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 [...]

Video: the Nederburg Auction Tabernacle Tasting

The Nederburg Auction people have made a short film of the Tabernacle old wine tasting that I took part in last Friday

Day 5 in South Africa

I stayed overnight at the lovely Schulphoek guest house, a short distance along from Hermanus. It’s a lovely spot, and in the morning I went for a run along the sea front, along a beautiful coastal path. This was soul-restoring.

Back at the guest house, Peter-Allan Finlayson rocked up to show me his wines. His Hemel en [...]

In South Africa, day 4, heaven on earth

My day spent in Hemel en Aarde (heaven and earth) is one that I’ll remember for a long time. I can’t recall a day spent in wine country with so many good visits (although I am sure there have been one or two, simply because I have been fortunate to visit many wine regions).

I started [...]

Day 3 in South Africa, and a slice of history

My third day in South Africa was a memorable one. A day on which I learned a great deal, and developed a healthy respect for the history of wine here.

It is so easy to be obsessed by the exciting new things that are going on in this wine country, at the expense of recognizing good stuff [...]