Apologies for the rather quiet blog recently. I've had my nose to the grindstone, or at least to the Riedel glass, as I'm in the midst of an intensive tasting period working my way through the bulk of Rhône wines for my annual report, slated to appear near the end of the year as usual. While I've still got a ways to go, it's clear that 2009 provides the best buying opportunity for ageworthy Northern Rhône reds since the superb 2005 vintage. Stay tuned for more on those ….
I did manage to take a short break from the tasting room to catch up with Kevin Grant, winemaker and owner of South Africa's Ataraxia winery, which is now back in the U.S. market after a short hiatus. Ataraxia is one of the small, top-quality producers that's been head-scratchingly absent from the U.S. market, along with the likes of Kevin Arnold's Waterford Estate and Beyers Truter's Beyerskloof.