Leading Australian winery Rusden Wines has announced it is giving up on
screwcap closures after five years as a result of persistent quality control
issues and will now bottle its entire product range under cork.
In an article in the July edition of Australia’s Wine Business Magazine (WBM),
Rusden winemaker Christian Canute said the Barossa Valley winery had
experienced a range of problems with its wine under screwcap and the
decision to return to cork was based purely on technical performance.
“After a five year trial of screwcap it has become clear that cork is best for our
wines,” Canute told WBM.
“Our wines are handmade and bottled without fining or filtration. Under a
screwcap I have noticed the wines ‘sweat’, producing overly dominant
reductive characters, a problem we have never had under cork.”
Rusden is among the top echelon of Australian family-owned wineries and is
well respected in both the domestic and international market.
It has been highly-rated by Robert Parker consistently over the last 10 years with its Black
Guts Shiraz averaging above 95 points during that period.
Canute said Australian sommeliers had provided feedback that confirmed the
reductive, ‘sweaty’ characters he was experiencing in the winery with the wine
under screwcap. Trade customers were also experiencing a great deal of
bottle variation, which again Rusden had not encountered with its wines
bottled under cork.
“When I saw Rusden losing customers because of this, I realised something
needed to be done,” Canute said.
Following further technical analysis and tasting Rusden determined that the
screwcap closure was the cause of the problems and when the entire 2009
vintage of its Driftsand grenache/shiraz was affected decided to change the
closure.“As I had noticed an incredible improvement in the performance of cork in all
our other wines, it was obvious to me that the move back to cork would be the
best direction to head in,” Canute told WBM.
“From a technical point of view, from a sustainability point of view, from a
consumer point of view and from an aspirational, premium factor point of view,
cork is the best companion to wine.”
Canute said he was aware of other winemakers who were unhappy with the
way their wines aged under screwcap and questioned why the Australian
industry tried to sell screwcap over and above Australian wine.
“Any winemaker should be able to have the choice of using the closure they
see as best for their product without negativity surrounding their decision. I
reckon we are on the right track thanks to companies like Amorim who have
invested so much into producing quality cork which should allow winemakers
to have another option at their fingertips they can rely upon with confidence,”
Canute said in the WBM interview.
“Amorim has spent millions on improving cork recently and I am completely
confident in their product.”
In recent years Amorim has experienced a return to cork by wineries in a
number of key markets as well as the UK retail sector.
Last year iconic South African winery Klein Constantia returned to cork to seal
its premier white wine, the Perdeblokke sauvignon blanc. The decision was
driven by concerns over reductive characters under screwcap.
Napa Valley-based Rutherford Wine Company has moved from synthetic
closures back to cork citing both environmental and technical benefits.
In the UK, large retailers have switched products back to cork for
“We believe wineries and major retailers are returning to cork because of
consumer preference, vast improvements in the quality of cork, the emerging
limitations of alternative closures and a growing awareness of cork’s
environmental advantages,” said Amorim’s director of marketing and
communication Carlos de Jesus.
In 2010 Amorim, the world’s leading cork producer, recorded its best ever
annual sales result, selling more than 3 billion cork wine stoppers. This
represented 26 per cent of total cork stopper sales for the year and gave
Amorim greater sales volume than any type of alternative wine closure. The
2010 result gave Amorim sales volume growth of 13.8 per cent.
Amorim surpassed its 2010 sales result in 2011, increasing its sales volume
by 243 million cork stoppers and again increasing market share at the
expense of alternative closures.
ABOUT CORTICEIRA AMORIM, SGPS, S.A.
Tracing its roots to the 19th century, Corticeira Amorim has become the largest cork and corkderived company in the world, generating over Euro 495 million in sales throughout more than
100 countries. Corticeira Amorim and its subsidiaries are an integral part of a conservation
effort to guarantee the survival of hundreds of thousands of cork oak trees throughout the
Mediterranean Basin. We are proud of our contribution to the correct utilisation of these
important forests that represent a key role in CO2 retention, preserving biodiversity and
preventing desertification. We encourage you to learn more by visiting informative websites
such as www.corkfacts.com or www.realcork.org or www.corticeiraamorim.com
Clear, garnet showing evolution with slight brown rim.
Clean, high intensity in between secondary and tertiary phase of developement, stewed plums, blackberries, dark cherries, almond husk, black tea leaf, earthy, cherry pip, oak integrated lending a spicy profile with cedar and vanilla note, alcohol noticeable.
