The Morning Claret

Simon J Woolf & Friends on Wild and Wonderful Wines

Simon J Woolf

Founder and editor of The Morning Claret, an online wine magazine focused on all things organic, biodynamic and natural. Orange wine obsessive, author of the bestselling books Amber Revolution and Foot Trodden (with Ryan Opaz). Lover of strange musics and cats.

Raúl Moreno – La Contraluz 2021

Aged under flor, this is a fascinating kind of hybrid – half Fino sherry, half dry Palomino Fino. The nose has a delightful nuttiness – toasted almonds, with a lick of chamomile. The acidity feels bracing, but there are plenty Read more

Raúl Moreno – La Quimera 2021

When Raúl Moreno tells you he’s growing Pinot Noir in Jerez, you think he must be out of his mind. But goodness, the results are so elegant and fresh. Of his three Pinot cuvées, La Quimera is the most meaty Read more

Parés Balta – Satèl.lit 2017

There’s more noticeable oak influence on the nose here, compared to the 2018 vintage – some toasty, vanilla hints. But on the palate it’s really bright and fresh, barely giving any clue as to its maturity. There’s a pleasing generosity Read more

Parés Balta – Satèl.lit 2018

The nose and the colour suggest a bit of oxidation, with some herbal notes, a bit of honey and a hint of grandma’s perfume. The palate in contrast feels lively and youthful, with bright citrus tones intermingled with apricot tones. Read more

Raúl Moreno – La Inflexion 2021

An absolute charmer on the nose and the palate, this unique blend (for Jerez at least) offers up bright red berry fruits and a lick of orange zest. The palate feels juicy and elegant, very fruit focused but in no Read more

Raúl Moreno – La Castidad 2021

Crushed cherries and earth on the nose, with a tiny hint of toastiness. Delicious sour cherry and raspberry fruit on the palate with subtle yet pointed tannins that add to the feeling of refreshment. There is some kind of magic Read more

Philip Cox atop some of the many stainless steel tanks at his giant Cramele Recas winery in Romania. Photo (C) Simon J Woolf.
18 minute read

Tasting Romanian natural wine with Philip Cox

Tasting Romanian natural wines with the owner of one of the largest wineries in Romania – Philip Cox – might seem like an odd choice for Simon. But this meeting of two very different minds ended up being enjoyable and educational for both of us.

Giulio Armani (Denavolo) pours a glass. Photo (C) Simon J Woolf
9 minute read

Orange couture – a Denavolo vertical

The story of an incredible and unexpected lunch which took in a complete summary of Guilio Armani’s Denavolo wines.
Originally published as “Dina is served” in Noble Rot issue 29.

System of a Dão - illustration by Dennis Eriksson. (C) Noble Rot
11 minute read

I Come from Nowhere (Wine Classification is an Ass)

Wine classifications guarantee provenance, but why have many of their controlling institutions become de facto style police?
Originally published as “System of a Dão” in Noble Rot issue 28.