Friday, March 30, 2012

South African wine company beats top international companies in Environmental Ethical Awards

South African Wine business, DGB (Pty) Ltd, was awarded the prestigious Ethical Award in the Drinks Business magazine “Green Awards” for their rural carbon offset program in an awards ceremony held in London last night.

Now in its second year, the Drinks Business Green Awards is an international competition between drinks companies worldwide and rewards leadership on environment, sustainability and climate change. “It is an amazing achievement for a South African company to be named as one of the three finalists along with  US wine giant E & J Gallo and Ty Nant Welsh Spring Water, but to then win the gold medal was great news and recognises all the work that has gone into this facet of our business “ says Jacques Roux, Marketing Director for DGB(Pty) Ltd South Africa.

The goal is for DGB to become a carbon neutral company, and their concept involves the local underprivileged communities with a successful bamboo planting project, which has numerous uses that will create a business & income for these rural communities while offsetting their carbon footprint. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Avondale takes home an international environmental award at Drinks Business Green Awards 2012

From left to right: Johnathan Grieve (Avondale Proprietor), Carlos de Jesus (Amorim Director of Marketing & Communication )

Avondale, the family-owned and run wine farm near Paarl, has been awarded the sought-after Amorim Environmental Award at the prestigious Drinks Business Green Awards, which was held at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower in London on Monday, the 26 March 2012.

The Drinks Business Green Awards is the world’s largest programme to raise awareness on green issues and reward those leading the way in terms of sustainability and environmental performance.

Avondale was awarded the Amorim Environmental Award for its outstanding environmental initiatives. Sponsored by cork-manufacturer Amorim, the accolade is awarded to a wine brand or marketing campaign that demonstrates consideration for the environment as part of its inherent ethos. Entries are judged on adherence to natural solutions, environmentally-friendly pest control, recycling plans, renewable energy utilisation and reduction of waste. Further criteria take into account the eco-credentials of the packaging and promotional materials.

Avondale’s environmental initiatives that contributed towards it receiving this accolade include:

• Pioneering the BioLOGIC® methodology that incorporates certified organic, biodynamic and scientific farming principles in order to create living systems naturally.

• Encouraging biodiversity as a primary indicator of the environment’s health.

• The use of natural predators to combat pests.

• Development of tools to receive continuous feedback on its ecosystem’s health, including the use of Leaf Sap instruments which monitor the vines in real time.

• Avondale makes use of a natural waste system: a three-dam system interlinked by spiralling channels of reeds to emulate the way water is cleansed in rivers.

• An ongoing programme to clear alien vegetation and plant indigenous trees.

• The use of FSC-accredited natural cork closures as closure of preference. Avondale’s green packaging includes biodegradable, recyclable tin capsules for closures; polystyrene-free recycled boxes; non-polystyrene inners and 100% recyclable gift bags. Avondale’s promotional material is either digital or printed on recycled paper.

Johnathan Grieve, proprietor of Avondale and finalist in the Drinks Business Personality Award category, says: “It is extremely rewarding to see that a world-renowned publication such as the Drinks Business is actively seeking to recognize the dedication of those in the industry in minimising their impact on the environment. We are honoured and thrilled to receive such a prestigious award!”


Monday, March 26, 2012


De Wetshof Estate, the renowned Chardonnay producing wine estate in Robertson, received an early birthday present to celebrate the 25th anniversary of its Bateleur Vineyard from which one of South Africa’s most iconic Chardonnays is made. At this year’s International Chardonnay du Monde
Competition, De Wetshof’s Bateleur 2009 was one of only three South African wines to receive Gold Medal status.
This was the 19th time the Chardonnay du Monde was held where 908 wines from 43 countries were judged. The judging was held at the Pasteur Institute in Saint-Legar in France, with the results being made public earlier in the week.

According to De Wetshof proprietor and cellarmaster Danie de Wet, the success of the Bateleur can only be attributed to the soil and climate of the Bateleur vineyard’s terrain where the vines were planted in 1987.
“The Bateleur vineyard is planted to hand-selected Burgundian plant material chosen in the vineyards outside Beaune, the cuttings of which were transported to South Africa in the 1980s.
Fortunately for us, this material found a home in Robertson’s limestone rich soils enabling the location to express itself beautifully through the wine,” he says.

“The first vintage was in 1991, and since then the wine has taken on an increasingly classical profile as the vines have aged. Since the very first grapes for the 2009 vintage arrived at the cellar I knew that this was possibly the best Bateleur vintage De Wetshof was going to produce to date. I am thus glad that our faith in this vintage has been underscored by the Chardonnay du Monde judging panel.”
De Wet said that the results at this year’s competition once more proved that South Africa had arrived on the world stage as a Chardonnay producer.

“We are honoured to receive this accolade from the world’s leading Chardonnay competition and hope this shows the world that South Africa is capable of producing white wines, and especially Chardonnay, that can compete with the best in the world.

“The fact that from the 43 countries whose wine were judged, South Africa was listed among the top 10 Chardonnay producers is an accolade to all those who over the past two decades made it their passion to bring South Africa to the fore as a leading producer of quality Chardonnay wines.”



For the first time ever a South African whisky has taken the title of World's Best Blended Whisky at the annual Whisky Magazine’s World Whisky Awards. The Three Ships 5- year-old impressed the judges to such an extent that they awarded it the overall award in the Blended Whisky category at the annual selection of the very best whiskies internationally.

More than 300 whiskies were tasted blind in three intensive rounds by an independent panel of judges that included some of the foremost whisky palates internationally.

A delighted Three Ships master distiller Andy Watts said that for the Three Ships Premium Select 5 year old to be named as the World’s Best Blended Whisky was by far the biggest achievement to date by any South African whisky.

“We have always believed that the whiskies produced here in South Africa were of a quality that placed them among the best, and the large number of awards we have garnered during the last few years have justified our confidence. And now it has been confirmed: South Africa doesn’t have to stand back when it comes to the production of exceptional whiskies. By consistently giving attention to our quality and taste profile, we can now celebrate the dedication and passion of the team at the distillery with a world title. This is both a humbling and incredibly rewarding achievement.”

Chairman of the judges, Rob Allanson, commented that the “competition featured some eye-opening whiskies and the judging panel had a hard time separating the good from the very good. The judges' exacting standards mean that the winners are truly the greatest whiskies in the world."

The Three Ships 5 year old Premium Select is an artful blend of selected South African and Scotch whiskies that have been aged for a minimum of five years. Robust, aromatic and unpretentious, the whisky holds a full peaty character, ending in a lingering, warm finish.

The Three Ships 5 year old Premium Select is available from leading liquor outlets and retails for about R115 per bottle.

DATE                         26 March 2012


FOR                            THREE SHIPS WHISKY


(021) 809 7000

                                    LINDA CHRISTENSEN, DKC (021) 873 2199

Linda Christensen
De Kock Communications (DKC)
Tel: +27 21 873 2199
Fax/Faks: +27 21 873 2199
Cell/Sel: +27 84 666 9972


Amarula has come up with a nifty way to celebrate WWF’s global eco-friendly campaign, Earth Hour. Its special lantern has been designed to hold a single candle, so you too can switch out the lights at 20:30, local time on Saturday, March 31, for just 60 minutes.

It’s great to know there are over 135 countries or territories worldwide doing the same. Even iconic landmarks like Table Mountain, the Eiffel Tower and Sydney Opera House are supporting the initiative to highlight the importance of promoting environmental sustainability.

Amarula lantern packs, including a 750 ml bottle of South Africa’s favourite marula drink, are available from selected stockists nationwide.

For further information on Amarula please visit or

DATE                         22 MARCH 2012
FOR                            AMARULA
QUERIES                   CHRISTELLE BESTER, AMARULA (021) 809 7000
TESSA DE KOCK/MARLISE POTGIETER (021) 4222690 or 082 579 2358

Kind regards,
Louise de Kock

De Kock Communications (DKC)
Tel: (021) 422 2690
Direct: (021) 487 3726
Fax: (021) 422 2558
Cell: 084 310 4582


Nederburg is running an online series of entertaining Winemaster’s Classes for the duration of MasterChef SA, which begins on Tuesday, March 20 at 19:30 on M-Net.

The winery is the official wine sponsor and also the venue for much of the reality cooking show that will be broadcast weekly for 18 weeks.  All the wines available to MasterChef SA contestants are drawn from Nederburg’s Winemaster’s Reserve range.

Every second week, a short video clip featuring Nederburg’s cellar master Razvan Macici will be run on in which he chats about a wine, its flavours and offers some food pairing suggestions. The clips are from 60 to 90 seconds long. Winemaster’s Class participants will be asked a single question based on his discussion in order to move onto the next video clip two weeks later and will stand in line to win one of nine Le Creuset three-piece cookery sets in the colour of their choice, to the value of almost R4 000 each.

Says Suné van der Merwe who heads Distell’s South African wine marketing team: “The classes are relaxed, fun but informative interludes and participants are given clues along the way to help them answer the question each time. Watching these clips is like chatting informally with Razvan without ever leaving your home.  It doesn’t matter how near or far you are to Paarl, you can share with him as he talks about wine, life and food.  He shows that wine appreciation is about pleasure and doesn’t have to be about the immersion in the technical mastery of the subject.

“To derive the most from the clips, we suggest to those taking the Winemaster’s Classes that they open a bottle of the wine under discussion.  It adds to the reality of the moment and makes the discussion that much more meaningful. The wines featured are always announced in advance.”

Even if participants have missed a class or two, they can join in at any point during the series and catch up with their fellow classmates.

Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve wines are sold nationwide and range in price from R45 to R75, depending on the wine and the vintage.

In 2011 Nederburg was chosen as the Platter’s South African Wine Guide Winery of the Year for having the highest number of five-star wines. This year, it shares the honours with two other wineries.

MasterChef SA will be broadcast every Tuesday at 19:30 on M-Net.

DATE                                     MARCH 20, 2012

ISSUED BY                           DKC (DE KOCK COMMUNICATIONS)

FOR                                        NEDERBURG WINES

QUERIES                               SUNÉ VAN DER MERWE, DISTELL CATEGORY MANAGER: WINES (021) 809 7000 0R 072 224 2888

WENCKE GROBLER, NEDERBURG SA BRAND MANAGER (021) 809 7000 or 078 3143439


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



The 2010 Durbanville Hills Rhinofields Chardonnay has been named one of the Top 10 Chardonnays at the 19th annual Chardonnay du Monde held in Burgundy, France, recently.

The international panel of judges tasted 908 wines from 43 countries, representing the best and most diverse wine producing areas in the world. The gold-medal winning Chardonnay from Durbanville Hills shares the top position with Austria, France, Argentina, Chile, Spain, Italy, the Czech Republic and Switzerland.

The wine spent a total of twelve months in the barrel and according to cellar master Martin Moore the process of rolling the barrels every fortnight has made all the difference in ensuring this wine gets the attention it deserves.

“By rolling the barrels instead of stirring the lees in the conventional manner, we have followed a gentler approach. By not having to remove the bungs, we reduced contact with oxygen and so preserved the wine's delicate aromas while moderating the extraction of oak. The technique has imparted a deliciously creamy texture to the wine and ensured a seamless integration with oak."

He says the wine holds a zesty citrus nose with peach, dried apricots backed by cedar, wood spice and almonds. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, creamy and elegant with hints of orange. It pairs exceptionally well with creamy sauces, cured ham, salmon and Eisbein.

Moore added that though the Chardonnay tasted superb now, the flavours would over time blossom and develop in complexity, its texture would soften and the mouthfeel would acquire even more creaminess.

The Rhinofields reserve range of wines refers to the indigenous Cape renosterveld growing close to the Durbanville Hills cellar. A member of the Biodiversity & Wine Initiative (BWI), 320 ha of this highly threatened vegetation was at present being protected on the farms of members of Durbanville Hills.

The 2010 Rhinofields Chardonnay is available from fine wine shops and from the cellar for about R95 per bottle.

ISSUED BY                           DKC (De Kock Communications)
ON BEHALF OF                   Durbanville Hills Wines
DATE ISSUED                      March 20, 2012
MEDIA ENQUIRIES            Nonnie Ntombela, assistant brand manager, Durbanville Hills Wines (021) 809 8179                                              
Linda Christensen, DKC (021) 873 2199


Stellenzicht has extended its no sulphites-added collection of Cellarmaster’s Release wines with a Pinotage from the 2009 vintage. It joins the 2008 Petit Verdot and 2009 Chardonnay. The latter two, launched late in 2010, both received bronze medals in the 2011 Wine Innovation Awards of the prominent trade publication The Drinks Business.

Stellenzicht winemaker Guy Webber had been experimenting with low-sulphite wines for several vintages before bringing the first two to market “to extend the taste spectrum for consumers” although the wines are intended primarily for people who are sulphur-sensitive.

The grapes for the new wine were harvested from a small area in the middle of a bush-vine vineyard where the growth was more vigorous. The must was fermented on the skins and malolactic fermentation occurred spontaneously before the wine was aged for 19 months in 300-litre barrels.

As in the case of the first two no sulphite-added wines only a very small quantity was made of the Pinotage and just over 2 700 bottles were produced.

To be classified as a low-sulphite wine, the sulphite count may not exceed 10 parts per million. According to Guy the risk of bacterial spoilage in the absence of any preservatives determines every action in the making of such wines. “You have to start with healthy grapes of excellent quality that must be delivered to the cellar without delay. You also have to select yeast cultures that generate little sulphur during fermentation.”

Particular care was taken to avoid oxygen contact during bottling. “We used high-quality composite corks to eliminate oxygen penetration and before filling, staff wearing sterilised gloves dropped pellets of dry ice into each bottle to expel the oxygen.    

“In addition to sulphites there are a number of inherent preservatives in wine, such as tannins, the acids and the alcohol itself.  If it is sealed in hermetically, there is no reason why a low-sulphite wine should not last as long as sulphite-treated ones,” Guy said.

He expects the Pinotage, a full-bodied wine, to last well for another four to six years under proper conditions.

Stellenzicht Cellarmaster’s Release Pinotage 2009 retails for around R125 a bottle.
DATE                         March 20, 2012
ISSUED BY               DKC (De Kock Communications)
FOR                            Cape Legends
QUERIES                   Guy Webber, Stellenzicht winemaker, 021 880 1103 or 082 749 8401
Lize-Marie Gradwell, Cape Legends marketing manager,
021 809 8243 or 082 452 8208
Tanya Jordaan, Stellenzicht brand manager, 021 809 8340 or 083 321 7643
Ben de Kock/Marlise Potgieter, DKC (021) 422 2690

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Doluca Kav Narince 2008 88 Points

Clear, day bright, pale straw with yellow green reflections.

Clean, medium intensity, lemony, white grapefruit, green apples, herbaceous, bay leaf, delicate white flowers, slight terpene note, mineral, stony, hints of flint, pinenuts, subtle complexity.

Dry with high acidity, low plus alcohol (12.5%), juicy, freshly squeeze green lime, delicate honeyed texture on mid palate, elegant, airy style, yet profound on minerality and freshness, crunchy with some phenolic richness on back palate, medium plus lenght and complexity.

100% Narince grape grown in Tokat region, North East of Istanbul in Central Anatolia, Turkey.

Now until 2017

Narince is an indigeneous Anatolian grape variety originated in Tokat. Tokat is the transition zone where the Black Sea climate ends and turns into continental climate.

The soil here is composed of clay and sand with some pebbles.

The vines used to be vinifera are grafted on American rootstocks and a high training system on wires .

Narince grapes are also grown on the Anatolia tableland south of the mountains near the Black Sea shores.

This region continues throughout the Yeşilırmak.

Narince is an exceptional Anatolian white grape that can be matured in oak barrels.

Wine produced from the Narince grape has a richness, creaminess and good balance. The best examples are suitable for aging.

More on Turkish wine, thanks to Wikipedia

Laborie Western Cape Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 85 Points

Medium clear, dark ruby red with slight purple rim.

Clean, tad reductive initially with aeration and tasted over 6 days, no sign of oxidation, reveals a medium plus intensity of ripe blackcurrant, cassis, blueberries, leafy/herbaceous edge, typical of any good Cabernet Sauvignon, but ripe, earthy, delicate oaking, light toast, spicy chocolate, complex and layered.

Dry with brush of residual sugar, full bodied high alcohol evident (14%), fresh, moderate plus acidity (6.09), juicy, crisp and clean texture, ripe blackcurrant follows through, savory, hints of black olives, medium lenght and complexity.

Now until 2018

Top Shiraz winemakers showcase their finest at Holden Manz extravaganza

A gourmet evening spiced up by the finest Shiraz from four prominent winemakers, paired with delicious food and great company, awaits wine lovers at Holden Manz in Franschhoek on Wednesday, 28 March 2012.

Karl Lambour and Schalk Opperman of Holden Manz will be joined by the winemakers of AA Badenhorst, Eagle’s Nest and Mullineux to showcase their Shiraz cellar gems during what promises to be an unforgettable food and wine pairing dinner at the Franschoek Kitchen, the signature restaurant at Holden Manz. The Franschhoek Kitchen team has created an irresistible menu, with each dish complementing the rich, spicy notes of the four prominent Shiraz wines.

The food and wine journey starts with the highly acclaimed 2009 Eagle’s Nest Shiraz from the Constantia Valley paired with a delicate Carpaccio of wild springbuck, beetroot jelly and pink goat cheese.

The silky 2009 Mullineux Syrah from the Swartland will be served with rich, earthy truffled wild mushroom ravioli.

The 2008 Holden Manz Shiraz has been paired with the evening’s main course: rack of Karoo lamb served with a cassoulet of herbed beans. The stately 2008 vintage with its subtle crushed black pepper and tantalising spiciness will be an outstanding foil for the juicy flavours of this hearty dish.
Ending the evening on a high, indulge your senses with the terrine of blue cheese enlivened with Holden Manz home grown figs, a perfect match for another Swartland hero, the 2008 AA Badenhorst Red Blend.

The Holden Manz Shiraz Food and Wine evening on Wednesday, 28 March begins at 19h00 for 19h30 and costs R300 per person. For bookings call 021-8762729 or e-mail To reach Holden Manz, turn right at the Huguenot Monument in Franschhoek and follow the signs for two kilometres. For more information visit or visit Holden Manz on Facebook.
Issued by:                                GC Communications                  Contact: Clarissa du Plessis
                                                Tel: 021-4620520                       E-mail:
On behalf of:                            Holden Manz Wine Estate          Contact: Karl Lambour
                                                Tel: 021-8762738  - - -

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Sarafin Chardonnay 2009 92 Points

Clear, day bright, pale straw with green reflections.

Clean, medium intensity, green lime, yellow citrus fruit, tangerine, stone fruits such as white peaches and apricots, lots of minerality, subtle waxy, honeyed / honeysuckle note,  frangipani, wooded (12 months) but very well integrated lending toast, caramelised corn syrup, hints of smoke, complex and layered.

Dry with medium plus acidity, full bodied and high alcohol (14.1%), juicy citrus fruit follows through, fresh, linear, kind of laser purity, crunchy minerals, fine leesy texture with a complex broad mid palate, persistent, long complexity and long finish.

Burgundian in structure, with perhaps a little more showy ripe fruits on the aromatics, similar to New World ripeness, but it was the minerals and the acid that was striking, akind to a cross between a Chassagne Montrachet and Meursault! Damn fine indeed.

Now until 2020+

Sarafin is produced by Doluca winery and is based in Saros, South West of Istanbul, Turkey

Two Oceans Western Cape Pinot Grigio 2011 80 Points

Clear, day bright, pale straw with coppery rim, slight spritz.

Clean, medium intensity, just ripe green lime, green apples, gooseberries, green pears, herbaceous with some white pebbles character.

Dry with some residual sugar well concealed, medium plus acidity, fresh, low alcohol (11.5%) vibrant and zesty, good lenght and good complexity for a South African Pinot Grigio.
Drink now until 2014

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Laborie Methode Cap Classique Brut Rose 2009 88 Points

Clear, bright, salmon trout hue with bronze / coppery rim, light mousse, but fairly coarse perlage.

Clean, medium plus intensity, ripe Pinot Noir fruit evident, showing advanced maturity, by means of leesy richness (18-20 months on lees, prior to degorgement), well supported by complex ripe strawberry note, cherry jam, earthy baked beetroot, citrus preserves, brush of mineral, slight nutty character, delicate oaking (3% barrel mature), complex and layered.

Dry, ( 7.2 g dosage) properly Brut, broad, full texture, medium bodied, medium acidity, (pH of 3.18), moderate alcohol (12.2 %), crunchy, matured red fruit follows through, sour cherries freshness, medium lenght and complexity.

Blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, sourced within Paarl district, though label states Western Cape Wine of Origin

Now until 2020+

Dombeya Stellenbosch Sauvignon Blanc 2011 86+ Points

Clear, day bright , pale straw with yellow reflections.

Clean, initially very austere and unyielding, needed 24 to 48 hours to reveals a very expressive Sauvignon character with medium plus intensity of tropical fruit, grassy notes, yellow citrus, papaya, greengage, fleshy gold kiwi, ripe white peaches and spicy pepper, green peas, mineral, pebbly white stones, leesy complexity.

Dry, racy high acidity, medium plus bodied, medium plus alcohol, crunchy, pure, delicate, salty minerals adds complexity to the full texture riper spectrum of Sauvignon, grown in a warm climate such as Stellenbosch, yet manage to retain textbook character with vibrant and fresh, long persistent lenght, best revisited around July 2013, will hold until 2018

Dombeya Stellenbosch Merlot 2008 88 Points

Clear, bright, garnet with brown rim.

Clean, high intensity, lifted aromatic, no greeness, fragrant ripe plums, dried cranberrries, cassis, black cherries, blackcurrant, complex red berries medley, prominent earthy / stony baked earth note, generously oaked, but very well integrated, showy oak aromatics, lending complex, cigar, tobacco, new leather, light to medium toast, subtle and integrated. complex layers, smoke paprika, and dark chocolate.

Dry, full bodied, medium plus acidity, medium ripe tannins, very high alcohol though (14.5% on label, actually it is 14.9%), fresh texture, crunchy, precise, linear, pure classic Merlot fruit, more Medoc than Pomerol, impressive depth and complexity, savory, this is firmly one of Stellenbosch finest Merlot.

Now until 2020+


Wines from four of Cape Legends’ estates – Neethlingshof, Stellenzicht, Lomond and Le Bonheur – achieved scores of 90 and higher in the latest report of the International Wine Review on South African wine. The web-based International Wine Review is widely rated as one of the world’s most influential opinion formers on wine.

Don Winkler, the editor, and publisher Mike Potashnik, visited South Africa at the end of last year to update their report on local wines in the premium and ultra-premium categories which retail above $15 in the US. They tasted some 750 wines over a two-week period and concluded that South Africa was “today producing some of the finest wines in the world”.

The best performer amongst the four, by the narrowest of margins, was Neethlinghof. All three wines in the estate’s top tier, known collectively as the Short Story Collection, received scores of over 90 points out of a possible 100. The wines to achieve this distinction are The Maria of 2011, a noble late harvest wine predominantly from Weisser Riesling grapes scoring 92; The Caracal of 2009, the estate’s highly-rated Bordeaux blend with 91, and The Owl Post 2010, a single-vineyard Pinotage which also came in at 91.

Stellenzicht also had three wines with scores of 90 and over. They are the 2006 Rhapsody, a blend of 50% Syrah and 50% Pinotage, which garnered 92 points; the 2009 Golden Triangle Pinotage awarded 91; and the 2009 Semillon Reserve which received 90+.

Two of the Lomond wines, both single-vineyard ones, are also in the top echelon, the 2010 Sugarbush Sauvignon Blanc (91 points) and the 2007 Pincushion Sauvignon Blanc (90). Le Bonheur has one – the 2009 Tricorne Reserve, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Cabernet Franc, which scored 91 while a second wine, the 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate, missed 90 points by a hair’s breadth with 89+.

DATE                         12 MARCH 2012


FOR                            CAPE LEGENDS

QUERIES                   LIZE-MARIE GRADWELL, CAPE LEGENDS, 021 809 7000

                                    MARLISE POTGIETER/LOUISE DE KOCK, DKC, 021 422 2690

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


Monday, March 12, 2012

Splattered Toad Western Cape Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 88 Points

Clear, day bright, ruby red with slight brown rim.
Clean, lifted / high intensity, intriguing aromatics akind to a Southern Rhone, Grenache blend character, but this is only Shiraz and Cabernet! Very ripe plums, blackcurrant, cassis, with Cabernet leafyness, spicy Shiraz fruit, opulent and layered with hints of paprika, pungent earthy note,complex oaking with possibility of high percentage of old barrels, alcohol noticeable though.

Dry with medium plus acidity, very fresh, medium plus crunchy ripe tannins, canned tomato, high alcohol evident (14%), full bodied, delicate, spicy red fruits follows through, juicy, subtle minimal oak influence on texture, long aftertaste, now until 2018.

Splattered Toad is made by Cape Point Vineyards and the aim of this fun range with a smiley drunken toad on the label is not only to raise awareness about the endangered Western Cape Leopard Toad that lives in close vicinity to the winery, but the aim is also at restoring their populations, via means of the winery contribution to their protection and for every bottle you will purchase, R 1 is donated to the preservation program.

What is of relevance, the Splattered Toad range over delivers and exceed expectations for their price point, this is another high level, high integrity wines vinified by celebrated Cape Point Vineyards winemaker Duncan Savage at less than R 60 in retail, it is an absolute steal.

Laborie Methode Cap Classique Brut Western Cape 2008 87 Points

Clear, bright, straw with gold reflections, fine mousse with fairly coarse perlage.

Clean, medium plus intensity, appley (medley of Golden Delicious and Granny Smith) baked / grilled lime zest, grapefruit segment, barley, yeasty complexity (24 months on lees), brush of oak (3% matured in oak), subtle vanilla, freshly baked pastries, light toast, hints of butter, nutty hazelnut / walnut, well defined and complex aromatics.

Properly Brut, rich style with a dosage of 9.6 g/l, broad and full texture, creamy, medium plus acidity, persistent, fresh, moderate alcohol (12.14%), lemony fruits and appley character follows through, slight phenolic richness on back palate, medium plus lenght and complexity.

Paarl district grapes, though Western Cape Wine of Origin

Now until 2018

Beat the winter chill with Holden Manz in Franschhoek

Escape to Franschhoek for hearty country-style cooking at the Franschhoek Kitchen, the signature restaurant at Holden Manz, where their new winter warming menu teems with palate-pleasing dishes made with seasonal ingredients from their very own chicken coup, vegetable garden and fruit orchard.

Chef Bjorn Dingemans’ mouth-watering starters include scrumptious grilled squid, a novel chickpea pancake with buffalo mozzarella and roasted butternut, and crumbed sweetbreads served with Holden Manz garden leaves.

Situated above the Holden Manz cellar, food and wine pairing is intrinsic to the Franschhoek Kitchen. Chef Bjorn, who has cooked alongside some of the finest chefs in London before joining Holden Manz, crafts his signature dishes using a fresh, local and organic approach towards simply delicious winelands meals in breathtaking surroundings.– creating perfect pairings for Holden Manz signature reds.

Diners will be spoiled for choice with a wide selection of mains, such as succulent slow roasted pork belly, juicy lamb chops served with onion puree, rosemary potatoes and rocket, perfectly prepared line fish, or the irresistible signature Holden Manz “fall-off-the-bone” 24 hour roasted lamb shank.

Chef Bjorn is in his element when it comes to dessert with his pièce de résistance, his decadent chocolate pot or indulgent cheesecake. You will also love his twist on an Italian classic, the orange and brandy pana cotta  

With a menu filled to the brim with delicious dishes, there will definitely be something for everyone to enjoy at the Franschhoek Kitchen this winter.

Call 021-8762729 for reservations, or e-mail at Visit Holden Manz on Facebook or The Holden Manz tasting room is open daily from 10h00 to 17h00. To reach Holden Manz, turn right at the Huguenot Monument in Franschhoek and follow the signs for two kilometres.
GPS coordinates: Latitude: 33° 56’ 7” S; Longitude: 19° 6’ 54” E.
Issued by:                                GC Communications                  Contact: Clarissa du Plessis
                                                Tel: 021-4620520                       Email:

On behalf of:                            Holden Manz Wine Estate          Contact: Karl Lambour
                                                Tel: 021-876 2738

Friday, March 9, 2012

KWV Cathedral Cellar Triptych Western Cape 2009 91 Points

Clear, bright, dark ruby red with purple rim.

Clean, high intensity, perfumed, ripe blackcurrant, cassis liqueurs, blackberry jam, dark red fruit, leafy Cabernet  (positive) earthy, dark stone mineral, graphite, generously oaked but well integrated, lending toast, dark chocolate ganache, smoky, complex layers with excellent purity of fruit.

Dry, medium plus acidity, full bodied, medium plus tannins, moderate alcohol of 13.38%, though label indicates 14%, follows through, fresh, elegant crunchy profile, texture much drier than nose may suggest, linear, vibrant with persistent length, embryonic at this stage, will develop very well, especially considering how the pH management in KWV wines since 2009 across the range / brands / style is one of the healthiest in South Africa, this particular vintage have a pH of 3.48, with a total acidity of 6.03 and a residual sugar of 2.44.

Will benefit from +/- 2 hours aeration in decanter, drink well now if you are seeking upfront fruit, but shall keep up until 2020+ and may drink well up to 2028 if cellared properly.

A blend of 39% Cabernet Sauvignon + 36% Shiraz + 13% Merlot and 12% Tannat, sourced from vineyards in Stellenbosch, Paarl and Western Cape, with a yield of 5.6 t/ha. 16 months in French oak barrels.

This 2009 is much fresher with better oak integration, energetic compare to the 90’s style of Cathedral Cellar Triptych, when it use to be under Kosie Moller at the time, producing some of the oakiest wines of SA back then!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Cape Point Vineyard Splaterred Toad Western Cape Sauvignon Blanc 2011 89 Points

Clear, day bright, pale straw with yellow green reflections.

Clean, high intensity lifted aromatics, ripe green lime zest, gooseberry, green and gold kiwi, passion fruit and green custard apples, followed by sandy/granite mineral, flinty, spicy white pepper,some leesy waxy complexity, unoaked.

Dry with medium plus acidity, zesty, fresh, vibrant, full broad texture, crunchy mid palate, moderate alcohol (13%), salty mineral, juicy freshly squeeze green lime juice, medium plus complexity, long finish, so much energy and excellent purity of fruit, master blending of multi region grown Sauvignon.

Now until 2017

Excellent value and over delivers on quality at less than R 45 trade, excellent proponent on a wine list to consider, especially the currently tough trading conditions where oncon customer keep spending less when eating out.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Simonsig high five in International Wine Review in the USA

The International Wine Review, the highly regarded bi-monthly wine report in the USA, has given Simonsig a high five with a score of 90 points and higher for no less than five wines in the February 2012 edition on South African wines.

Simonsig top scorers on 91 points, the Red Hill Pinotage 2008 and the Cape blend, Frans Malan 2006, are lauded as “outstanding” by publisher Mike Potashnik and editor Don Winkler, who single out Simonsig Estate as one of the producers of “impressive” Pinotage blends.

“One of the most exciting trends associated with Pinotage to emerge from South Africa is the Cape Blend,” say the reviewers who describe it as “the product of a search for a unique South African red blend to match the great blends of Bordeaux”.

The other Simonsig wines to score 90 points or more are the Chenin Blanc Avec Chêne 2009 (90+), labelled by the reviewers as “a lush, fruit forward wine’; Simonsig’s “tète de cuvée”, the Cuvée Royale Blanc de Blancs (90+); and the Simonsig  Bordeaux-style flagship, Tiara 2008 (90).

The reviewers, who tasted 750 South African wines selling for $15 or more, praised the high quality of South African wines as a whole and ascribed this to intelligent vineyard management practices, the careful selection of vineyard sites and grape varieties, and a strong commitment to terroir-based wines.

For more information on Simonsig Estate contact Tel: (021) 888 4915 or visit


Issued by: GC Communications                                                 Issued on behalf of: Simonsig Estate
Contact person: Johlene Verwey                                                Contact person: Bessie Otto
Tel: (+27)21 462 0520                                                                 Tel: (+27)21 888 4900
Email:                                                    Email:

Marques de Valdueza Vino de la Tierra de Extremadura 2008 81+ Points

Medium clear, bright, garnet with slight brown rim.

Clean, medium plus intensity, jammy, very ripe blackcurrant, cassis, blueberry, plums guava jam, pronouced wet dark earth, raisin, oaky but well integrated, (12 months in French oak, possibly high percentage of new), cassis liqueur.

