Three lovely, great value South African wines

So much fun to be had with South African wine right now. Here are three wine that are full of interest, and massively over-deliver for the price. They are available from The Wine Society. The Kloof Street wines come from Swartland star winery Mullineux, and the Liberator is the latest in a series of special [...]

A rarity, a Portuguese Chenin Blanc

I enjoyed this: it’s the first time I’ve had a Portuguese Chenin Blanc.

Now Portugal is blessed with a wide array of its own varieties, so you might ask why any serious Portuguese wine grower would look elsewhere for foreign varieties to play with. But Chenin could be a worthy exception to this rule, because it [...]

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 [...]

Chenin Blanc in South Africa, a short film with some leading wine growers

Here’s the second of my short films from Cape Wine. This time I quiz some of South Africa’s leading wine growers about Chenin Blanc in South Africa. They have some interesting things to say.

Cape Wine 2012, day 2, the Chenin conference

Up bright and early on Monday morning to head into Cape Town for the Chenin Blanc Association conference.

Ken Forrester, Chenin advocate

Chenin is a super grape and South Africa has half of the world’s plantings. It represents 18% of South Africa’s vineyard area, so it’s a big deal here.

I learned a lot from the conference. [...]

Lammershoek's LAMS - brilliant value from the Swartland

Two wines I shall go out and buy: the red and white LAMs by Swartland start Lammershoek, who since the 2010 vintage have been on fire. These were tasted today at the Richards Walford tasting. Retail price on both is £11, which makes them real bargains. And I love the labels.

LAM by Lammershoek Chenin Blanc/Viognier [...]

Dinner at Francis and Bronwens with Huet, Laval, Niepoort and Donald

I normally try to keep this blog of the moment, but I’ve been busy of late, and I have lots to include. So I need to mention, after the fact, Thursday night’s dinner at Francis and Bronwen Percival’s place.

It was another gathering of the convenors of the London Gastronomy Seminars. I love these meetings, because [...]

Natural Chenin and Queijo de Serra da Estrela - yum!

Wine and cheese. Not always a great match, but here’s a combination that worked well. Queijo de Serra da Estrela is a fantastic cheese from Portugal. It’s made in the Beiras region, on the border with the Dao wine region, from sheep’s milk. The sheep are farmed on the foothills of the Serra da Estrela [...]

A remarkable Chenin Blanc

This is a superb wine. Now almost 7 years old, and developing beautifully. At 13% alcohol, it’s not one of the overblown, ripe styles. Instead, it’s fresh, ripe and textured with some pear and pith notes, as well as a hint of white peach. It’s Jean Daneel Signature Chenin Blanc 2004, from South Africa’s Stellenbosch [...]

Some Chenin!

I’m trying hard to get my head around Chenin Blanc, but it’s a difficult grape to understand. What does Chenin taste like? Very hard to answer. Here are three good examples. But I wouldn’t say these are typical Chenin because I don’t know what typical Chenin is.

Christian Chenin Blanc 2006 Barossa
12% alcohol. Hand picked, basket [...]