A brilliant, crazy South African wine

This is a brilliant wine. It’s unusual, as you might expect from a wine called ‘funky white’, made in a solera style with some flor involvement. It’s not really like a fino sherry; it’s just 13% alcohol. I’d say it was a bit more Jura-like. So fresh and enticing, and available in half bottles from [...]

A plug for a great South African tasting in London

A quick plug for an amazing South African tasting in London next week.

It’s organized by merchants SWIG, and the details are here. The line-up of wines and winemakers is stellar.

Here’s the good bit: tickets are £25, but SWIG are offering wineanorak readers 50% off, so you can attend for just £12.50

To take advantage of this [...]

Aeternitas, a new Syrah from South Africa

Johan Grimbeek is the winemaker at South African winery Kanu. Through top restaurateur Bertus Basson, I managed to get my hands of a bottle of his home brew – it goes under the label of Aeternitas, and it’s a Syrah from a single vineyard in Stellenbosch, aged half in new oak. It’s a ripe, warm [...]

Lunch at the Glasshouse

Brian Smith of Elgin Ridge

Had a great lunch at the Glasshouse, Kew on Monday, with Brian Smith, a now-biodynamic winegrower in Elgin, South Africa. I first met Brian and his wife Marion at the same restaurant just over a year ago (so my blog tells me), and they’ve now got to the point where they [...]

Two lovely Rieslings, South Africa and Germany

Yum, it’s Riesling weather. The sorts of places that make great Riesling aren’t always the ones where it is most useful: I find it the perfect hot weather wine, yet it grows best in cool climates. Here are a couple of good ones.

Paul Cluver Ferricrete Riesling 2012 Elgin, South Africa
10% alcohol. Delicate, pure citrussy nose with [...]

Dirty Julie, a Verdelho from the Swartland

I love everything about this wine. The packaging (you can’t see the wax capsule in this picture), the grape variety (Verdelho), the winemaking (natural ferment), the flavour, and – of course – the price (it’s not expensive, at around 55 Rand retail in South Africa).

It’s made by David Cope and Simon Wibberley, at Adi Badenhorst’s [...]

Harry Haddon's new video blogging, live from South Africa

Impressed by this. It’s Harry Haddon’s first video blog. I’ve met and drunk with him a few times in South Africa, and I reckon he’s a great new voice. This is an engaging, accurate and brave approach to doing wine tasting on camera, with an authentic voice. I suspect certain US critics will take offence [...]

Some South African pics of mine in a magazine

As a camera geek and utterly amateur photographer, I always like it when I get pictures of mine in magazines, or for that matter any other publications. These five have just been used by a magazine, which makes me pleased. Interestingly, I sent them 13 pictures, and two of my favourites from this selection (and which [...]

A brilliant South African Sauvignon, The Infidel

When I bumped into Pieter de Waal in the Loire last month, he gave me a bottle of one of his wines to bring home. I am glad he did: it’s brilliant.

Hermit on the Hill The Infidel Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Stellenbosch, South Africa
Complex and engaging, this naturally fermented Sauvignon Blanc has a lovely nose of [...]

Vergelegen GVB 2005

I visited Vergelegen back in December 2005. At that time, they were one of the hottest wineries in South Africa. Since then, they have fallen off the radar a bit, but they are still making excellent wines. I really liked this: it’s not too trendy – a Bordeaux red blend, which isn’t the most exciting [...]