The fab 2015s and 2016s from Alheit, one of South Africa's star producers

Chris Alheit and Franco Lourens

Chris and Suzaan Alheit’s story is one of discovering great vineyards, and then making wine from them, very simply (see my article from a visit three years ago, when they were just starting out). ‘I’ve spent innumerable hours looking on google earth and driving around, looking for the best sites,’ [...]

Tasting some interesting South African Chenin, with a video

Tasted some nice Chenins lately. It’s such an interesting and adaptable grape variety.

Raats Granite Block Chenin Blanc 2015 Coastal Region, South Africa
Very fruity mandarin and lime notes with some pear richness. Hints of herbs with a nice bright mineral edge to the fruit. Lovely precision to this bright wine with plenty of flavour but a [...]

Saturday morning in Stellenbosch, in pictures

Had a lovely Saturday in Stellenbosch. Such a pretty town. At the heart of South Africa’s winelands, it’s an easy place to hang. These are some street pics.

 

Incredible sweet wines, from Mullineux and Klein Constantia, including the 1875

In the space of one day I had the chance to try some mind blowing sweet wines, new and old. The first experience was at Klein Constantia. Back in the 18th and 19th Centuries, the Constantia estate made world renowned sweet wines. The estate was later split into three, but by this stage the production [...]

Leeu Passant: exciting new wines from Chris and Andrea Mullineux

One of the most anticipated South African releases of recent years: the Leeu Passant wines from Chris and Andrea Mullineux. After a sneaky preview with Chris at ProWein last week, we got to taste them at the Franschhoek tasting room on the Leeu Estates.

Andrea and Chris Mullineux

There are three wines in the range: two [...]

Exploring Hemel-en-Aarde

Spent a few days in Hemel-en-Aarde, looking around. This is a cool-ish climate wine region in a valley that meets the coast right by the lovely town of Hermanus, about 90 minutes’ drive from Cape Town. [Tip: if you drive from Cape Town, allow an extra 20 minutes and drive along the coast road, which [...]

A great wine shop in Hermanus, and why we need to support good wine shops

I love shopping for wine.

If you are a wine journalist and you don’t love shopping for wine, then find a new job. I don’t want to read what you have to say. If you are no longer in love with wine, step aside and let someone else have the floor.

On Saturday we were in Hermanus [...]

Flotsam & Jetsam Cinsault, tasted on camera

Another Cinsault! This time, it’s from Chris and Suzaan Alheit. This is an honest wine, made for drinking, and it’s lovely. South Africa is producing quite a few of these wines, and I think that’s a good thing.

Flotsam & Jetsam Stalwart Cinsault 2016 Western Cape, South Africa
12% alcohol. Lovely juicy, bright cherry and berry fruits [...]

The Mount Abora Saffraan Cinsault: bright and luminous

This was a delicious and smashable wine, and it didn’t cost very much. It’s a naturally made Swartland Cinsault, and on the back label it says, ‘this wine harks back to the times of bright and luminous wines.’ Indeed, this is bright and luminous. [By way of interest, here's my note on the previous vintage.]

Mount [...]

Video: what makes Elgin a special wine region?

In this video clip, I interview Andrew Gunn of Iona, and his winemaker Werner Muller, about what makes the Elgin Valley a special wine region. We also talk about Elgin’s particular talents: the grape varieties that excel here.

See also, my other Elgin videos: