Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Five stars for Frans

Five stars for Frans

26 November 2010 by Spier Wine Estate

Spier's flagship wine named after Cellar Master Frans K. Smit get a 5-star rating.

We are proud to announce that Spier's Frans K. Smit 2006 vintage has been awarded 5 stars by the prestigious John Platter Wine Guide 2011. Spier's Cape Winemakers Guild Merlot 2008 and its Private Collection Chenin Blanc both received 4½ stars.

The John Platter Wine Guide is internationally recognised as South Africa's leading consumer wine handbook. It is an authoritative reference guide that covers all aspects of wine in the country, giving ratings and tasting notes for thousands of local wines. Of the 58 5-star rated wines, 30 were white and 28 were red.

The previous vintage of Frans K. Smit(2005) was also rated 5 stars in last year's Platter guide, and this wine is still available for sale. Frans will only release the 2006 vintage to the market when he feels it is ready.

"The 2006 growing season proved to be the coolest of the three vintages so far," says Frans. "This led to the production of a blend with very fresh natural acidity. The deep purple-red colour of the wine is testament to this, as are the strong tannins - both of which indicate that this particular vintage will age incredibly well."

True to his belief in the role of consistency, Frans looked to the same vineyards he had used in previous years. The chosen grape varieties were aged in French oak barriques for 16 months before the first tasting and re-tasting took place, and then another 27 months to gauge the aging potential of the wine.

The final blend shows more diversity than the preceding year, largely due to the cooler ripening phase. At 29%, Cabernet Sauvignon from Stellenbosch and Darling still sits at the heart of the blend, while Paarl's exceptional Shiraz makes up a further 21%. The remaining 50% is made up of equal parts of Cabernet franc, Pinotage, Malbec and Merlot.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Remhoogte Estate Stellenbosch Chenin Blanc 2010 84 Points

Remhoogte Estate Stellenbosch Chenin Blanc 2010 84 Points

Clear, bright, pale straw, water rim, medium concentration, medium viscosity, no evidence of gas or sediment.

Clean, medium plus intensity with notes of golden delicious apple, fleshy guava, citrus medley, layered and fragrant, fair complexity with hints of old oak barrel, imparting a slight oxidative note (positive) touch of white stone minerality (20 year old vines)

Dry to off dry, flavors follow through with new flavors of Asian pears, crunchy profile with pin point creaminess.

Medium acidity, medium plus alcohol, medium complexity, medium plus length, persistent and juicy.

Fine Stellenbosch Chenin Blanc profile, fairly rich / concentrated in style could be the results of Old vines fruit richness.

Served at 12 degrees Celsius with gruyere gratinated patty pans & grilled prawns.

Now until 2016
Integrity & sustainability Certified

Rustenberg Wines at Punchinello's Restaurant - Southern Sun Montecasino - Chefs of Distinction

Punchinello's Restaurant, Southern Sun Montecasino presents

Chefs of Distinction with Rustenberg Wines

Chef Gerard Vinderling and his brigade take pride in inviting South Africa's most distinguished chefs to share their talents and present their own special menu. Come and share the occasion.

30th March 2011

Dinner starts at 7pm

A four course menu accompanied by specially paired Rustenberg wines

R275 per person. For Restaurant Reservations call
011 367 4367. Limited seats available

Chefs Trevor & Dilene Boyd

Owners of Salon de Culinaire
Members of South African Culinary Team

Chef Gerard Vingerling
Executive Chef Southern Sun Montecasino Hotel

Winemaker Randolph Christians
Rustenberg Wines

Punchinello's Southern Sun Montecasino - Chefs of Distinction dinner with Veritas Award Wines 2010

Punchinello's Restaurant, Southern Sun Montecasino presents

Chefs of Distinction with Veritas Awards Wines

Chef Gerard Vinderling and his brigade take pride in inviting South Africa's most distinguished chefs to share their talents and present their own special menu. Come and share the occasion.

22nd February 2011

Dinner starts at 7pm

A four course menu accompanied by specially paired 2010 Veritas Awarded wines
R275 per person. For Restaurant Reservations call
011 367 4367. Limited seats available

Chefs Nicholas Froneman
Executive Chef of Southern Sun Elangeni Hotel, Durban

Chef Gerard Vingerling
Executive Chef Southern Sun Montecasino Hotel
Veritas Award wines from Kleine Zalze, Spier Private Collection, Boland Kelder Reserve No1, Lomond & Meerendal Estate

Constantia Valley comes up trumps with Platter Five Stars - Seven Times

Constantia Valley comes up trumps with Platter Five Stars - Seven Times

25 November 2010 by Constantia Valley Wine Route

The Constantia Valley Wine Route has come up trumps after seven of the wines produced here in Cape Town's very own vineyard, received the coveted '5-star rating' in the 2011 Platter South African Wine Guide.

Chosen from over 6000 wines, these seven top Constantia Valley wines account for 12.5% of a total of 58 wines rated '5-stars' this year. Grown in this fertile pocket with its unique terroir that stretches across only 0.45% of South Africa's total wine hectares, it is a particular honour to have received what could be considered "the most sought after recognition in the South African wine industry".

Top scores were awarded across both red and white varietals grown and produced here in this fertile valley, including Napoleon's favourite dessert wine, Klein Constantia's Vin de Constance.

Family owned and run, Klein Constantia has a rich and colourful history, boasting a terroir that is ideal for producing grapes with ample fruit flavours. The legendary Vin de Constance has seen its renaissance here since 1986, where it has been crafted as a unique dessert wine made in the style of the old Constantia from vineyards which produced it in the 18th and 19th centuries, a century after its disappearance due to fungal disease and phylloxera, which caused devastation throughout Europe and the Cape. Klein Constantia took top honours on the Constantia Valley Wine Route with a total of three 2011 Platter 5 stars, for the Klein Constantia Vin de Constance 2006, the Klein Constantia Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, and the Klein Constantia Perdeblokke 2009.

Following hot on its heels was Steenberg Vineyards, which has just won a major international award as Global Winner Wine Tourism Services in the Great Wine Capitals' Best of Wine Tourism Awards for 2011. Steenberg received two 5-star ratings for its signature Bordeaux style white blends, John Loubser's CWG entry for 2010, the Steenberg Magus 2009, and Steenberg Magna Carta 2009, which will be released in the first quarter of 2011. Another wine to be watched in this stable is the Steenberg 1682 Pinot Noir Brut, which achieved 4½ stars this year, completing the full range of wines produced here from fruit harvested in the cool maritime climate of Constantia - from bubbles through to dessert!

Since the establishment of Groot Constantia by Simon van der Stel in 1685, this iconic farm has continued an age old tradition of quality wine production over the past 325 years. Recognised as one of the world's oldest trademarks, Groot Constantia received the Platter nod too, scoring 5-stars with the Groot Constantia Gouverneurs Chardonnay 2009, a wine that has been its top performer in SA and abroad in the last decade, showing good balance of ripe fruit and citrus with rich butter and hints of oak.

Eagles' Nest, one of the new stars in the Constantia Valley, walked away proudly with 5-stars awarded to its Eagles' Nest Shiraz 2008. It is said that wines from Eagles' Nest are purely terroir driven: elegant, refined and poised. A remarkable year for this Shiraz, the wine also won the Red Wine Trophy in both the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show and the Winemakers' Choice Awards in 2010, with its wonderful spiciness complemented by vibrant dark berry-fruit notes, and a palate of perfectly integrated tannins, with a complex, lingering finish.

Commenting on the excellent performance by members of the Constantia Valley Wine Route, Chairman Jean Naudé, also the CEO of Groot Constantia Estate, says: "When Simon van der Stel had the opportunity to choose land for his farm, the whole of the Western Cape was available. After sending people out on horseback to collect soil samples, in 1685 he decided on the area that is currently known as Constantia. Judging from the recent Platter ratings, he was a man with vision and an excellent ability to identify winemaking potential!"

