Tim Atkin | Master of Wine


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15th Apr 2011

Bordeaux 2010: should you believe the hype?

by Tim Atkin

At a drinks party during the Masters of Wine Symposium in Bordeaux last June I was talking to Jean-Guillaume Prats, the general manager of Château Cos d'Estournel. What would the Bordelais do, I mused, if 2010 turned out to be another great... Read more


31st Mar 2011

RIP, Oddbins

by Tim Atkin

RIP, Odbins. When the Wimbledon-based chain was in its award-winning pomp writing those words would have been unimaginable, like predicting that the sun wouldn’t rise tomorrow. But after yesterday’s vote at the creditors’ meeting at... Read more


20th Mar 2011

Can California crack the UK market?

by Tim Atkin

It was George Bernard Shaw who described England and the United States as "two nations divided by a common language." The famous quote kept coming back to me on a recent tour of California's vineyards. The countries have their similarities --... Read more


16th Mar 2011

The trouble with non-vintage Champagne

by Tim Atkin

It’s a while since I’ve tasted a line-up of more than 60 non-vintages Champagnes in a single sitting. Well, standing actually. But the annual event in the sumptuous surroundings of London’s Banqueting Hall (from a window of which Charles I... Read more


5th Mar 2011

Making sense of Sangiovese

by Tim Atkin

How do you make sense of Italian wine? The country has more indigenous grapes than any other (somewhere between 800 and 1000 at a rough estimate) many of which are planted in a single region and nowhere else. Italian varieties are notoriously... Read more


1st Mar 2011

Juel Mahoney's take on 2006 Brunello di Montalcino vintage

by Tim Atkin

There's something reminiscent of Fashion Week about the Benvenuto Brunello event in Montalcino, with visitor passes, photographers, security guards and large tents. Amongst it all, this is where I tasted the latest vintage of 2006 Brunello di... Read more


21st Feb 2011

Searching for the succulence of Pinot Noir

by Tim Atkin

There are some tastings that you’d cross a busy motorway intersection blindfold to attend. I don’t know what does it for you, but a line-up of village level, premier and grand cru red Burgundies is my idea of heaven, especially when it... Read more


19th Feb 2011

An agnostic's view of natural wines

by Tim Atkin

The future of wine or a heap of hooey? Just like bio-dynamics, Dr Rudolf Steiner's so-called "spiritual science", the subject of natural wines tends to provoke extreme opinions. Listening to a discussion between a strong advocate and an... Read more


5th Feb 2011

The Zen of Koshu

by Tim Atkin

There aren't many wine styles that are unfamiliar to most people in the booze trade, but Japanese Koshu is surely one of them. I don't mind admitting that before the recent KOJ (Koshu of Japan) tasting in London, my knowledge of the country's... Read more


20th Jan 2011

The 2009 Burgundy vintage: second opinion

by Tim Atkin

"You call that work? " asked a friend of mine when I told him about the rigours of Burgundy week in early January. "Most people would pay serious amounts of money to do what you've just done." And he's right. There are much more onerous ways... Read more