jamie goode's wine blog: Bits and pieces, and a Brampton

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Bits and pieces, and a Brampton

It's been a relaxing weekend. Some good friends had our kids to stay over on Saturday night - I suspect any parents reading this will know what a treat this is. We went out for the evening to another set of friends for a birthday bash, which ended in a Karaoke session. My sole contribution: even though I was sober (I was driving), I did a mean Ian Gillan impression with Smoke on the water. It rocked. We were woken this morning at 0930 by the kids returning. Luxury.

Went to my allotment vineyard this afternoon with the intention of doing some pruning, and planting some new vines. Had time to plant just four, and prune half a dozen before the heavens opened. This year I'm hoping for a good crop. Two issues while I'm away in Australia and Singapore will be snail control and frost, neither of which I'll be able to do anything about as the first shoots are nervously sent out by my 60-odd vines.

A wine recommendation follows.

Brampton Shiraz 2004 Coastal Region, South Africa
This may be Rustenberg's second label, but don't let this dissuade you from seeking this beauty out. It has a nose of sweet dark fruits supported by some pepper, spicy notes and a dark, savoury meatiness, together with a hint of olive. The palate is sweetly fruited but at the same time quite savoury, showing some tannin. This is deliciously balanced, and could just about pass muster as an old world wine (a sort of combination of Languedoc, Northern Rhone and Southern Rhone). I'm uneasy about the fact that it's 15% alcohol, but the wine carries it remarkably well. Very good/excellent 90/100 (on checking, I find this is the same score I gave the wine when I visited in December 2005, which is reassuring.) UK availability: Waitrose, Andrew Chapman, South African Wines Online, around 8.

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At 10:45 AM, Blogger timmyc said...

Hi Jamie,

What vines are you growing on your allotment? And more importantly are you going to become a garagiste and make some wine out of them? Where did you buy them? I've got a Sauvignon and a Cabernet vine that I've got in pots against a South facing wall - but they tend to miss the early morning sun in the summer so am considering transferring them to my allotment where we have an aweful lot of chalk in the soil and pretty good drainage. Haven't checked on mine for a while - but has the warm winter meant that yours are considering bud break yet?


At 1:19 PM, Blogger Cru Master said...

Thanks for the tip on the Brampton Shiraz, I must give it a go!

I can also recommend the Brampton Cabernet Sauvignon - very nice indeed and great value.

Interesting to see many second label wines using screwcap closures - perhaps a testing ground for many wineries.

At 3:18 PM, Anonymous keith prothero said...

Rustenberg and Brampton----Rock!! Even their budget Old Vines Red is a nice drop and great value locally at less than the equivalent of 3 quid.

At 6:10 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

A range, including Pinot Noir, Bacchus, Phoenix and Huxelrebe. Bought from various places. Try googling commercial nurseries or wineries.

You have your work cut out trying to ripen Cab Sauv and Sauv Blanc outdoors in the UK. I'd try something else!

Cru master, thanks for the recommendation.

Keith, we are in full agreement here! When are you back in the UK?

At 11:54 AM, Blogger Salil said...

I'll definitely give the Brampton a go.

I checked on wine searcher and it's not available in Chicago (no surprises, South African wines don't seem particularly popular or available here), but given that I am heading to London in a couple of weeks (did you get my last email reg. that, btw?), I'll be sure to keep an eye open for it.

At 8:29 PM, Anonymous Alex Lake said...

I was just about to say that Brampton and Rustenberg rock, but Mr Pinotage beat me to it...

At 1:13 PM, Anonymous Keith Prothero said...

Jamie-the end of March. Hope we can get together soon after!!

At 10:44 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

Yes, Keith, would be fun. And I tried the best ever Pinotage today...

At 9:38 AM, Anonymous Keith Prothero said...

OK what was it?

At 4:34 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

The Laroche Avenir Grand Vin. Quite modern and new worldy, but very good indeed.

At 6:30 AM, Anonymous Jean-Pierre Rossouw said...

The wine Jamie mentions is the Laroche L'Avenir Grand Vin Pinotage. Michel Laroche bought this prime Stellenbosch property two years ago and is grooming the wines according to his international standards. Agree that the pinotage is good - but also try the 2006 chenin blanc.


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