held in Bruges, Belgium.  Anyway, here are a delightful dozen wines for the festive season that are all available in the UK. …

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Rebel.lia, Bodegas Vegalfaro 2017

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Rebel.lia

Rebel.lia, Bodegas Vegalfaro 2017 At the recent Wines of Spain tasting, their annual show in London, there were many excellent wines of every description. However, my Wine of the Show was Rebel.lia. It’s from the excellent Bodegas Vegalfaro, in the heart of the DOP Utiel-Requena region of Spain, inland from  València. Regular readers of these pages will know of my love …

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Why not try these compelling vegan wines? Ten to get you started

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Compelling vegan wines

Why not try these ten compelling vegan wines? Well, I promised some compelling vegan wines after my recent article called Vegan wines are not just for vegans. Consequently, and without further ado, here are ten vegan wines to explore. From a range of UK stockists, all are superb examples. White Fasoli Gino, Pieve Vecchia 2014, DOC Soave, Veneto, Italy A stylish, …

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València – where ancient meets modern

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València - ancient meets modern

València – where ancient meets modern This article is the third and final instalment in my Levantine trilogy. Having covered Utiel-Requena and Alicante, this time it’s about the city of València and the DO wine region of the same name. They blend ancient and modern Spanish cultures into something unique. It makes both of them places of contrast and essential …

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Utiel-Requena: searching for the heart of Bobal

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PDO Utiel-Requena / Bobal Requena rooftops

Utiel-Requena: searching for the heart of Bobal Utiel-Requena is one of the appellations in the València Region, alongside Alicante and València itself. It’s the largest and furthest inland of these, about 60 km west of València, home to an indigenous red grape called Bobal. Neither appellation or grape are exactly household names. But now times are changing. The Utiel-Requena DO …

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