"To have five stars awarded for Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, White Bordeaux blends and Muscat de Frontignan, shows the diversity of the area and puts Constantia firmly on a pedestal as a showpiece for South African wine in general. The fact that there are operational wine farms in the heart of the Mother City speaks of a conservation miracle. It is of the utmost importance to preserve this magnificent piece of heritage of the South African Wine Industry, to further enhance the image thereof," he concluded.

The eight Constantia Valley wine producers are: Groot Constantia, Klein Constantia, Steenberg Vineyards, Eagles' Nest, Buitenverwachting, Constantia Uitsig, Constantia Glen and High Constantia.

For more information about the Constantia Valley Wine Route, visit

Five Platter 5-stars in a row for Boplaas

Five 5-stars in a row for Boplaas

25 November 2010 by Boplaas Family Vineyards

Boplaas Family Vineyards in Calitzdorp got the 5th 5 star for a Vintage Port in 5 years in the Platter Wine Guide.

Boplaas Family Vineyards in Calitzdorp got the 5th 5 star for a Vintage Port in 5 years in the Platter Wine Guide. The Boplaas Cape Vintage Reserve 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 all got 5 stars in Platter. In addition the 1980, 1997 and Vintner's Reserve and Non-Vintage Cape Tawny Ports all got 5 stars in the last 6 years.

The 2005 Reserve also received several other accolades like a Double Gold from Veritas and Michelangelo and the 2006 Reserve a Double Gold Veritas and 5 star in Wine Magazine.

The Boplaas Cape Tawny received the trophy for Port of the Year from S.A.A. in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 & 2010.

Boplaas use traditional Portuguese cultivars like Touriga Nacional and Tinta Barocca for making world class ports.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Eagles Nest Wines at Punchinellos Southern Sun Montecasino 7th December

Punchinello’s Restaurant Southern Sun Montecasino presents

Simplicity with Flavour

Chef Gerard Vinderling and his brigade take pride in inviting South Africa’s most distinguished chefs to share their talents and present their own special menu. Come and share the occasion.

7th December 2010

Dinner starts at 7pm

A four course menu accompanied by specially paired Eagles Nest wines
R250 per person. For Restaurant Reservations call
011 367 4367. Limited seats available

Arnold Tanzer
Continental Director for Africa and Middle East
World Association of Chefs Societies
Vice President South African Chefs Association
Chef Patron Tanzer Foods
Chef Gerard Vingerling
Executive Chef Southern Sun Montecasino Hotel

Winemaker Stuart Botha – Eagles Nest Constantia

Supreme of Cape Line Fish
Pan-fried with caramilised Pineapple and accompanied with Vegetable Atchar and crispy Pork Lardons
2009 Eagles’ Nest Viognier
Plum Tomato Consommé
with Parma Ham shavings and sweet Basil Leaves served with Bruschetta
2008 Eagles’ Nest Verreaux Red Blend
Gently Braised Beef Short Ribs
with Horseradish, Spinach ‘hutspot’ and
pickled Onion
2008 Eagles’ Nest Shiraz
White Chocolate Pave
with Salted Caramel and Apple petals
Nuy Red Muscadel
Strawberry Macaroons
Jameson Gold Reserve ‘nightcap‘
Winemaker, Stuart Botha, Eagles Nest Constantia

Eagles Nest

Eagles’ Nest was originally a section of Groote Constantia, the wine supplier to European nobility, established by Simon van der Stel in the late 1600’s. Whilst the Constantia Valley is most famous for its whites, it was felt that Eagles’ Nest, with its unique terroir within the valley, would be more suited to reds. With its East, West and North facing slopes it is the steepest commercially farmed land in the Cape region, if not in all of South Africa. The land is located 10.5km from the warm False Bay coast line and in the direct path of the summer trade winds. The farm’s objective is to produce, consistently, wines that are quality driven every step of the way and that are a true reflection of our unique terrior. Our current vintages are 2009 Viognier, 2006 Merlot, 2008 Shiraz, 2008 Verreaux (premium red blend), 2010 Sauvignon Blanc the 2008 The Little Eagle (a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot). Proceeds from the sale of The Little Eagle 2008 go towards funding the Western Cape Raptor Research Programme, and specifically the protection of the last pair of Verreaux’s Eagles (formally called the Black Eagle) on Table Mountain Nature Reserve. Our viticulturist and farm manager is Kobus Jordaan and winemaker is Stuart Botha under the guidance of Martin Meinert of Meinert Wines.

Stuart Botha – Wine maker

Originally from Durban, but schooled at Wynberg Boys’ High School and Elsenberg, Stuart is the quintessential modern winemaker: obsessive about quality at every stage of the winemaking process, hugely knowledgeable about winemaking techniques in various international wine regions and driven to ensure that our wines are a true reflection of their terroir. After graduating, Stuart worked at our neighbouring farm Constantia Glen before heading off to work in St Emillion in Bordeaux. Since joining Eagles’ Nest before the 2008 harvest, Stuart oversees all aspects of the winemaking process. What, in Stuart’s view, makes a great wine? It is a wine that is true to its origin, is unique in its flavour profile and is the embodiment of finesse, complexity and elegance

Buitenverwachting in the limelight

Buitenverwachting in the limelight

24 November 2010 by Buitenverwachting

Lars Maack of Buitenverwachting was awarded Diner's Club Winzer des Jahres at a Gala Dinner in Munich last week, in translation, Wine Producer of the Year.

The award is a well deserved acknowledgement to this hard working wine producer from the Constantia Valley. Buitenverwachting came into being when Arend Brink bought the farm in 1796 built a manor house and started planting vines. During the past two centuries Buitenverwachting has had no less than 16 owners with huge fluctuations in fortune.

A change in fortune and stability came to Buitenverwachting when German businessman Richard Mueller and his wife bought the farm in 1981. Under the leadership of son Lars this magnificent farm has truly flourished, producing outstanding wines and including an excellent restaurant. Lars says with a smile "I didn't know what I was letting myself in for."

Lars is delighted to have received this prestigious award and said "I was surprised to be in the line up with personalities such as Marchese Piero Antinori, Fritz Keller and Willi Bruendlmeyer all of whom represent amazing properties. Buitenverwachting in comparison is a newcomer to the international wine scene, and I immensely appreciate that our hard work and dedication receives such great recognition".

Klein Constantia's versatility shines in Platter hat trick

Klein Constantia's versatility shines in Platter hat trick

24 November 2010 by Klein Constantia Wines

Three very different wine styles from Klein Constantia Estate were awarded much-coveted 5-star ratings in the recently launched Platter's Wine Guide 2011, demonstrating the potential and versatility of this historic site. These were Klein Constantia Perdeblokke Sauvignon Blanc 2009, Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 and the Vin de Constance 2006.

Managing Director, Lowell Jooste believes that this trio of awards is the single most significant recognition ever bestowed on the property since production was resumed in 1986. "This emphasises the ability of the vineyards of Klein Constantia to produce top-end white, red and sweet wine." All grapes for the Estate range are grown on the property.

The major shift in focus of the past decade has been from the winery to the vineyards, with an ambitiously extensive and costly replanting programme now bearing fruit. Winemaker Adam Mason and viticulturist Stiaan Cloete are hugely gratified to see the results of this finally emerging in the wines, particularly the Cabernet, where consistent effort is required in the vineyards to keep leaf roll at bay.

"We are ecstatic and hugely encouraged by these results, as we firmly believe this property still has so much unlocked potential," says Mason. "The next few years will be crucial as we continue to navigate the path we set to achieve our goal of underpinning Klein Constantia's reputation as one of the Cape's great vineyards."

