United Kingdom

    My Today

    All of the tasting notes of the wine critic mentioned above in tastingbook, comes from press releases from wine importers and vineyards and can also be found on the critic’s own website, which can be easily accessed by clicking on the link above.

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    Julia Harding MW is Jancis Robinson MW’s “full-time assistant and crucial to maintaining the high editorial standards of this site. As a relatively recent top pass in the punishing Master of Wine exams (she took them in 2003 and passed first time with flying colours, and gained a distinction for her dissertation in 2004), she is particularly up to speed on oenological and viticultural matters and is also prepared to tackle the complexities of wine legislation head on. In 2009 she won a Special Award in the Louis Roederer International Wine Writers’ Awards, she was Portuguese Wine Writer of the Year in 2012 and is co-author, with José Vouillamoz and Jancis, of the multi award-winning Wine Grapes – a complete guide to 1,368 grape varieties including their origins and flavours. She is much in demand as a mentor for Master of Wine students”.

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users. or to see wine moments from your world.

Julia Harding MW, Wine Writer (United Kingdom)  had a tasting of  19 Wines  from  13 Producers 

Miraval's top wine Muse de Miraval Rosé 2020, made from selected best and oldest organic vineyards – Grenache and Rolle. Bottled in magnum only. Vinified in egg-shaped concrete tanks, a very small proportion aged in demi-muids.
Pretty salmon pink. Complex aroma of pretty peachy red fruits along with the merest hint of creamy oak influence. Rounded, very creamy in the mouth. Tastes surprisingly soft, almost flabby. Gentle tannins. Quite long but for me it lacks a backbone of freshness. Have I missed something? Packaging very ornate. (JH)

21d 9h ago

Julia Harding MW, Wine Writer (United Kingdom)  had a tasting of  16 Wines  from  10 Producers 

Cullen Diana Madeline 2019 / Deep dark red. Elegant aroma which is marked by cassis and a light leafiness and a suggestion of Cabernet Franc's characteristic blackcurrant-leaf quality. Dry, refined tannins giving a dry mineral character. Plush and full in the mouth, the mineral character as much in the tannins as in flavour. ‘Toast to mum’, says Vanya Cullen. Smoky but not reductive. Layers of paper-fine tannins. Elegant. Opens up to a slight note of curry leaf. Or is it tobacco, or both? Very, very dry without being drying. Ultimate in refinement. 

8m 15d ago

Julia Harding MW, Wine Writer (United Kingdom)  had a tasting of  19 Wines  from  11 Producers 

Sine Qua Non Turn the Whole Thing Upside Down 2009 / 84% Grenache, 11% Syrah, 5% Mourvèdre.
 72% from Eleven Confessions, 22% Cumulus, 6% Bien Nacido. 1,050 cases. 
Deep garnet. Sweeter, brighter and more red fruited than the Thrill Syrah but still a very very slight savoury edge. Intensely fragrant with sweet black and red cherries. Finest of tannins and relatively structured and upright. Surprising finesse given the alcohol. And some freshness. When the glass is nearly empty, there's a scent of ginger. (JH)

9m 19d ago

Julia Harding MW, Wine Writer (United Kingdom)  had a tasting of  27 Wines  from  24 Producers 

Telmo Rodríguez Lanzaga 2009 / Bushvine Tempranillo, Graciano and Garnacha from the village of Lanciego. Planted at 500-600 m on a sandstone plateau. Flat shallow soils, stony, calcareous and silty textured. Low fertility and low water retention capacity. Some fruit from own biodynamically farmed vineyard, some bought in. 40,000 bottles. Fermented with native yeasts in cement tanks, matured 14 months in big oak casks and smaller barrels. Bottled June 2012.
Intensely dark crimson with black core. Smells immediately sweeter and riper and more intense than the LZ, with some oak sweetness. Very dark fruited and more spice too. Even with that extra fruit intensity there is still a graphite/mineral dimension. On the palate, the tannins are dense but somehow silky at the same time, giving a wonderfully dry finish, the same effect as 70% dark chocolate but with a different flavour. Still pretty closed up on the palate, dark and savoury and firmly mineral. Super-dry, long finish. So much more to come. Stunning wine. A little more luscious than the 2010 Alto Lanzaga. (JH)