Dry, saturated dark red fruit, giving impression of sweetness, overipe and dead fruit evident, lots of sucrosity, high alcohol (14%), medium tannin and medium acidity extracted style, ripe, heavy, hard to drink / enjoy, syrupy mess, overworked, New World mimic from an inexperienced wine maker, for  lovers of Dolly Parton.

Who would have though this travestite come from Spain!, where is elegance, terroir and freshness here?? a style that could have been made anywhere in the world.

Blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz, selected from 18 hectares of vineyard!, only 8,525 bottles produce

Fleur du Cap trio scores 90 points in International Wine Review in the USA

No less than three Fleur du Cap wines have broken the venerable 90 point barrier in the The International Wine Review, a highly respected American-based bi-monthly wine report. The Review which focused on South African wines in its February report, evaluated 750 wines selling for $15 or more.

The three high scoring Fleur du Cap wines are the Unfiltered Sauvignon Blanc 2011 Limited Release (90+), the Unfiltered Sauvignon Blanc Chardonnay Semillon Viognier 2010 (90+) and the Unfiltered Merlot 2009 (90).

 Pronounced “excellent” and a “superb Sauvignon Blanc done in the Loire style” by publisher Mike Potashnik and editor Don Winkler, Fleur du Cap Unfiltered Sauvignon Blanc 2011 Limited Release is made from a blend of fruit from the coastal regions of Darling and Agulhas.

The Unfiltered Sauvignon Blanc Chardonnay Semillon Viognier 2010, is described by the reviewers as “delicate and fragrant” and “a delicious mix”.

The reviewers’ tasting notes for the Unfiltered Merlot 2009 is summarised as follows: “Lush on the attack and on the palate, mouthfilling with fresh red fruit and nice firm tannins on the finish”.

The Report praised the overall high quality of South African wines and ascribed this to intelligent vineyard management practices, the careful selection of vineyard sites and grape varieties, and a strong commitment to terroir-based wines.

Fleur du Cap wines are made at Die Bergkelder, the famous “cellar in the mountain” in the heart of the Stellenbosch Winelands. Cellarmaster Andrea Freeborough is assisted by winemakers Pieter Badenhorst and Justin Corrans, while viticulturist Bennie Liebenberg looks after the vineyards. For more information, visit
Issued by:               GC Communications                            On behalf of:          Distell
                                Contact: Johlene Verwey                                                     Contact: Deidre Samson
Tel: +27 +21-462 0520

Frontera Valle Central Carmenere NV 75+ Points

Medium clear, dark cherry red with slight brown / mahogany rim.

Clean, medium plus intensity, prunes, raisin and ripe plums note, spicy, earthy character, dry straw note, old world restraint, possibly a splash of wood.

Dry, with some residual sugar, fresh, plump to overipe plums notes, rubber, dusty tannins, not much complexity, short lenght.

Comparing to the other Casilliero del Diablo Carmenere (88 Points) which is more delicate, yet fruit driven, complex and juicy, this is a rather poor example of Carmenere, and it being available in South African supermarket, this example is not doing any justice to Chilean wines in SA.

For it's price, there are far more better quality red from Bordeaux varietal grown in SA.

Frontera is made by Concha y Toro

Namaqua Olifants River Merlot 2009 70+ Points

Clear, dark cherry red with brown rim.

Clean, reductive with notes of mechanical oil,peppery / pyrazine, earthy, subdued, faint hints of red fruits and plums, dusty oak, possibly use of staves.

Dry with some residual sugar, dusty tannins, acidity not integrated, rather lean, not much fruit, herbaceous, short finish, lactic aftertaste, high alcohol at 14%, not integrated.

Bought at Pick and Pay Lonehill at R 22

Merlot being more of a brand rather than be seen as a grape variety on the label, is it justifiable to sell such poor quality to an ever growing wine clientele and make them believe that's what Merlot should taste like? Quality like this is really unfair on the consumer! either initiated or un initiated!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Orange River Cellars Northern Cape Ruby Cabernet 2010 76+ Points

Medium clear, bright, cherry red with slight purple rim.

Clean, medium plus intensity, just ripe cherries, herbaceaous typical of the variety, slight stalkiness, green almonds, earthy / dusty note, brus of oak, possibly staves.

Dry with hints of residual sugar, medium plus acidity, medium tannin, moderate alcohol (12.5%), juicy flavours of crisp cranberries, earthy with good palate restraint, crunchy and light bodied, possibly high yields vineyards, slight bitterness on aftertaste.

Typical Ruby Cabernet, representative of the climate of where it is grown along the bank of Orange River bordering the Kalahari Dessert.

Now until 2014

Yvon Mau Vin de Pays de L'Aude IGP Merlot 2009 83+ Points


Medium clear, bright, ruby cherry red with purple rim.

Clean, medium plus intensity, fragrantly ripe plums, cherries, dark earthy note, brush of oak, probably aged in older oak, good layered complexity.

Dry with medium plus acidity, moderate plus tannins, moderate alcohol (12.5%), juicy, packed with blueberries, delicately ripe plums and cherries, elegant an dfresh, well made, medium lenght and complexity.
Now until 2016

Bottle purchase at Pick and Pay Lonehill R 59

Hartenberg Estate’s The Eleanor Chardonnay inspires the palate with new vintage

Born from Hartenberg Estate’s red clay 'Tukulu' loam soil, The Eleanor Chardonnay 2008, available in limited volumes only, is the latest vintage from this highly esteemed estate.
Named after matriarch Eleanor Finlayson, whose family owned Hartenberg Estate for 29 years until 1977 and who stayed on the estate long afterwards, The Eleanor reflects her strong and resolute character tempered with sophistication and poise.
“Not only is this wine inspired by Eleanor, but it is truly an expression of the soil in which the vines have grown and tender care that has gone into cultivating the grapes. Whilst it treats your palate to a splash of creamy citrus, nutty, mineral and elderflower flavours it also shows a refreshing acidity. Overall it is very elegant with a persistent finish.” says winemaker Carl Schultz.
Experience shows that this wine needs at least two to three years in bottle to start exhibiting its full expression and potential which becomes ever more complex with time, making now the ideal time to enjoy this wine. Carl enjoys drinking this wine with seafood such as steamed West Coast crayfish with lemon butter or scallops and lip smacking slow roasted pork belly.
The Eleanor 2008 sells at the cellar door for R190 a bottle and is available at selected boutique wine stores and fine dining restaurants.
Hartenberg Estate is situated on the Bottelary Road off the R304 to Stellenbosch. Open 7 days a week for tastings, picnic lunches and wetland walks, but cellar tours are by appointment only. Contact Tel: (+27)21-8652541, Email: or visit
Issued by:                GC Communications                                               On behalf of:     Hartenberg Estate
Contact person:       Johlene Verwey                                                       Contact person: Heleen Rabe 
Tel:                          (+27)21 462 0520                                                   Tel:                     (+27)21-8652541         
Email:                                                        Email:                          


Nederburg and Woolworths, both included in the line-up of sponsors of the debut reality cooking show series MasterChef SA, have collaborated to create two very reasonably priced wines for exclusive sale by the national retailer.  They are a complex, medium-bodied Grenache that makes a great partner to Mediterranean fare (R59), and a highly versatile Sauvignon Blanc/Chardonnay blend (R49).