Platter 5-star glory for Hartenberg's The Mackenzie

Platter 5-star glory for Hartenberg's The Mackenzie

24 November 2010 by Hartenberg Estate

Hartenberg's classically crafted Bordeaux-style blend, The Mackenzie 2007, named after the family who have been the custodians of this Stellenbosch wine estate since 1986, has joined the exclusive Platter 5-star club.

Listed as a 5-star wine in the 2011 Platter's South African Wine Guide, the wine is described as follows: "Sultry, tight knit bramble fruits under a veil of fine-grained tannins, but dazzling fruit purity suggests immense please in time."

The Mackenzie 2007 is a richly structured blend of predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon (86%) with Merlot (7%) and Malbec (7%). The wine shows strong blackcurrant notes with delightful scents of violets and rich aromas of dark chocolate. The palate reveals a mélange of vanillin oak flavours imparted during 22 months in French Oak barrels intertwined with black and red fruit.

Winemaker Carl Schultz, known for making wines that can go the distance, recommends that you squirrel this wine away for eight to 12 years to allow it to reach its full potential.

With an impressive maturation cellar, South Africa's largest privately owned underground cellar with a capacity to hold around 150 000 bottles, Hartenberg is in the privileged position to hold back their red wines, allowing them to mature under ideal conditions prior to release.

Hartenberg Estate is situated on the Bottelary Road off the R304 to Stellenbosch. Open for tastings, picnic lunches and wetland walks from Mondays to Saturdays, but 7 days a week from December. Cellar tours are by appointment only.

Contact Tel: (021) 865-2541, email: or visit

Welbedacht Wine Estate Wellington Pinotage 2008 86+ Points

Welbedacht Wine Estate Wellington Pinotage 2008 86+ Points

Medium clear, bright, ruby red with purple rim, high concentration, high viscosity, no evidence of gas or sediment.

Clean, high plus intensity, very ripe plums, sultanas, Christmas fruitcake, dark stone fruit in eau de vie, rich and complex, earthy dark rocks minerals, generously wooded, spicy cloves, nutmeg, perhaps a combination of American & French oak?

Some hints of vegetative greenness appears after 36 hours of aeration, high alcohol, 14 ABV on label, could it be higher> 14.3?

Dry, confirms fruit, medium acidity (possibly acidified), medium plus tannins, high alcohol, confirms fruits, with plum compote and tamarind paste as new flavours, rich style, pure fruit, oak showy but well managed, unobtrusive, fine expression of a Wellington Ward Pinotage, without a doubt amongst the finest.

Served at 14 degrees Celsius, with a grilled medium rare aged beef rump nature, speckle of Maldon salts, mangetout, baby carrots in butter and roasted beetroot, clear jus, extra virgin olive Oil from Wellington.

Now until 2018+

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Piper-Heidsieck Rare 2002 Rated #1 Champagne by FINE Champagne Magazine's "100 Best Champagnes for 2011"

Piper-Heidsieck Rare 2002 Rated #1 Champagne by FINE Champagne Magazine's "100 Best Champagnes for 2011"

FINE Champagne Magazine, the only international publication devoted to champagne and a renowned industry authority, announces its list of the “100 Best Champagnes for 2011."

During the year 2010, the magazine’s editorial team assessed over 1000 champagnes that are now available on the markets. After the semifinal, three-day blind-tasting of the top 200 champagnes, the panel selected 30 champagnes that were blind-tasted again in the finals in Reims, Champagne. In the tasting, the most important criteria were the quality of the wine and the champagne’s accessibility today. When the results were tabulated, the top ten included many familiar names but the unanimous first place winner was Piper-Heidsieck Rare 2002.

“Rare was convincingly the winner of both our semi-final and finals. We have been impressed with the development in the quality of Piper-Heidsieck wines over the recent years and Rare’s performance was in line with that. Rare from the superb 2002 vintage is a phenomenal champagne; firm, vibrant, pure yet charming and layered. A prestige cuvée that would deserve to be much better known.” FINE Champagne Magazine editor Essi Avellan MW comments.

“Since 1976, the House has only released 8 vintages of Rare: 1976, 1979,1985, 1988, 1990, 1998 en Magnum, 1999 and 2002,” says Régis Camus, chef de caves and chief winemaker at Maison Piper-Heidsieck. “Piper-Heidsieck Rare 2002 is a glorious wine and I am honoured that it has been selected as the number one champagne in the world by FINE Champagne Magazine.”

This has been an extraordinary year for Piper-Heidsieck indeed. In September, London’s International Wine Challenge named Régis Camus “Sparkling Winemaker of the Year” for the fifth time. After joining the House in 1994, Camus became chef de caves in 2002. Only two years later, he was awarded this prestigious title for the first time in 2004 but went on to win again in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. Under his direction, the champagnes of Maison Piper-Heidsieck have risen to a new level of excellence.

Régis Camus' Charles Heidsieck Blanc des Millénaires 1995 and Charles Heidsieck Brut Vintage 2000 were also praised, earning the #3 and #4 spots respectively on FINE Champagne Magazine's prestigious list.

The full 100 Best Champagnes ranking can be read in the FINE Champagne Magazine coming out on November 26th. From January onwards the 100 Best Champagnes for 2011 will be available as an iPhone application.

TOP 10 Champagnes for 2011

1. Piper-Heidsieck Rare 2002
2. Dom Pérignon Rosé 2000
3. Charles Heidsieck Blanc des Millénaires 1995
4. Charles Heidsieck Vintage 2000
5. Louis Roederer Cristal Rosé 2002
6. Ruinart Dom Ruinart Rosé 1996
7. Dom Pérignon 2002
8. De Saint Gall Grand Cru Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs NV
9. Veuve Clicquot Vintage 2002
10. Chartogne-Taillet Fiacre NV

More information:

Click here and read the full article of The Best 100-Champagnes 2011.

Essi Avellan MW, editor, FINE Champagne Magazine
Tel: +358 (0)40 7197197

Pekka Nuikki, editor-in-chief, FINE Champagne Magazine
Tel: +358 (0)400 503 784

Wine Tasting for UNISA Alumni - Nelspruit



Nelspruit Wine tasting

The Emnotweni Sun Hotel was the ideal backdrop for the alumni wine tasting that took place on Saturday 15 May 2010 in Nelspruit.

The event kicked off with the tasting of a Raka rosé wine out on the terrace overlooking the beautiful hotel gardens.

Deputy Director, Mr Frankie Mojapelo from the Unisa Foundation and Alumni Relations offices welcomed the guests followed by a few words from Professor Mosoma who set the prefect atmosphere for the festivities to continue.

The wine tasting was conducted by Miguel Chan, the group sommelier for the Southern Sun group and the 6 wines tasted was enjoyed by everyone.

Each wine was accompanied by a tasty bite to complement and followed by dinner and of course, more wine.

The Goose Espression Upper Langkloof 2007 81 points

The Goose Espression Upper Langkloof 2007 81 points

Medium clear, bright, ruby dark cherry red, some evolution on the rim, high concentration, high viscosity, no evidence of gas, but slight traces of sediment (there is also traces of tannins deposit coating inside the bottle, might suggest a light filtration or unfined / unfiltered)

Clean aromatics, high intensity, ripe to overripe plums with tawny port note, very high alcohol, not integrated after 3 and half years, hints of raisins, leather, dried currants, with dry port character emerging with aeration.

Earthy dark fruit, almost “Volcanic soil” character, kind of Californian block busters, oaky style.

Dry, medium plus acidity (possibly acidified) high alcohol, medium plus tannins, but massaged, confirms fruit perceived with new flavors of preserved kumquat, prunes in Kirsch, the high alcohol creates a smooth texture expression, medium length, medium plus complexity.

Over The Top style, if only the grapes were picked earlier, less oak used, this would have been a wonderful food friendly wine.

