Some picture highlights from the Beautiful South tasting

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]