While Woolworths does stock selected wines from the Nederburg range, this is the first time the winery has developed wines solely for the retailer, with cellar master Razvan Macici and Woolworths wine selector Allan Mullins collaborating closely on conceiving and styling the two new offerings.

The 2010 Grenache, which is a first from the Paarl winery and also the first varietal Grenache marketed by Woolworths, is made from low-yielding, unirrigated, mature bush vines in Paarl and Klapmuts, yielding 4 to 5 tons per hectare. Macici says the fruit was picked at full ripeness with sweet, juicy and spicy flavours. “Each block was individually vinified and fermented in open tanks. Once taken off the skins and malolactic fermentation was completed, the wine was aged in a selection of second-, third- and fourth-fill French and Romanian oak barrels for 18 months.

“An intense but graceful wine with a velvety soft texture, it is brimming with peppery notes, succulent black and red fruit, a hint of liquorice and leather, and very subtle oaking.”

He adds that it makes an excellent partner to savoury tapas and red meat dishes, as well as grills, roasts and casseroles.

Nederburg has established a very loyal following for its white blends, with its Sauvignon blanc-dominated Ingenuity White consistently earning five stars in the Platter’s South African Wine Guide since its maiden 2007 vintage.

The 2011 Woolworths white blend is also dominated by Sauvignon Blanc (60%), sourced from Darling, fermented in stainless steel and kept on the lees for 10 months until blending.  Chardonnay, which has not undergone malolactic fermentation to ensure a vibrancy and intensity to the wine, comprises the balance.  It includes a combination of both barrel- and tank-fermented wine.

The Chardonnay was sourced from Simondium and Durbanville.

“A crisply elegant and refreshing blend with a lovely green colour that is tinged with gold, it shows traces of peach, pear and tropical notes, and a hint of vanilla,” says Macici. “It is zesty and creamy-textured, with a satisfyingly full mouth and is very food friendly.”

He recommends serving it with seafoods, poultry and pastas made with creamy sauces.

Both new wines will be sold for the duration of the MasterChef SA series, broadcast on M-Net from March 20 for 18 consecutive weeks.

Woolworths is also carrying four of Nederburg’s Winemaster’s Reserve wines for the duration of MasterChef SA.  They are the Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The reds also sell for R59 and the whites, for R49.

DATE                                     MARCH 5, 2012

ISSUED BY                           DKC (DE KOCK COMMUNICATIONS)

FOR                                        NEDERBURG WINES

QUERIES                               LYNETTE HARRIS, NEDERBURG GLOBAL MARKETING MANAGER (021) 809 7000 or 082 4170584


RAZVAN MACICI, NEDERBURG CELLAR MASTER (021) 877 5151 or 082 785 4577  


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




If you’re looking for the hottest new trends in all things cheese, there is no better place to be than the SA Cheese Festival, taking place from 27 – 30 April 2012, where cheese remains the jewel in the festival crown.

This foodie highlight takes cheese lovers on an unrivalled culinary journey where the remarkable assortment of artisanal cheeses, dairy and other partnering products will entice the senses. Taste the large selection of cheese in the Checkers Cheese Emporium, enjoy a serving of gourmet heaven when Checkers once again brings a unique concept to the event with well known chefs and celebrities sharing their cooking secrets, and take a breather in the festive atmosphere of the Carnival Park.  The healthy entertainment provided in the Wilde Fruit Juice Kiddies Corner and the up-close-and-personal approach of the Santam Agriculture Milk Factory at the Waterfront, is sure to keep the little ones in high spirits.   Add to that some tips from food bloggers and cheese makers in the DStv Food Theatre and you are ready for a new approach in your own kitchen. A stroll further down the Meander and through the Absa Mall will complete your sensory expedition.

Combine a great day out in the country with an opportunity to meet and learn from an array of exciting culinary talent.  The event has settled in well at its new home, Sandringham (on the N1 halfway between Cape Town and Paarl).
Buy your ticket at a Computicket outlet or Checkers store near you (no tickets at the gates) at R110. Senior citizens pay R90 and children 13 years and younger enter absolutely free. The festival runs from 10:00 to 18:00 each day and 17:00 on the last day.

For more information contact Agri-Expo on tel 021 975 4440 or or visit


Issued by                                              Charlene Nieuwoudt Communication
Contact: Yolandi de Wet
tel 082 772 7519

On behalf of                                           Agri-Expo
Contact: Mariana Rabie
tel 021 975 4440 / 082 871 1114

Monday, March 5, 2012

Barkan Classic Negev Pinot Noir 2007 84 Points

Medium clear, bright, garnet with slight brown rim, quite deep color for a Pinot, atypical!

Clean, showing aromatic evolution, medium intensity, delicately ripe strawberries, blackberries, dark cherries, slight minty character, earthy, raisin, delicately oak, possibly large older oak barrels.

Dry with slight residual sugar, medium acidity, medium alcohol (13%), brush of tannin, concentrated black cherries, black berries, elegant, showing some secondary character of leather and dry meat, hints of graphite and rocky basalt, medium plus lenght and complexity.

Pinot grown in the high dessert of Mitzpeh Ramon.

Remisnescent of a Languedoc Pays D'Oc Pinot Noir

Now until 2017

Bottle purchase at Pick and Pay Hyper Woodmead R 50

Welbedacht Estate Mon Rene Blanc de Blancs NV 82+ Points

Clear, day bright, fine consistent bubbles, pale straw wuth green/yellow reflections.

Clean, oxidative aromatics, bruised apples, green line, green pears, hints of granite mineral, brush of oak, restraint, leesy complexity.

Dry, proper Brut style, fresh, medium acidity, medium alcohol, crunchy green lemon, pithy texture, granite mineral and bruised apples follows through.

100 % Chardonnay

Now until 2017.

Dombeya Stellenbosch Chardonnay 2010 81 Points

Clear, gold with yellow reflections, advanced color for a 2010.