Served at 13 degrees Celsius, with a spicy beef rump and Chorizo rougaille and braised cabbage.

Now until 2018 ( There is enough saturated fruit for the long haul……)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Two 5-star Platter rating for De Krans Ports

Two 5-star Platter rating for De Krans

22 November 2010 by De Krans Wine Cellar

It has certainly been a bumper year of achievements for De Krans Wine Cellar who was awarded two five-star ratings in the latest edition of the authoritative and internationally recognized 2011 Platters South African Wine Guide. These were awarded to its Cape Tawny Port NV and Cape Vintage Reserve Port 2008.

The De Krans Cape Tawny Port NV, in particular, has been a top achiever this year, earning a double gold at the 2010 Veritas Awards, a five-star rating from Wine Magazine as well as being crowned overall winner at the SAPPA Peter Port Schulz Challenge 2010. Coppery gold in colour, hence the name Tawny, the De Krans Cape Tawny Port is smooth on the palate with a coffee-toffee and nutty character. A perfect partner to brown onion soup, coffee and chocolates, the port is available nationwide and retails for approximately R95 per bottle.

Not to be outdone, the De Krans Cape Vintage Reserve Port 2008 also brought home the accolades scooping a gold medal at this year's Michelangelo International Wine Awards, as well as being crowned as the Overall Champion Wine at the 2010 Southern Cape Bottled Wine Show. Regarded as their flagship port, it is a vibrant plum colour, with dense aromas of prune, spice and tobacco, and has the potential to mature for a further 20 to 25 years. A fleshy, chewy mouthful of flavours, showing tannic grip, concentrated red fruit nuances, and a firm structure ensuring considerable longevity. Retailing for approximately R150 respectively, per bottle, savour this premium port on its own, or serve with stronger cheeses.

"We are extremely proud of this latest rating, as it is once again proves that De Krans continues to produce wines of excellent quality," says winemaker Boets Nel.

For more information on these or any other ports and wines in the De Krans range, feel free to visit their website at, or contact Helet Viljoen or Bessie Barnardo at the farm on (044) 213-3314.

Fleur du Cap is SA Producer of the Year at London IWSC

Fleur du Cap is SA Producer of the Year at London IWSC

Submitted by Wendy Bonthuys on 2010/11/19 11:05 AM

Fleur du Cap has been named South African Producer of the year at London’s 2010 International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) after winning two Best in Class Gold medals for the highly acclaimed Noble Late Harvest 2008 and 2009 vintages.

In another remarkable feat for this glorious botrytis dessert wine, the 2009 vintage has just been named White Wine of the Year in Platter’s South African Wines 2011, the country’s definitive wine guide.

In fact all four consecutive vintages, the 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 vintages are Platter 5-star stunners.

The Fleur du Cap winemaking team certainly appear to have the Midas touch, striking gold with their Noble Late Harvest in practically every competition it entered in 2010.

Both these vintages helped bring home the 2010 White Winemaker of the Year Trophy from London’s highly contested International Wine Challenge where Fleur du Cap triumphed as the South African cellar with the most gold medals.

On home ground, these two vintages both raked in Veritas Double Gold medals, the Oscars of South African wine competitions.

Aptly referred to as liquid gold by the winemaking team at Die Bergkelder in Stellenbosch headed by, Andrea Freeborough, who is assisted on the white wines by winemaker Pieter Badenhorst, Fleur du Cap Noble Late Harvest has earned its place as one of South Africa’s top dessert wines.

The IWSC aims to promote the quality and excellence of the world’s best wines, spirits and liqueurs. All the wines were tasted blind in groups divided by variety, region and vintage.

For more information, visit

Issued by: GC Communications
Contact: Gudrun Clark
Tel: 021 462 0520

On behalf of: Distell
Contact: Deidre Samson

Friday, November 19, 2010

Beyerskloof Faith 2007 84+ Points

Beyerskloof Faith 2007 84+ Points

Medium clear, bright russet red with slight garnet rim, medium plus concentration, medium plus viscosity, no evidence of gas or sediment.

Clean, medium plus intensity with notes of ripe strawberries, dark cherries and just ripe plum, wet earth note, peppery subtle oaking lending a spicy profile.

Dry, confirms fruit, juicy with leathery note, fleshy kind of crisp plums note, medium tannin, medium plus alcohol and medium acidity.

Overall medium complexity, massaged tannins, fresh with a delicate and elegant aftertaste, if only could have more X factor would have received higher rating.

For now until 2016, served at 13 degrees Celsius with a grilled ostrich in creamy green Madagascar peppercorn sauce
Blend of Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon (30%), Merlot (30%), Shiraz & Pinotage

Thursday, November 18, 2010



Reyneke, South Africa’s first biodynamic vineyard and winery, and Graham Beck Wines were the big winners at the Nedbank Green Wine Awards held in Cape Town today.

The awards – held in association with Wine magazine - promote environmentally friendly wines and are given in two categories – for the Best Organic Wine as well as the Best Environmental Practice Award.

Following international trends, more South African consumers are trying organic wines for both health reasons and because it makes sense to support wineries that farm sustainably for the benefit of future generations and vineyard productivity.

The Reyneke Woolworths Chenin Blanc 2009 was voted the Best Organic Wine. It also won in the best white wine category, while the Reyneke Reserve Red 2007 was tops in the best red wine category. The best natural sweet award went to the Stellar Heaven on Earth Natural Sweet.

The Best Environmental Practice Award went to Graham Beck Wines, while the runner up was Paul Cluver.

The Reyneke label was created in 1998 when Johan Reyneke took over the farming activities from his mother and produced the first wines on the family farm, Uitzicht near Stellenbosch. Reyneke has gone one step beyond organic, and farms and produces his wines in accordance with biodynamic principles: “The intention is to interfere as little as possible, to allow nature to be the real maker of the wine and to truly produce terroir specific wines of the highest quality,” he says.

Stellar Winery, South Africa's largest producer of fine organic wines, processes just over 4 500 tons of organic grapes for the South African and export markets. It was the first organic winemaking operation in the world to gain the coveted Fairtrade certification and the first cellar in Africa to produce commercially viable no-sulphur-added wines. Stellar has subsequently become the largest producer of these wines in the world and is the number one organic wine brand in the UK.

Graham Beck Wines has been acknowledged for restoring and preserving large areas of all three major vegetation types found in the Cape Floral Kingdom - fynbos, renosterveld and succulent karoo on its Robertson estate. Their conservation management plan has earned them Champion status with the Biodiversity and Wine Initiative. Today 4.4 ha of land is allocated to conservation for every1ha farmed. Although their Franschhoek property faces different challenges, a complete environmental plan is already underway to produce wine with a minimum impact on the environment.

Paul Cluver Wines is a founder of the world’s first Wine and Biodiversity Route, situated around the Groenland Mountain. This 2 000+ hectare estate forms part of the UNESCO world heritage site, the Kogelberg Biosphere. Half of the estate has been set aside for conservation in perpetuity. It is also the initiator and mentor of Thandi Wines - SA's first black economic empowerment wine brand and the world's first Fairtrade wine brand.

Organic viticulture can be defined as grape growing that shuns man-made pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or fertilisers. Winners for the Best Organic Wine were made from 2010 or earlier vintages, or blends of various vintages. Wines were accompanied by a valid certification, such as that issued by the Société Générale de Surveillance (SGS), an internationally recognised organic accreditation body.

Judges for the best organic wines were Christian Eedes (chair), Miguel Chan (Southern Sun sommelier), Allan Mullins (Cape Wine Master), Ginette De Fleuriot (Cape Wine Master) and Rianie Strydom (Haskell Vineyards winemaker).