1y 8m ago

Julia Harding MW, Wine Writer (United Kingdom)  had a tasting of  25 Wines  from  12 Producers 

Château Margaux Pavillon Blanc 2018 / Harvest started 27 August, as in 2017. ‘It’s as if this came from another vintage’, says winemaker Phillipe Bascaules, because the drought of September missed them because of the harvest date and they missed the hydric stress that the reds faced, so they were able to keep the freshness. Easier to explain the freshness of the whites than that of the reds, he suggested. pH 3.1. Barrel sample. 
Subtle oak spice and mealy, creamy notes from the barrels but also beautifully fragrant citrus and blossom on the nose, making the palate all the more remarkable in its incredible fruit intensity. Amazing intensity and freshness at the same time. Concentration but with this salty aftertaste. Mouth-watering. Succulent and so full of pure, fragrant citrus, almost a touch of apricot. Really aromatic on the palate too. Both sweet-fruited and salty giving very good balance. Mealy, almost savoury on the final salty finish. (JH)

1y 10m ago

Julia Harding MW, Wine Writer (United Kingdom)  had a tasting of  25 Wines  from  13 Producers 

Alpha Vineyard Chardonnay 2015 Toumpa Vineyard /Toumpa means ‘lower-altitude basin’, like a location in a valley. 1.3-ha vineyard at 620-710 m. Sandy-clay soil over limestone. Hand harvested. Skin contact under inert atmosphere at low temperature. Controlled alcoholic fermentation in fine grain, untoasted Bertranges and Jupille oak barriques with regular stirring on fine lees. Maximum 7 months following vinification in the same oak casks. TA 5.7 g/l, pH 3.51, RS 1.6 g/l.
Unexpectedly peachy on the nose, with citrus freshness too but the oak is hardly visible except in a delicate creamy spice. More creamy on the palate but I have to say this is masterful use of oak and lees, giving a gentle creamy quality rather than a heavy oak flavour. Gentle and fresh, elegant and persistent. I am not sure it has the concentration for long ageing but there is no hurry to drink this. (JH)

2y 1m ago

Julia Harding MW, Wine Writer (United Kingdom)  had a tasting of  25 Wines  from  21 Producers 

Henschke Hill of Grace 2004 / 100% Shiraz grapes from pre-phylloxera material brought from Europe by the early settlers in the mid-1800s and grown in the Eden Valley wine region. Matured in 100% new French (50%) and American (50%) hogsheads for 18 months prior to blending and bottling.
Slightly greyish but deep garnet. Intensely sweet dark cassis fruit plus some cedary leafy notes. Rich and smooth and really plush, generous and silky but also very moreish and juicy. pH 3.6, TA 5.7 g/l,

2y 7m ago

Julia Harding MW, Wine Writer (United Kingdom)  had a tasting of  21 Wines  from  17 Producers 

Niepoort Vintage Port 2017 / All from Cima Corgo. All field blends, including Touriga Franca, Tinto Cão, Tinta Francisca, Tinta Amarela, Sousão, Tinta Roriz, etc, oldest vines 80–100 years. Any overripe grapes removed. 100% foot trodden with 100% stems. Press wine very important – like 'gold', says Niepoort. Not from all the vineyards just from his four favourite, eg Pisca. To be bottled June 2019.
Black cherry colour with narrow purple rim. Gorgeous pure hedgerow black fruit and no sense of the alcohol on the nose – it has been completely integrated with the fruit already. Ripe blackberry, elderberry and blackcurrant and a touch of spice, wild fruit. Incredibly intense on the palate but not showy and the tannins make it taste almost dry. Wonderful texture, great freshness, the tannins ‘sweep the sweetness out of the mouth’, as Mondavi once said to Niepoort. Incredible purity, freshness, intensity and harmony. I’ve put a start date of 2025 but this is ridiculously delicious now even though it clearly has massive potential longevity. An incredible dark, rocky purity with a long savoury finish, the fruit is intense but not ultra-fruity. This reminds me of the rocky Douro from which the wines come. Sheer beauty with hidden power. Glorious, very long, totally moreish even now.

