Spring News from John The Wine Guy

Hi all! John The Wine Guy here.

It’s been a while since we last spoke. Apologies for that! We’ve been moving home which has been rather time consuming of course. However, we are now safely in our new abode and I shall endeavour to be in touch more!

There has been plenty to talk about in the wine world over the last few months. Steven Spurrier sadly passed away back in March. One of the wine greats, he founded and hosted the Judgement of Paris back in 1976. For those that don’t know, the Judgement of Paris was a famous blind tasting between specific wines from California and wines from France. California won in both Red and White categories which sent shockwaves through the industry at the time. It also got Steven banned for a year from the prestigious French wine tasting tour as punishment. He has done so much for the wine world and will be sadly missed.

Wine hobbyists has become a new trend seeing people starting their own vineyards or at least buying a small plot to grow enough to create their own wine. Wine hobbyist sounds like a nice intro to wine, doesn’t it? Although, the numbers I’ve seen to even start growing grapes are far beyond my means currently. Still, we can live in hope and this nice little vineyard in Italy is the one I could see myself in… again, doesn’t hurt to dream.  –

In Europe, there have been bitter frosts that have been ravishing parts of Europe. France and Northern Italy have been some of the worse effected areas with some areas reporting losses of up to 90% of this year’s yield. Hopefully we have now turned a corner though and the winemakers in these challenging areas are able to harvest at least some crop for the years ahead

The weather in the UK hasn’t been much better has it, but even more reason to invest in some good vino to drink at home. Someone suggested to me recently that when buying wine, it’s good to buy at least 2 bottles at a time. One to drink now and one to keep in your cellar (or under the stairs) for a more prestigious occasion. With that in mind I’ve explored 3 great areas in Europe and come up with some classics for both drinking and keeping.


Keep – Borolo – F Rinaldi & Figli, Barolo Keep till 2040

2016 is the year for Barolo. The stars aligned to create one of the best growing seasons Italy has had for many years. No frosts. No sharp upturn in heat. Perfect temperature averages extending the growing season. All was perfect! If you can get hold of a bottle from this fantastic year it will keep for well over a decade or 2.

Drink now – Cannonau di Sardegna – Riserva Pala 2016


Keep – Cabernet Sauvignon – Chateau Grand Puy Lacoste 2009 – Keep till up to 2035

Described by the website Vivino as one of the top 1% wines in the world. This fantastic expression of Cabernet Sauvignon exudes black fruit notes. Cassis, blackberry, black plum are ever presents alongside a familiar earthiness to the taste. This outstanding quality wine would be an excellent addition to anyone’s collection.

Drink now – Pinot Noir – St Romain Vieilles Vignes Rouge, Girardin Pere et Fils 2013

South America

Keep – Malbec – Catena Zapata Argentino Malbec 2018 – Keep till 2035

You can’t really go wrong with an Argentinian Malbec and this standout offering offers exceptional value for money. Oak is prevalent as you would expect in this powerful wine alongside rich black fruits including cherry, plum and blackberry. This fantastic winery is has been awarded several accolades over the years including Worlds most admired wine brand in 2020 by Drinks International Magazine. Follow the link and buy a bottle today.

Drink now – Chardonnay – Catena Zapata Catena Alta Chardonnay 2018

Plenty there for you all to enjoy and some for you to enjoy in the years to come.

Until next time when there will be some updates on life at Ridgeview and some suggestions on sparkling wines to enjoy over the summer… it’s nearly here!

Cheers, John the wine guy. x

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