The Nedbank Green Wine Awards Best Environmental Practice Award was open to all farms with the minimum requirement for entry being a 70 percent rating from the Integrated Production of Wine (IPW), the voluntary environmental sustainability scheme established in 1998. Organic certification is also accepted for entry into this category, but must be accompanied by several government authorisation documents such as water use authorisations and plough permits.

The judges for the Best Environmental Practice Award were Inge Kotze (project coordinator of the Biodiversity and Wine Initiative), Lourens van Schoor (head of Enviroscientific, auditing body for the IPW), Tom McLaughlin (good business journey Specialist at Woolworths) and Johan Reyneke (Reyneke bio-dynamic wines in Stellenbosch).

Nedbank’s sponsorship of the Green Wine Awards further supports its aim to be the leading “green” bank. Nedbank has a long history of involvement in the wine industry including its 14 year sponsorship of the Cape Winemakers Guild (CWG) and its involvement in the CWG Development Trust helping families of farm workers. The Nedbank Green Trust has been pivotal since 2004 in establishing the Biodiversity Wine Initiative, which is aimed at encouraging responsible land usage and farming within the wine industry.

“By sponsoring these pioneering awards we aim to increase awareness of organic, environmentally responsible options for consumers so that they can make more informed wine choices. These awards also recognise winemakers who are making a difference and encourage environmentally sustainable farming,” says Greg Garden, Group Brand Executive for Nedbank.

"The green initiative is about attaining balance in the natural world. With good quality wines the quest is also one of finding balance, and with ‘green’ wines in particular we strive to achieve more by doing less, or at least disrupting less," explained Wine's publishing editor, Cathryn Henderson.

More information about the Nedbank Green Wine Awards and interviews with the winning winemakers can be found in December’s issue of Wine magazine on sale now.


Issued by On behalf of
Total Exposure The Nedbank Green Wine Awards
T: 011 788 8725
F: 011 8801205
Janine Walker
083 600 9753


South Africa has a unique wine heritage with the oldest viticultural soils in the world. It is also the most biodiverse place on earth with more than 9 600 plants. Currently 90 percent of exporting producers representing 95 percent of grapes harvested have joined the scheme, demonstrating to consumers worldwide that the country is serious when it comes to sound environmental practices.

Biodynamic Agriculture is an approach to sustainable agriculture that is based on the philosophy of Rudolph Steiner. Steiner built up his knowledge from keen observation of plant and animal forms, of traditional peasant practice, and from scientific study and deep spiritual research.

Biodynamic farmers use a range of specially formulated herbal, mineral and organic preparations to enhance the soil, boost plant and animal life and increase fertility. They develop farms into unique and distinct individualities that use the minimum of external inputs to produce high quality food, fibre and timber with no negative impact on the environment. The farmers work with natural and cosmic cycles, rhythms and forces that regulate all life on earth to create a harmonious whole.

Biodynamic agriculture shares the organic view, and holds the assumption that farmers can further enhance the resistance of their crops by reinforcing their built in defences against pests as well as improve quality of produce through a holistic farming method.
The differences between these approaches can be illustrated by the way in which they deal with one of the most basic challenges farmers face: weeds.

In a conventional vineyard weeds are seen as competition for nutrients and moisture that the vines desperately need. They are controlled in the quickest and most cost effective way: herbicides.

The organic grower still sees weeds as competition for the vines, but prefers to remove them in a mechanical way or if it needs be with “soft” organically certifiable herbicides.
In the biodynamic vineyard weeds have a purpose and a sense of place. They are indicative of the farming practice that has taken place in that specific area.

Platter’s South African Wines 2011 Guide – 5 Stars wines

Platter’s South African Wines 2011 Guide – 5 Stars wines

South Africa’s favourite wine adviser, returns with info packed, Sustainability-themed, where more than 800 producers and brands were reviewed, including 58 newcomers and well over 6000 locally grown wines
The 2011 edition shows a record 58 wines being awarded five-star, including 10 by established producers with no previous five star awards, namely Delaire Graff Estate, Hermanuspietersfontein, Julien Schaal, Lammershoek Winery, Reyneke Wines, Shannon Vineyards, Stellenrust, Strandveld Wines, Topiary Wines and Zewenwacht and one newcomer to the guide, Botanica Wines.

Of the five-star awarded wines, the red and white which receives the most votes from the judging panel are named Platter’s Wines of the year.

2011 Red Wine of The Year is De Trafford Shiraz 2008, described as “pure hedonism” and promising outstanding development over the next decade whilst the White Wine of The Year is Fleur du Cap Bergkelder Selection Noble Late Harvest 2009, made from mainly Chenin Blanc and notes as “arresting”, with astounding balance of ripe fruit and crisp acidity.

In an ongoing focus on highlighting value for money, Platter’s tasters identify a number of entry level wines which are exceptionally drinkable and well priced and the Superquaffer of the year is Nederburg Lyric 2010, an off dry blend of Chenin, Sauvignon and Chardonnay.

Nederburg Wines - 2011 Platter South African Wine Guide Winery of the Year

1 - Red Wine of The Year is De Trafford Stellenbosch Shiraz 2008

2 - White Wine of The Year is Fleur du Cap Bergkelder Selection Coastal
Region blend Noble Late Harvest 2009
Superquaffer of the year is Nederburg Western Cape blend Lyric 2010

The Five-Star for 2011 are:

Cabernet Sauvignon

3 - Boekenhoutskloof Franschhoek Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
4 - Delaire Graff Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2008
5 - Kanonkop Estate Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
6 - Klein Constantia Estate Constantia Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
7 - Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
8 - Le Riche CWG Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Auction Reserve 2007

Grenache Noir

9 - Neil Ellis Vineyard Selections Piekenierskloof Grenache 2008

Pinot Noir

10 - Meerlust Estate Stellenbosch Pinot Noir 2008
11 - Newton Johnson Domaine Upper Hemel en Aarde Valley Pinot Noir 2009


12 - Beyerskloof Stellenbosch Diesel Pinotage 2008


13 - Boschendal Cecil John Reserve Coastal Region Blend Shiraz 2008
14 - Eagle’s Nest Constantia Shiraz 2008
15 - Haskell Pillars Stellenbosch Shiraz 2008
16 - Rijk’s Private Cellar Tulbagh Shiraz 2005
17 - Saxenburg Select Limited Release Stellenbosch Shiraz 2006


18 - Shannon Vineyards Mount Bullet Elgin Merlot 2008

Red Blends

19 - Ernie Els Signature Stellenbosch 2007
20 - Graham Beck Ad Honorem Robertson 2007
21 - Hartenberg Estate The Mackenzie Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot 2007
22 - Nederburg Ingenuity Red Western Cape Blend 2007
23 - Reyneke Reserve Red Stellenbosch (Biodynamic) 2008
24 - Spier Frans K.Smit Stellenbosch 2006
25 - Vergelegen Red Stellenbosch 2005


26 - Groot Constantia Estate Gouverneurs Reserve Constantia Chardonnay 2009
27 - Julien Schaal Elgin Chardonnay 2009
28 - Mulderbosch Stellenbosch Chardonnay 2008
29 - Rustenberg Five Soldiers Stellenbosch Chardonnay 2008

Chenin Blanc

30 - Botanica Coastal Region Blend Chenin Blanc 2009
31 - Stellenrust “45” Barrel Fermented Stellenbosch Chardonnay 2009

Grenache Blanc

32 - The Foundry Coastal Region Blend Grenache Blanc 2009

Sauvignon Blanc

33 - Graham Beck Pheasant’s Run Coastal Region Blend Sauvignon Blanc 2010
34 - Klein Constantia Estate Perdeblokke Constantia Sauvignon Blanc 2009
35 - Kleine Zalze Family Reserve Coastal Region Blend Sauvignon Blanc 2009
36 - The Berrio Elim Sauvignon Blanc 2009
37- Zewenwacht 360 degrees Stellenbosch Sauvignon Blanc 2009

White Blends

38 - Cape Point Vineyards Isliedh Cape Point 2009
39 - Hermanuspietersfontein Die Bartho Walker Bay 2009
40 - Lammershoek Roulette Blanc Swartland 2009
41 - Nederburg Ingenuity White Western Cape Blend 2009
42 - Nederburg Sauvignon Blanc-Chardonnay Western Cape Blend Private Bin D253
43 - Rall White Coastal Region Blend 2009
44 - Sadie Family Palladius Swartland 2009
45 - Steenberg Vineyards Magna Carta Constantia 2009
46 - Steenberg Vineyards CWG Auction Reserve Constantia The Magus 2009
47 - Strandveld Adamastor Elim 2009
48 - Tokara Director’s Reserve White Stellenbosch 2009

Methode Cap Classique Sparkling Wine

49 - Topiary Blanc de Blancs Brut Franschhoek 2008
50 - Villiera Monro Brut Stellenbosch 2005

Dessert Wine, Unfortified

51 - Fairview La Beryl Blanc Paarl 2009
52 - Klein Constantia Estate Vin de Constance Constantia 2006
53 - Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Noble Late Harvest Western Cape Blend 2009
54 - Nederburg Private Bin Edelkeur Paarl 2009


55 - Boplaas Cape Vintage Reserve Calitzdorp 2008
56 - De Krans Cape Vintage Reserve Calitzdorp 2008
57 - De Krans Cape Tawny Calitzdorp NV
58 - JP Bredell Cape Vintage Reserve Stellenbosch 2007

Tasters for 2011 Platter South African Wine Guide Edition:

Michael Fridjhon, Angela Lloyd, Master of Wine Cathy van Zyl, Cape Wine Masters Winnie Bowman, Greg de Bruyn, Tim James, Christine Rudman, Meryl Weaver & David Biggs, Miguel Chan, Christian Eedes, Higgo Jacobs, Fiona McDonald, Ingrid Motteux, Khuselo Mputa, Jorg Pfutzner, James Pietersen & Dave Swingler.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010



Van Ryn’s distillery close to Stellenbosch has just earned its third consecutive Best Brandy trophy at the 2010 International Spirits Challenge in London. This time, the honours for producing the world’s best brandy went to the 15 Year Old Fine Cask Reserve.

Said Neil Mathieson, competition category chairman for cognac, armagnac and brandy entries: “Awarding the Best Brandy Trophy was a very hard choice this year, given the excellence of the products submitted and the very high marks they achieved. In the end the decision to award the trophy to Van Ryn's 15 Year Old was made in recognition of its great length, subtlety and depth of flavour.”

Mathieson, who is a world authority on international brandies and other grape-based spirits, and the founder and managing director of Eaux de Vie, a specialist spirits importer, based in the UK, believes South African brandies are becoming the standard-bearer for quality aged brandied produced outside the AOC regions of France.

In 2008 and 2009, it was the Van Ryn's 12 Year Old Distillers Reserve that was voted the best by the panel of ISC spirits specialists.

Van Ryn’s has also brought home the Worldwide Best Brandy trophy from the International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC) three times, making it a total of six times that the distillery has been judged to produce the best.

Adele Ankiewicz, global marketing manager for Van Ryn’s said: “These results demonstrate a remarkable consistency of performance and are a reflection of South African brandy excellence.

The Van Ryn’s Brandy Collection is an international quality leader, setting the benchmark for the finest brandies in the world. It deftly combines exuberant, generous fruitiness with elegance and finesse and offers an exciting taste profile for spirits connoisseurs.”

This year’s ISC Best Brandy winner was voted the best in its class at the IWSC and won a gold medal.


Kind regards

Marlise Potgieter
De Kock Communications (DKC)
Tel: +27 21 422 2690
Fax/Faks: +27 86 610 5388
Cell/Sel: +27 72 562 5307



Allerverloren has earned Sweden’s highest wine honour with fifth-generation Swartland winemaker Danie Malan chosen as International Producer of the Year in an annual competition held under the auspices of Alt Om Mat, one of Sweden’s foremost lifestyle magazines.

Although Sweden is one of South Africa’s major export markets, this is the first time in the 53-year history of the award that it has gone to a South African winemaker.

Allesverloren was selected by a team of five top Swedish wine writers, achieving the highest scores in an evaluation that began with all 4 200 wines available in the country offered through the retail monopoly Systembolaget. All wines were tasted blind.

Malan, who was up against finalists from Italy and Germany, flew to Stockholm to receive his award, the Golden Glass, which he accepted on Friday, November 12. The goblet is a symbol of the highest level of achievement in Sweden and is also given to Nobel Prize winners.

He was praised by the panel for the excellence of Allesverloren wines in general but also his pioneering of the use of traditional port varietals to make classically styled natural red table wines.

Sweden is Allesverloren’s biggest export market. Four of the five wines produced on this estate on the slopes of the Kasteelberg in the Swartland – three reds and a port – are sold in Sweden where they have fast grown in popularity. Of the three reds, two – the Touriga Nacional and Tinta Barocca - are made from what are primarily port cultivars. Allesverloren is one of the very few domestic producers using these to make natural table wines.

These wines are also highly rated in South Africa, with the Touriga Nacional recently winning gold at Veritas.

The Swartland is currently regarded as one of the Cape’s highest-potential wine-growing regions by many observers and was recently highlighted in the internationally distributed US weekly, TIME magazine.


Kind regards

Marlise Potgieter
De Kock Communications (DKC)
Tel: +27 21 422 2690
Fax/Faks: +27 86 610 5388
Cell/Sel: +27 72 562 5307



Nederburg has been chosen as the Winery of the Year in the Platter South African Wine Guide, with an unprecedented five of its wines across the multi-tiered range earning five-star ratings in the 2011 edition.

The accolade, that the guide calls its “Super Award”, is given “in recognition of a winegrowing team, who in the opinion of the editor, are ambassadors par excellence for South African wine”.

In addition to its quintet of five-star wines, Nederburg also produced Platter’s best overall value and easy-drinking, “Superquaffer of the Year”, underscoring the Paarl producer’s versatility in catering to a broad spectrum of winelovers.

The five-star wines are:
- 2009 Ingenuity White, the third vintage in succession to earn a Platter five-star rating
- 2007 Ingenuity Red, Nederburg’s Italian blend
- 2009 Winemaster’s Reserve Noble Late Harvest
- 2009 Edelkeur sold exclusively on the Nederburg Auction
- 2009 Private Bin D253 Sauvignon Blanc/Chardonnay, also sold exclusively on the Nederburg Auction.

Nederburg’s hugely popular 2010 Foundation Lyric is Platter’s “Superquaffer”.

Cellarmaster Razvan Macici says: “Earning the title of Platter’s 2011 Winery of the Year is the most fantastic way of marking my first decade on the farm.

It is a true tribute to the collective efforts of the winegrowing and winemaking team. We have made expression of terroir a priority and we have tried to produce consistently delicious, well-balanced wines.

“Nederburg is South Africa’s most awarded winery but the Platter accolades largely eluded us until a few years ago. I cannot even begin to describe to you what this achievement represents to us: our viticulturists, our farm management and those of us in the cellar.

The Platter guide enjoys enormous respect locally and internationally, and for many is the first and sometimes only reference in identifying noteworthy wines”.

In the 2010 edition of the guide, Nederburg earned two five-star ratings. These went to the 2008 vintage of the Winemaster’s Reserve Noble Late Harvest and the Ingenuity White.

Macici works with Tariro Masayiti, who makes the white wines under his direction, and Wilhelm Pienaar, who similarly makes the reds, while Hannes van Rensburg and Henk van Graan are responsible for the vineyards supplying Nederburg.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Ernie Els Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 83+ Points

Ernie Els Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 83+ Points

Clear, day bright, ruby red with purple rim, medium plus concentration, high viscosity, no evidence of gas or sediment.