2y 7m ago

Julia Harding MW, Wine Writer (United Kingdom)  had a tasting of  20 Wines  from  16 Producers 

Penfolds Grange 1990 / 95% Shiraz, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.Smoky coffee and cassis and a little herbal and just a touch leathery. Much more evolved than the 1991. Fine grained and more elegant tannins than the 1986. Fine grip and freshness, dry but not drying. Long and rich and satisfying. (JH)

2y 8m ago

Julia Harding MW, Wine Writer (United Kingdom)  had a tasting of  19 Wines  from  13 Producers 

Keller Riesling G-Max 2017 / 19.0 points /  Very old vines, very low yield. Vineyard(s) never divulged by the Kellers. Has the fumey mineral character of the Pettenthal Grosses Gewächs on the nose but also a peachy citrus fruit note and a light herbal quality on the palate. Eye-watering acidity and purity. More linear than the Abts E and the Morstein GGs, more direct and arrow-like. Incredibly primary and not ready, for tasting let alone for drinking. With such intense wines in the 2017 vintage, the G-Max does not stand out as much for its intensity as in other vintages, but the length is immeasurable.

2y 11m ago

Julia Harding MW, Wine Writer (United Kingdom)  had a tasting of  15 Wines  from  11 Producers 

Bollinger Vintage Champagne 1937 / 20.0 points /The budding was not as good as in the two preceding years. Flowering was very rapid. Attacks of pyralis and cochylis on the first growth and grape caterpillars on the second growth caused great losses. Average date of harvest in Champagne: 21 September. The harvest began in sunny conditions and was of a good quality after sorting, but it amounted to 15 to 20% less than estimated. The average yield of the harvest was 4,700 kg/ha. Comprises 16 crus, including principally: Aÿ (21%), Bouzy (16%), Verzenay, (8%) and Avize (8%). Like the 1945, disgorged during the restoration of Mme Bollinger’s personal cellar in 1969.
Tasted blind. Deep orangey gold. Intense orange and apricot and spice on the nose with just a touch of toastiness. Fragrant – almost jasmine notes. Incredible freshness and fluid texture, almost no mousse – creamy and viscous. On the palate there is beautiful freshness and fruit purity, delicately honeyed and so little mushroom. Incredible intensity of flavour, drives across the palate. Orange-peel bitter freshness and some dried apricot but still has energy. (JH)

3y 7m ago

Julia Harding MW, Wine Writer (United Kingdom)  had a tasting of  13 Wines  from  12 Producers 

Château d' Yquem 2017 / 18.5 points / Only a few vines on the fringes were frosted. Rain in the first half of September promoted botrytis and stopped before it became a problem. Concentration was very fast thereafter and picking had to be fast too because of the rising sugar levels. The main picking was 26 September to 9 October. RS 148 g/l, TA 6 g/l, pH 3.8. Total production was up but strict selection was essential. 80,000 bottles produced.
Rich, creamy-almond nose, almond paste, ripe pears, apricot more than bitter orange. The first impression showed less immediate botrytis than I expected, it smells so creamy. Fills the mouth with sweetness and a light peppery spice. As it opens up, there's pineapple and bitter orange flavours emerge. Viscous texture and such concentration that it fills your mouth even after spitting. Unctuous but balanced by the bitter-orange freshness on the long finish.

3y 7m ago


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