Some nice wines from Sivervis, Swartland, South Africa

I met up with Ryan Mostert (above right) and Michael Roets (above left) to drink wine. Ryan was until recently assistant winemaker at Reyneke, and with his partner Sam recently moved to the Swartland. There, he’s teamed up with Michael to work on a new project, Avant Garde Wines.

They’ve been scouting top vineyard sites, and [...]

The Mullineux Semillon Gris

Now this is an interesting wine. It’s a Semillon Gris from Swartland (South Africa) stars Mullineux.

This is what Andrea Mullineux says about it:

Sémillon Gris is historically significant in South Africa, not just for the old vine aspect, but for its previous popularity. In the early 1800s, 80% of the vines in South Africa were [...]

Craig Hawkins: Testalonga and Lammershoek

Craig Hawkins (pictured above with significant other Carla Kretzel in the background) is one of South Africa’s most talented and brave winemakers. He’s the winemaker at Lammershoek, and also makes his own wines under the Testalonga label. He’s very experimental, and has worked a lot with skin contact and lees. He prefers picking earlier, making [...]

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, [...]