AA Badenhorst Dassiekop Steen, a thrilling South African Chenin

I’ve spoken of my love of Adi Badenhorst’s Dassiekop before: it’s one of my favourite Chenins. I brought a bottle to New Zealand and shared it with friends. It was lovely.

AA Badenhorst Dassiekop Steen 2015 Swartland, South Africa
This is thrilling. Powerful and spicy with citrus and pear and white peach. Lovely lemony brightness under the [...]

Eben Sadie shows his wines and describes his philosophy (with video)

[Eben Sadie, in a suit, in the glam surroundings of the Lanesborough Hotel in London. Fortunately even these can't keep him down. He was his usual thoughtful, opinionated self. He really cares, and he understands wine deeply. But he's also fun.]

It was great to catch up with Eben Sadie, Swartland pioneer and one of South [...]

The Mount Abora Saffraan Cinsault: bright and luminous

This was a delicious and smashable wine, and it didn’t cost very much. It’s a naturally made Swartland Cinsault, and on the back label it says, ‘this wine harks back to the times of bright and luminous wines.’ Indeed, this is bright and luminous. [By way of interest, here's my note on the previous vintage.]

Mount [...]

Video: interviewing Adi Badenhorst about his new wines

I caught up with Adi Badenhorst at Intrepid last week. He’s got some new wines out. Two in particular really appealed to me: a flor-aged Sauvignon Blanc called John Strikes Again from Under a Veil of Good Fortune, and a stunning Chenin Blanc called Dassiekop Steen.

Here’s the interview:

And notes on the wines:

Badenhorst John Strikes Again [...]

Mother Rock and Force Majeure: brilliant wines from Stompie Meyer

Johan Meyer

Johan ‘Stompie’ Meyer is one of the most highly regarded of South Africa’s new wave winegrowers. He makes the wines for Mount Abora (as a consultant), and has his own project, JH Meyer Wines. And this is a new venture for him: Mother Rock/Force Majeure, a joint venture with his UK agent Indigo [...]

Testalonga Cortez El Bandito 2009 Swartland

I’m a big fan of Craig Hawkins’ Testalonga wines. They’re very brave and distinctive. He works pretty naturally, so the big question: how do they evolve? This one had evolved very well indeed, and was spectacular.

Testalonga Cortez El Bandito 2009 Swartland, South Africa
This Chenin Blanc was made with no added sulphites, so how does it [...]

Mount Abora Saffraan 2014 Swartland, South Africa

This is a lovely wine. It defines smashable. I had it while I was solo dining last week, and if you are solo dining then you need something like this to drink.

And: I love the term smashable. I don’t know where I picked it up. Maybe Australia. Or South Africa.

Not all wines need to be [...]

In South Africa: the Mullineux new releases

I visited the new tasting room at the Leeu Collection in Franschhoek, to taste through the new releases of the Mullineux wines.

It’s a lovely space, with glass windows looking through to the barrel cellar. Chris and Andrea Mullineux’ wines are now regarded as some of the very best in South Africa. Since their release they [...]

The new releases from Testalonga, one of South Africa's most interesting wineries

Craig Hawkins

Caught up with Craig Hawkins to try the new releases from Testalonga, one of South Africa’s most interesting and bravest wineries. Craig and Carla left the safety of being based at Lammershoek (which was owned by her parents) and have moved to a remote but beautiful farm on the very edge of the [...]

Three lovely wines: Testalonga, Commando G and Domaine Labet

Had lunch at Moro today with Emily Harman and Laura Rhys. Mark Andrew was supposed to join, but he had to fill in for someone at Noble Rot, so after lunch we headed down to meet him there. Moro: the food is amazing, always, and it didn’t disappoint today. And between Moro and Noble Rot [...]