A Chenin Blanc seminar at Texsom

Patrick Cappiello and Pascaline Lepeltier presented this Chenin tasting at Texsom.

‘I deeply believe that Chenin is the best white grape in the world,’ says Pascaline, a very highly regarded sommelier. She’s been working in New York for the last eight years, but she grew up in the Loire, and is a keen evangelist for Loire [...]

Mother Rock and Force Majeure: brilliant wines from Stompie Meyer

Johan Meyer

Johan ‘Stompie’ Meyer is one of the most highly regarded of South Africa’s new wave winegrowers. He makes the wines for Mount Abora (as a consultant), and has his own project, JH Meyer Wines. And this is a new venture for him: Mother Rock/Force Majeure, a joint venture with his UK agent Indigo [...]

Testalonga Cortez El Bandito 2009 Swartland

I’m a big fan of Craig Hawkins’ Testalonga wines. They’re very brave and distinctive. He works pretty naturally, so the big question: how do they evolve? This one had evolved very well indeed, and was spectacular.

Testalonga Cortez El Bandito 2009 Swartland, South Africa
This Chenin Blanc was made with no added sulphites, so how does it [...]

Video: judging the Standard Bank Top 10 Chenin Blanc competition

Here’s a short film of the judging of the Standard Bank Top 10 Chenin Blanc competition

A new 'icon' Chenin from South Africa: Dirty Little Secret

This is the much talked about high-end South African Chenin Blanc from one of the grape’s greatest ambassadors. I managed to catch up with Shawn Mathyse, a young winemaker who works with Ken on some of his small lot projects like this, and he told me more about it. It’s a 100% Chenin from a [...]

In South Africa: the Mullineux new releases

I visited the new tasting room at the Leeu Collection in Franschhoek, to taste through the new releases of the Mullineux wines.

It’s a lovely space, with glass windows looking through to the barrel cellar. Chris and Andrea Mullineux’ wines are now regarded as some of the very best in South Africa. Since their release they [...]

A lovely Loire Chenin: Richard Leroy Les Rouliers 2012

I’ve had this wine a couple of times now (both times at Noble Rot, but Sager & Wilde are also listing it). It’s a stunning wine that has the most amazing matchstick reduction integrated into the richer Chenin flavours to great effect. This is a perfect example of a wine character that could be seen [...]

Three lovely wines: Testalonga, Commando G and Domaine Labet

Had lunch at Moro today with Emily Harman and Laura Rhys. Mark Andrew was supposed to join, but he had to fill in for someone at Noble Rot, so after lunch we headed down to meet him there. Moro: the food is amazing, always, and it didn’t disappoint today. And between Moro and Noble Rot [...]

The remarkable Cortez 2014 from Testalonga

I’ve admired Craig Hawkins’ Testalonga wines for a while now. They are just so brave. And delicious. [See here, here and here for reviews.] This is his Chenin that’s made without skin contact. It’s fully beautiful, and has no additions at any point: it’s a truly natural wine. Just 10.5% alcohol, too!

Testalonga ‘Cortez’ [...]

Rêverie Chenin Blanc 2014 Swartland, South Africa

This was a new discovery at Cape Wine. It’s  the Rêverie Chenin Blanc 2014 from an old vineyard (1978 plantings) in the Swartland. The soils? Pure granite, no irrigation, picked early (19 Balling), fermented in old barrels. It’s made by Jacques de Klerk whose day job is with Radford Dale. Interestingly, even though this is [...]