Beeslaar Pinotage 2012, a fabulous debut

Abrie Beeslar (above) is the winemaker at Kanonkop, and he’s doing a bit of homebrew. This, his debut vintage, is one of the most profound interpretations of the often tricky Pinotage grape that you can imagine. It’s the Grand Cru Burgundy of Pinotages: structured, fresh, complex, ageworthy and elegant despite its obvious concentration. Website is [...]

Some great old wines at Overgaauw, Stellenbosch

Had a remarkable dinner at Overgaauw, a wine estate in Stellenbosch, on Wednesday night. David van Velden, who hosted us, is the fourth-generation winemaker of this family property. Overgaauw has been in the van Velden family since 1905, and David began making wine in 2003, took over from his father in 2007, and has been [...]

Waterkloof Circumstance Sauvignon Blanc 2013

This is a lovely South African Sauvignon Blanc from biodynamic winery Waterkloof, which I visited last year. It’s the first release of a Waterkloof wine made by new winemaker Nadia Barnard.

Waterkloof Circumstance Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Stellenbosch, South Africa
Ripe, rich pear and peach notes as well as lively grapefruit freshness. There’s a rich texture and mouthfeel [...]

Reyneke Reserve Red 2010 one of South Africa's finest

This is probably one of the best South African reds I have tasted. And I have tasted quite a few. It’s a blend of 60% Syrah and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, and a third of the Syrah fraction was whole bunch, crushed by foot, with the remaining destemmed grapes added on top. It was wild yeast [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Worm farms, biodynamics and a serious Syrah at Waterkloof

I have just written up a lengthy article on Waterkloof, the Stellenbosch winery owned by UK wine merchant Paul Boutinot. It’s a really great project that just beginning to hit its stride, and is one of the few South African wineries to have embraced biodynamics. In this blog post, I wanted to draw out three [...]

Video: making wine and visiting vineyards at Kanonkop

Really enjoyed visiting Kanonokop last week. I shot a film of the very traditional winemaking that takes place here, as well as looking at the old Pinotage vineyards.