Clean, medium plus intensity, ripe pineapples, melon glace, yellow citrus, tangerine, peaches, nutty almond and hazelnut, hints of butterscotch, bright mineral / stony core, delicately oaked, possibly medium toast, lending honey, caramel, Cape gooseberry jam, multi layered.

Dry with medium plus acidity, somewhat the acidity does not seem to be fully integrated, medium bodied, fresh, crunchy style, mineral follows through,  shows some advanced nutty / oxidative note on texture, medium plus lenght and complexity.

Now until 2017.

Kavaklidere Kavak Dry White 2010 79 Points

Clear, day bright, straw with yellow reflections, showing evolution.

Clean, medium plus intensity, herbaceous, green lime, Granny Smith apples, yellow lemon, slight terpene character, white pepper, honey, delicate white floral, brush of pebbly white stones, unoaked.

Dry, medium acidity, low alcohol (12%), delicate green fruit, grapefruit skins, slight phenolic richness, fresh, oily texture, elegant, uncomplicated dry white wine, drink now.

A dry white blend of various Anatolian white grapes.

Laborie Western Cape Shiraz 2009 89+ Points

Clear, bright, ruby red with purple rim.

Clean, high intensity, ripe dark plums, blackberry, dark cherries, kind of St Joseph aromatics after 24 hours aeration, hints of varnish, complex Mediterranean herbs medley of rosemary , thyme, lavender and eucaplyptus, licorice, black pepper and cloves  spices, delicately oaked, probably a combination of French and American oak.

Dry with medium plus acidity, medium tannin, high alcohol though (14%) fresh, elegant, juicy, fruit packed, savory black olives, sappy, ripe red plums, full textured and spicy, so fresh, plush tannins, lots of energy, now until 2020.

Campaneo Sabrosa Collection Campo de Borja DO Garnacha Tempranillo 2010 86 Points

Clear, bright ruby red with purple rim.

Clean, lifted, high intensity with powerful notes of dark red fruits medley, dark cherries, prune, raisin, floral, geraniums,dried roses, pickle beetroot, minty eucalyptus and camphor wood.

Dry, medium plus acidity, medium alcohol (13%) delicate tannin, juicy, full texture, concentrated black fruit of the forest, fresh and crunchy with stony minerals, medium plus lenght and complexity, now until 2017.

Amazing value at R 25 per bottle at Checkers Hyper Fourways and Sandton City.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Christina Van Loveren Limited Release MCC 86+ Points

Clear, day bright, consistent bubbles but fairly big, pale straw with slight green rim.

Cleanm medium intensity, green lime, grapefruit, green unripe apples, intriguing flinty and limestone mineral, brush of oak, delicate touch of matchstick, subtle and restraint in profile.

Dry with with high acidity, sherbety, medium bodied, low alcohol (12%), crunchy and zesty, properly dry more akin to a zero dosage in style than a Brut, mineral, impressive structure , with a precision rarely encountered from a local MCC, yet could have benefitted from more time on lees (at least another 24 months) to "beef up" the structure, salty lemon peel, lots of energy, good lenght and fair complexity, linear profile, juvenile, will benefit from extra cellaring, from 2014 until 2020.

Blend of Robertson grown Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

Taittinger Champagne Brut Reserve NV 90+ Points

Clear, day bright, consistent fine bubbles, pale straw with yellow reflections.

Clean, medium plus intensity, showing complex vinous note, mature, baked apples, citrus medley, gold kiwi, chalky mineral, light toast, warm bakeries.

Properly brut, rich style, high acidity, chiselled, medium plus body, low alcohol of 12%, complex fruit and mineral note follows through, roasted pears, caramel and toast on texture, fresh, invigorating, very long lenght and high complexity.

Bottle purchase at Pick and Pay Fourways Crossings, R 455

The International Wine Review South African Report 2012

Mike Potashnik publisher and Donald Winkler editor of highly respected bi-monthly wine report
The International Wine Review, based in Washington, was recently in South Africa tasting over 750 current releases, herewith free access link to the Final Report and all of their other articles on South African wine at

Great wine journalism indeed

Eight Hartenberg wines score 90+ in International Wine Review

Eight Hartenberg wines score 90+ in International Wine Review

Hartenberg one-upped lucky number seven by earning no less than eight 90+ ratings for its wines in The International Wine Review, a highly respected bi-monthly wine report based in the USA.

Stealing the spotlight with the highest score of 95 points, one of just two of the 750 South African wines tasted to achieve this, is Hartenberg’s The Mackenzie 2007. This classically crafted Bordeaux-style blend is named after the family who have been the custodians of this Stellenbosch wine estate since 1986.

"Wines don’t get much better than this," say publisher Mike Potashnik and editor Don Winkler who rank this Hartenberg flagship as “among the very best Bordeaux blends being made in the world today”.

As one of South Africa’s leading and oldest producers of Shiraz, it is no surprise that the Hartenberg Shiraz trio followed suit with the 2006 Gravel Hill scoring 94, 2007 The Stork 92 and the 2007 Estate Shiraz on 90 points.

Other high scoring Hartenberg wines include Hartenberg Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 (92), Hartenberg Merlot 2007 (91+), Hartenberg Cabernet Shiraz 2008 (91) and Hartenberg Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (90).

“The Hartenberg single varietals and blends are distinguished by their amazing purity, nuance and balance,” the International Wine Review concludes.

Only South African wines selling for $15 or more were tasted. The reviewers praised the high quality of South African wines as a whole and ascribed this to intelligent vineyard management practices, the careful selection of vineyard sites and grape varieties, and a strong commitment to terroir-based wines. 

Equally impressed by the quality of Hartenberg wines is Canadian based wine reviewer, Vic Harradine of, who awarded five stars for the same vintages as the USA reviewers of Hartenberg’s The Mackenzie, The Stork and the Gravel Hill in his Wines of South Africa February review.

For Carl Schultz, Hartenberg’s award winning winemaker of the past 19 years, these accolades are the most finite measure of quality. Carl, who manages to harness the very best from Hartenberg’s varying soil types and micro climates, is fortunate to let his reds age gracefully in the estate’s impressive underground maturation cellar for a minimum of four years, allowing them to reach their full potential prior to release.

Hartenberg Estate, situated on the Bottelary Road off the R304 to Stellenbosch, is open 6 days a week from May till November and 7 days a week from December to April for tastings, picnic lunches and wetland walks. Cellar tours are by appointment only. Contact Tel: (+27)21-8652541, Email: or visit

Issued by:                GC Communications                                               On behalf of:     Hartenberg Estate
Contact person:       Johlene Verwey                                                       Contact person: Heleen Rabe
Tel:                          (+27)21 462 0520                                                   Tel:                     (+27)21-8652541      
Email:                                                        Email: