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 [...]

Savage Wines, a new star in the South African wine scene

I’ve got to know Duncan Savage a bit over the last few years. He’s the winemaker at Cape Point wines, where he has been doing superb work for quite a while, fashioning incredible white wines from some striking vineyards.

Now he’s launching his own label, known simply as Savage Wines. It’s a great releif to me [...]

Video: Hemel en Aarde, one of South Africa's most dynamic wine regions

Here’s a film I made last week in Hemel en Aarde, which is one of South Africa’s most dynamic wine regions. It has come a long way in the last decade, and is now making some superb wines. Here I interview some of the leading players.

Graham Beck Blanc de Blancs 1997

This MCC (Methode Cap Classique, a term used for traditional method sparkling wines from South Africa) deserves a post of its own. It’s 15 years old (almost 16) and it’s drinking beautifully, with no sign of tiredness.

Graham Beck Brut Blanc de Blancs 1997 Robertson, South Africa
50% of this was fermented in barrels, and it spent [...]

Video: an interview with Chris and Suzaan Alheit of Alheit Vineyards

One of my visits last week was with Chris and Suzaan Alheit of Alheit Vineyards, who were propelled to fame with the critical success of their first wine, the 2011 Cartology. They are now just about to release the 2012 Cartology, and also the first of their single vineyard wines, Radio Lazarus 2012. Here’s an [...]