I went to the Beautiful South tasting at Olympia, London, today. It was brilliant. Three countries – South Africa, Argentina and Chile – combined to put on quite a show, with over 300 producers present pouring their wines. The venue was great, with lots of space and lots of natural light. I spent most of my time tasting South African wines, but I dipped into Chile and Argentina briefly. I wish I could have attended both days, because all three countries are making interesting wines now, although I reckon South Africa has more interesting wines at the high end than the other two countries. Here are some highlights.
I hadn’t tasted the Matetic wines for a while. These were excellent, with the EQ Syrah the pick of a very good bunch.
Chile needs more boutique wineries, like this one: Amayna. Very interesting whites. Reds a little over-ripe for my palate, though.
Miles Mossop’s own wines are getting better every year. Love the Max and Saskia.
Chris Williams, who makes lovely Grenache Blanc, Roussanne and Viognier under his Foundry label. The Syrah is also very good, but it’s the whites that are stealing the show at the moment.
Chris Alheit had some Cartology 2012 on show (brilliant), as well as this, the fabulous Radio Lazarus 2012. Get some if you can.
A new winery for me. Cape Rock. Both wines fabulous and not too expensive. The GRV, a white Rhone-style blend, is amazing and will be around £15, probably with Lay & Wheeler. It has an amazing, long, mineral finish.
Best value wine of the show? Could be the Francophile Syrah, made by De Morgenzon, unoaked and fabulous, yours for a tenner.
Bruver Raats. 2012 is great for Cabernet Franc, and his 2012 Dolomite Cab Franc is luvverrlly.
My first taste of the 2011 Granite and Schist Syrahs from Mullineux. Quite remarkable wines, in need of some time. Both a bit different, even though they are made exactly the same way. Slight preference for granite.
This is good. Very good. So elegant and textured. The single vineyard Pinots from 2012 were also on show, and they are brilliant too. Pale in colour, and better for it. This winery is on FIRE.
One of my favourite people in the SA wine scene, Mr Johan Reyneke. Some great surf stories. The Reserve red 2010 is brilliant and the Reserve white 2012 is EPIC.
This is another superb value for money wine. It’s a new addition to the Kadette range, and it’s a gorgeously ripe, pure, sweetly fruited Pinotage that I just loved. At around a tenner, a must buy.
De Morgenzon are a winery to watch. Lovely this 2011 Syrah, which is around £10 retail and is so fresh, precise, a bit peppery and slightly meaty. So good. Their reserve Chenin Blanc is spectacular, too.
I loved this Rose, too. Quite serious.
So nice to finally meet Corlea Fourie of Bosman. I really liked the wines, too, especially the fabulous Optenhorst Chenin Blanc.