Dry still very fresh and vibrant, medium plus acidity, moderate plus tannin starting to dry out, black olives, dry mediterranean herbs, savory, tangy, very good development for a 6 years old Stellenbosch Zin! however it should be mentioned the alcohol is very high (14.5) and is noticeable through back palate and chest burn, this will give extra maturation leg until 2017,nevertheless it is an exciting wine, will work with meat stews in rich gravy.
Medium clear, bright, vibrant ruby red with purple rim, clean, high intensity of ripe red fruits, dark plums, blackberries, hints of cassis, black pepper, earthy, stony minerals, spicy oak subtly integrated, tobacco, rosemary flowers, savoury black olives, complex and layered.
Dry with medium plus acidity, vibrant, fresh and precise with lots of energy, intense, savoury, tapenade, with moderate tannins, lending a firm and ripe structure, salty minerals, Nori sheet, spicy, racy structure, delicate extraction, the alcohol is high (14) but fully integrated, persisted and long lenght, best from 2015 until 2022+
One of the Top Echelon Shiraz in South Africa and the New World, fine Northern Rhone profiling, very well price too.
Clear, pale gold, showing advanced color development, clean, stewed citrus, canned pineapplesin syrup, ripe Custard apples, peppery, intense sandy, dusty minerals, hints of white stone fruits, good purity.
Dry, with high acidity, crunchy, linear with fine focus on delicate fruit, peppery and Custard apples follows through, fruit fading, spicy mid palate, tad oily, fresh, moderate plus alcohol (13.5), elegant, long with good persistence.Now until 2015.
Not in the same league as when it was just released, 3 bottles opened and consistent!
Clear, ruby red with purple rim, clean with medium intensity, perfectly ripe pure red fruits such as cherries, cassis and blackcurrant, graphite mineral, hints of cedary character, mint, spicy, generous, yet restraint at the same time, striking purity and seamlessness for a red blend, not a single variety come to mind as the integration is total.
Dry, very fresh, natural acidity, crucnhy ripe yet sily tannins, focus with so much energy for a red blend, savoury black olives note, juicy salty plums, complex layers with a broad texture, delicate and precise extraction, "kind of walking on a tight rope at 700 m altitude with no harness"!, elegant, suave, impressive wood complexity, hints of vanilla and cedar wood on farewell. It should be noted that the alcohol is high (14) but totally integrated, unnoticeable.
Persistent and long, perfect now, but have so much stamina for at least 8 years, now until 2024+
Maiden vintage of the flagship Roodeberg within KWV portfolio, a highly successful brand with loyal followers locally and internationally, a Western Cape red blend as a tribute to Dr Charles Niehaus who pioneered the original Roodeberg blend in 1949.
Impressive X Factor, a MUST buy by all means and every fans of Roodeberg should at least try a bottle
Entries for this year’s SA Young Wine Show have surpassed the 2 000 mark.
This might well be an indication of a promising 2012 harvest in terms of grape and consequent wine quality. It also underlines the confidence that wine makers and cellar masters from the country’s eight diverse wine regions still have in this, the oldest and largest competition for young wines.
From 23 - 27 July proficient wine experts will blind taste and consider samples of the 2 124 participating wines. The highest acclaim of the competition is undoubtedly receiving the coveted General Smuts trophy for the country’s best young wine. The Pietman Hugo trophy for the highest marks in five categories, as well as other championship trophies and gold, silver and bronze medals are surely just as desirable.
Cellar masters and wine makers invariably receive invaluable feedback on their current decisions regarding wine styles and production methods when their fledgling wines are reviewed.
Qualified wine makers and experts with specialist knowledge about the wine styles and cultivars are annually selected to judge the entries. For this reason wine makers have for decades trusted and supported this competition. As in previous years an eighth learner judge will join the panels consisting of seven experienced judges. Due to popular demand from the industry the training opportunity for emerging assistant wine makers, cellar and vineyard workers will again coincide with the judging process.
The stars of the 2012 vintage will be announced during a gala event on Thursday 16 August at the Sport Centre of the Bloemhof Girls High School in Stellenbosch. The award ceremony is presented under the auspices of Agri-Expo that initiated the country’s very first wine show some 180 years ago.
Wines compete in seventeen different categories and in addition to the two main trophies, entries stand a chance to be named SA Champion in the various classes. The categories include Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Sémillon, Other White Cultivars, Dry White Blends, Sweet White Wine, Noble Late Harvest, Pinotage, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Other Red Cultivars, Dry Red Blends, Port, Dessert wine and Muscadel.
Sauvignon Blanc leads this year’s entries with 121, while Shiraz (wooded) follows with 111 entries and Red Blends (wooded) attracted 109 entries.
