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 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 [...]

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 [...]

Mullineux Schist and Granite 2010

Swartland-based Mullineux is one of the most respected of the new wave of South African wine estates, and in the 2012 Platter Guide they achieved a remarkable clean sweep of three out of three five star wines.

Last year they added two more wines to their portfolio: a pair of high-end Syrahs named ‘Granite’ and ‘Schist’. [...]

The South Africa Wine and Spirits Board reject Craig Hawkins Cortez Chenin Blanc 2011 for a second time!

I have written before about how export approval systems in New World wine-producing countries can hinder producers who operate outside the commercial norms (here: http://www.wineanorak.com/exportapproval.htm)

It’s a big problem for natural winemakers. You make a really good wine, have customers abroad clamouring to buy it, and you can’t sell it because a group of conventionally minded winemakers [...]

Video: Lammershoek's beautiful vineyards

A short film of Lammershoek’s vineyards, which I find rather beautiful. They’re just typical of the Swartland, with most of them dry-grown bush vines.

Only in the Swartland: Hárslevelű and an underwater wine

I have just written up my visit to Swartland producer Lammershoek, which you can read here.

It was unusual for two reasons. First of all, they’re making a new series of wines, called ‘Cellar Foot’. These are heaven for wine geeks: oddities bottles in small quantities. I tried one, as yet unreleased example: a varietal Hárslevelű, [...]

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 [...]

Video: The Swartland Revolution in 4 minutes

A short, rough and ready film of the 2011 Swartland Revolution:

The Swartland Revolution

Me trying to be a revolutionary!

What can be said about the Swartland revolution?

One of the planet’s most remarkable wine events has come and gone. It was an incredible experience, and I was so thrilled to be part of it.

Olivier Clape

Everything about it just worked. The scale – around 280 people – was perfect. [...]