Clean, medium plus intensity, slight alcohol burn (14.5 ABV) pure Cabernet fruit, ripe, cassis, currant, blackberries, sweet plum, Hoisin sauce, slight jaminess and overripe porty fruit, granite minerals, quite oaky with sweet vanillin and cedar wood, dark chocolate.

Dry to off dry (3+ grams RS?), confirms fruits, but touch sweetness detract from a classic Cabernet, rich style, massaged tannins, wood spice evident, very ripe New World style, low plus tannin, high alcohol, medium acidity (probably acidified), medium complexity, now until 2016.

Served at 12 / 13 degrees Celsius with a rich oxtail stew, thicken with bone marrow.

Slightly OTT style, little more freshness, dryness and perhaps earlier picked as there is lots of “dead fruit” as the wine aerates, would have produce a much higher rating and a more food friendly wine!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

South Africa Top 10 Methode Cap Classique Sparklin Wine of 2010

South Africa's Top 10 Methode Cap Classique Sparkling Wine of 2010

South Africa's Top 10 Methode Cap Classique Sparkling Wine of 2010

1 - Bon Courage Estate Jacques Bruere Blanc de Blancs 2007 - Robertson - Best Blancs de Blanc - Overall Winner - Winner in 2004 Challenge also.

2 - Kumkani Infiniti Brut 2004 - Stellenbosch - Best Vintage MCC

3 - Topiary Blanc de Blancs 2008 - Franschhoek

4 - Pongracz Brut NV - Western Cape Blends- Best Non Vintage MCC

5 - Bon Courage Estate Jacques Bruere Blanc de Blancs 2006 - Robertson

6 - Bon Courage Estate Jacques Bruere Blanc de Blancs 2007 - Robertson

7 - Pongracz Rose NV - Western Cape Blends - Best Rose MCC

8 - Colmant Cap Classique Brut Reserve NV - Western Cape Blends

9 - Moreson Pinot Noir & Chardonnay 2007 - Franschhoek

10 - Colmant Cap Classique Brut Chardonnay NV - Western Cape Blends

Past Winners of Cap Classique Challenge

2009 - Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel Brut 2005
2008 - JC Le Roux Pinot Noir Rose 2006
2007 - Graham Beck Brut Pinot Noir & Chardonnay 1994 (Magnum)
2006 - Desiderius Pongratz 2001
2005 - Laborie Blanc de Blancs 2000
2004 - Bon Courage Jacques Bruere Brut Reserve 2000
2003 - Weltevrede Estate Philip Jonker Brut 1999
2002 - Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel Brut 1999

* Average price of all MCC assessed arew 18 USD per bottle, Retail

Schroder & Schyler Private Reserve Pauillac AC 2007 87+ - 89+ Points

Schroder & Schyler Private Reserve Pauillac AC 2007 87+ - 89+ Points

Medium clear, bright, ruby red with slight purple rim, medium plus concentration and medium plus viscosity, no evidence of gas or sediment.

Clean, medium plus intensity with notes of blackcurrant, cassis, and earthy stony profile, subtly wooded, French oak evident, spicy cedar wood and tobacco, complex.

Dry, confirms fruit with new flavors of blueberry, plums, medium plus tannins, medium alcohol, medium plus acidity, medium plus complexity, savoury black cherry, lingering.

Good Pauillac profile, now with some decanting or keep until 2018+

Served at 14 degrees Celsius with a pan roasted Pigeon, broad beans salad and spicy micro herbs

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Miguel Chan Vice Echanson du Bailliage de Johannesburg

I am please to annouce that on Monday Night 8th of November I was officially inducted as the "Vice-Echanson du Bailliage de Johannesburg".
Confrerie de la Chaine des Rotisseurs, Association Mondiale de la Gastronomie.
The Inducting Ceremony was held at Punchinello's the Venetian theme restaurant at the New Southern Sun Hotel, Montecasino, Fourways, Johannesburg.

New addition to the Rose landscape in South Africa

Some more decent Rose from France now available in South Africa, but Domaine Ott will and always remain a benchmark, arguable the world’s finest Rose, especially the Coeur de Grain, however the range below represented by Marianne Vaz, offers exceptional value and amazing freshness with a sense of place and with the South African summer behind the door, no better time to indulge and spoil yourself with a great glass of wine.


Variety of grapes - Grenache, Cinsault, Semillon, Ugni-blanc
Flavour - honey, lemon, red fruits, lightly spiced aromas,
Sugar - 1.7 g/l


Variety of grapes - Grenache, Cinsault, Tibouren, Syrah
Flavour - blackberry, strawberry, red fruits provencal,
Sugar - 2.6 g/l
AOC wine of guaranteed vintage


Variety of grapes - Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Carignan, Tibouren, Mourvedre.
Flavour - blackcurrant, blackberry, pepper, cinnamon, vanilla,
Sugar - 1.2 g/l
AOC wine of guaranteed vintage

Perfect with a genuine Salade Nicoise or as an aperitif, this summer.
Who says that Rose wine cannot be sophisticated?

Paul Cluver Estate Vertical Tasting at Intercontinental Sandton Towers 18 & 19 November 2010

Monday, November 8, 2010

Welbedacht Wine Estate Wellington Sauvignon Blanc 2010 81 points

Welbedacht Wine Estate Wellington Sauvignon Blanc 2010 81 points

Clear,day bright, pale straw with slight green tinge, medium concentration & viscosity, no sediment, but evidence of CO2.

Clean, medium plus intensity with notes of just ripe pears, white grapefruit, green peach, citrus zest and kiwi with subtle hints of river bed minerality, un oaked.

Dry to off dry, medium acidity, medium alcohol, new flavours of fleshy rhubarb, aragula leaf & spicy white pepper, some mid palate structure due to CO2 injection.
Broad palate texture but low plus complexity & lenght, medium finish, 12.5 ABV, drink now at around 10 degrees Celsius, great as an aperitif or lunch time with a plum tomato salad, light peppered balsamic dressing and torn fresh basil leaves, will hold until 2014.

2010 is the first time a Sauvignon Blanc is released under the Welbedacht Wine Estate by Schalk Burger & Sons label, 100 % Wellington / Estate grown fruit

Label of Certified Integrity & Sustainibility by Wine & Spirits board

About Wellington Sauvignon Blanc:

Have yet to prove they can match the aura & complexity of established Sauvignon Blanc regions, districts and wards of the Cape Wine lands, such as Constantia, Cape Point, Durbanville Elgin, Walker Bay, Cederberg, Elim, Cape Agulhas, Groenekloof and greater Darling, Outeniqua, as well as some pocket of Stellenbosch such as Polkadraai Hills, Bottelary, Simonsberg & Jonkershoek valley.

The inland Wellington area is way too hot to preserve the right level of Methoxypyrazines, they get burn off by the growing season heat, hence producing more tropical fruit driven with low to medium acidity rather than the pungent Sauvignon profile of moderate climate with medium to high acidity, of established region above.

Perhaps the Wellington ward is better suited to Chenin Blanc and Viognier as some excellent example have come through over the last few years!

More on the red wine of Wellington in the near future

Thursday, November 4, 2010



Steenberg Vineyards, established in 1682, is one of the global winners of the Great Wine Capitals Best of Wine Tourism Awards. This was announced in Christchurch, New Zealand today (November 4) at a gala event attended by high-level members of the wine tourism industry from South Africa, Europe, North America, Latin America and New Zealand.

The farm, in the historic Constantia Valley, emerged as one of the competition’s top-line international winners, having won two of the seven categories in South Africa, namely architecture, parks and gardens, and wine tourism services.

In addition to the winery, Steenberg runs a fine-dining restaurant, a bistro, a five-star luxury hotel and conference centre and a championship golf course.

Amongst its offerings are terroir walks that highlight the farm’s unique wine-growing location and climatic conditions; the opportunity to taste wines still in the tank or barrel, and innovative food and wine pairing options.

Steenberg joins the other global winners of the nine participating countries, which saw 80% of entries coming from altogether new players this time. They are Yealands Estate in the South Island’s Marlborough region, New Zealand’s largest carbon-neutral certified winery that made international headlines for using miniature sheep to keep the vineyard’s grass and weeds in check; Villa Vignamaggio, one of the oldest wine estates in the heart of Chianti Classico between Florence and Siena, dating back to 15th century Renaissance times; the highly regarded Bordeaux Supérieur property in the Haut Medoc, Chateau Paloumey that regularly exhibits paintings and sculptures; the Wine Oil Spa Hotel Villa de Laguardia set in the vineyards in a medieval town in the heart of the Rioja; Porto’s Quinta Aveleda, a 300-year-old family-owned estate and one of Portugal’s leading producers; the luxurious Hyatt Regency on the banks of the Rhine in Mainz that integrates a 19th century building with 21st century architecture; Conn Creek Winery on the scenic Silverado Trail in Napa Valley that promotes the region’s Cabernet wines; and the Bodega Diam Andes, a member of the high-profile Clos de los Siete partnership of wineries in Mendoza, whose driving force is French winemaker Michel Rolland.

The nine will all carry the title as their countries’ Best of Wine Tourism winners for 2011. The international network of wine capitals, in addition to Cape Town/Cape Winelands, includes Bilbao-Rioja (Spain), Bordeaux (France), Florence (Italy), Mainz (Germany), Mendoza (Argentina), Porto (Portugal) and San Francisco-Napa (United States) and most recently, New Zealand’s Christchurch.

Last year’s global winner from South Africa, Rust en Vrede, which was then also ranked one of the two best restaurants across the network, has this time won the local restaurant category. The restaurant, which also features in the 2010 San Pellegrino World’s Top 100 Best Restaurants worldwide, is run by chef David Higgs and sommelier Neil Grant.

Other winners from South Africa were Delaire Graff Lodges & Spa, situated on the Helshoogte Mountain Pass, for offering the best accommodation; Grande Provence Heritage Wine Estate in Franschhoek (arts and culture); Warwick Estate on the Simonsberg (innovative wine tourism experiences) and Waverley Hills, between Tulbagh and Wolseley (sustainable wine tourism practices).

Clarence Johnson, deputy mayor of the Winelands District Municipality and immediate past president of the Great Wine Capitals organisation, said the South African judges had been impressed by the ongoing rise in standards in local offerings.

“Western Cape wine tourism practitioners can stand proud alongside their international competitors. They do not take for granted the competitive advantage of being located in what must rank as amongst the most beautiful winelands anywhere in the world, nor that most of our wine regions are within easy reach of one another, as well as being close to Cape Town.

“They have recognised that we still are a long-haul destination for many international tourists. That makes us keep on trying harder. It’s evident in the constant innovation amongst producers, as well as the progress from year to year in the already excellent standard of our wine experiences.”

“The recognition of our best wine tourism offerings also adds to the critical acclaim received since the FIFA World Cup.”

Note to the editor

The Cape Town/Cape Winelands winners representing South Africa are:
Wine tourism services Winner: Steenberg Vineyards (International)
Architecture, parks and gardens Winner: Steenberg Vineyards

Tel: +27 21 713 2211
Fax: +27 21 713 2201
Steenberg Vineyards, Steenberg Road, Constantia 7945, South Africa

The property comprises a winery, wine tasting facility and offers cellar door sales, restaurant and Steenberg Hotel. The buildings on the property were designed by Richard Perfect Architects.

Wine tourism restaurant Winner: Rust en Vrede Restaurant

Tel: +27 21 881 3757
Fax: +27 21 881 3000
Annandale Road, Stellenbosch

Located in what was once the barrel cellar and is now a national monument, its kitchen is in full view of the dining room. Chef David Higgs and sommelier Neil Grant create an experience that has brought the restaurant several key international awards.

Accommodation Winner: Delaire Graff Lodges & Spa

Tel: +27 21 885 8160
Fax: +27 21 885 1270
Helshoogte, Stellenbosch, 7602

Situated on the crest of the Helshoogte Mountain Pass linking Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, the estate has one of the leading boutique hotels in the region. It offers luxury accommodation and exhibits a collection of South African art.

Art and culture Winner: Grande Provence Heritage Wine Estate

Tel: +27 21 876 8600
Fax: +27 21 876 8601
Main Road, Franschhoek, 7690

Located in the heart of the picturesque Franschhoek Valley, the estate’s gallery is a leading  location for contemporary South African art.

Innovative wine tourism experiences Winner: Warwick Estate

Tel: +27 21 884 4410
Fax: +27 21 884 4025
R44 between Stellenbosch and Klapmuts

A family-owned winery, Warwick offers the Big Five Wine Safari™ through the vineyards, as well as, tasting/cellar tours with educated and knowledgeable staff, Gourmet Picnics™ with ingredients that are sourced locally and packaging that is environmentally friendly.

Sustainable wine tourism practices Winner: Waverley Hills

Tel: +27 23 231 0002
Fax: +27 23 231 0004
Off the R46 between Tulbagh and Wolseley

Waverley Hills offers a unique and organic experience where one can learn more about organic farming and the natural fauna and flora that surrounds the estate. It is the first organic wine producer to achieve the Biodiversity & Wine Initiative Champion status. It also runs a fynbos nursery and sells organic wine and olive products in the tasting room.


Kind regards

Marlise Potgieter
De Kock Communications (DKC)
Tel: +27 21 422 2690
Fax/Faks: +27 86 610 5388
Cell/Sel: +27 72 562 5307

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Definition of a natural wine

Definition of a natural wine…………..

Designed to present the character of the place, grapes and growing season responsible for it as faithfully as possible.

Site specificity is a key bonus after all we want to drink wine with a sense of place and not a mass produced soft drink.....

It is likely to have been made in a small quantities by an individualists, grown either organically or biodynamically (although it may well not have been certified as such).

Not interventionist approach in the cellar, hands off man, resist the temptation……… Please……..

No added yeast, just those present in the vineyard and cellar.

No physical manipulations such as pumping over oxygen through the wine to soften it or filtering it to rid it of alcohol or water (the famous black or green snake….) no make up, no Botox.

Naked wine as pure as it gets!

No added sugar, grape concentrate, acid, tannin or preservative, other than minimal levels of sulphur.

Most are not aware that Sulphur is a natural by product of fermentation, so all wines contain some, but in general the reds will have under 10mg/l and whites under 20mg/l of sulphur dioxide, less than a tenth of maximum levels allowed!

Will be interesting to see how many wines fits in the above……..

Monday, November 1, 2010

Remhoogte Estate Simonsberg Stellenbosch Merlot Reserve 2007 91 Points

Remhoogte Estate Simonsberg Stellenbosch Merlot Reserve 2007 91 Points

Ripe plum note, blackberry and red fruits of the forest, massively built with concentrated pure fruit, well supported by fragrant oak imparting vanillin and spicy texture, powerful structure, conceiling it’s 15% ABV very well, enough acidity to support, akind to a very ripe Pomerol in a hot vintage.

A style not for the faint hearted, but has it’s place in the vinous world, will reward cellaring over the next 8 years, for now requires at least 6 hours aerating, possibly double decanted.

Best served at 12 degrees Celsius, with well hung game bird, venison such as ostrich or roasted goose.

Exceptional value at R 185 cellar door price, i.e a third the price of a good Pomerol!
South African wines over delivers in value once again