For more information, contact Elsabe Ferreira at tel 021 863 1599, email to email@example.com or visit www.youngwineshow.co.za For the latest news follow South African Young Wine Show on Facebook or Twitter #sayoungwine.
Clear, garnet with slight brown rim, advanced color evolution for a 2009, clean with slight soapy character, stewed plums with some overipe red fruits note, high alcohol evident, spicy cinnamon, nutmeg and tobacco character evolving between secondary and tertiary note.
Dry with medium plus slightly hard tannins, tad overextracted, lean, savoury character with some black olives in brine note, high alcohol evident (14%) not totally integrated, salty element,full bodied and robust style indeed, but fruit fading, suggest drinking up to possibly 2015.
Clear, bright, cherry ruby red with slight purple rim, clean, medium plus intensity, yet have an Old World restraint in ripeness, so Beaujolais like and less of the tutti fruity, banana like character often associated with Gamay Noir a Jus Blanc from a New World perspective.
Delicate cherries, plums, just ripe strawberries, spicy mineral core, this is by far the most exciting “aromatics” to date produce by the Estate, when looking back at the previous 2 vintages, a huge step up.
Dry with medium plus acidity, low plus tannins, medium plus alcohol (+/- 13.5%?), complex earthy, mineral core follows through, cherries, savory plums and hints of creamy strawberries, structured, fresh and persistent, yet elegant.
Perfect lunchtime wine will be excellent with charcuterie or in a picnic basket
Now until 2019
Clear, bright, cherry red with slight garnet rim, clean, medium plus intensity, perfectly ripe blueberries, plums, cassis, pure, minty note, earthy with hints of graphite mineral, stony, old oak influence evident, gamey but not bretty!
Dry, with medium acidity, savory black olives, medium alcohol (PERFECT 13%) for Wellington, fresh, savory salty plums, elegant and precise, delicately juicy, perfect with a lamb waterblomejie
Medium clear, cherry red garnet hue with brown rim, advanced color evolution, clean, medium plus intensity, very ripe, stewed red fruit, raisin, dried blackcurrant and cassis, leathery, rich, high alcohol noticeable, prunes, powerful oak, showy style.
Dry with residual sugar, rich, low plus acidity, lacking energy, medium tannin, very high alcohol (14.5%) rich, plush, full bodied, warming glow, fat, tad over extracted, now until 2017, if you want to keep!
Clear, day bright, pale with green reflections and slight coppery rim, oily.
Clean, medium plus intensity, ripe pears, spicy lemon zest, grapefruit segment, peppery, “waxy”, mineral, flinty, faintest hints of cedary oak, subtly integrated.
Dry, with medium plus acidity, medium plus alcohol (+/- 13.5%?) juicy, crisp lemony and crunchy pears follows through, fairly rich and textured mid palate, mineral, Alsatian style, linear and very pure.
By far South Africa's most ambitious, concentrated and pure Pinot Gris, fine typicity, PERFECT now, yet will show dividends with proper bottle ageing, where the broad shoulder textured character will intensify.
Perfect with 24 hours slow roasted Pork Belly in Asian 5 spices.
Fresh, racy, precise, lots of crunchy minerals, high natural acidity, linear, focused, delicate lemony fruit, green orange, just ripe pineapples, citric, honeyed textured on mid palate, vanilla pod, moderate plus alcohol of 13.5%, long persistent length and complexity.
Maiden vintage of a white blend from Morgenster Estate, renown for their Bordeaux style red blends, Nebbiolo blends and Sangiovese blends makes one wonder that yes it is inviting and seductive, yet embryonic elements, will only surface with proper and adequate bottle ageing, best revisited around 2016, should peak around 2018 but will drink well up to 2020+
Blend of Stellenbosch Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon.
This should be a near perfect pairing with either an oven roasted salt crusted Angel fish served deboned, sprinkle with Fleur de Sel, crunchy green beans, home mash, extra virgin Morgenster olive oil and coarse black pepper
Pan seared and oven roasted veal cutlet, served with a light cream tarragon emulsion infused with Bourbon vanilla, lemon confit and mushroom medley.
Morgenster is a partnership between Giulio Bertrand and Pierre Lurton, to learn more about the cutting edge wines of Morgenster Estate please visit www.morgenster.co.za
A must buy, will be a really seductive Christmas gift
Southern Right Sauvignon blanc 2012 has just been bottled after three months on the fine lees and is now available.
Over its 18 years, Southern Right Sauvignon blanc has become the best selling wine made in the cool, maritime Walker Bay wine district near the seaside resort town of Hermanus, and one of the very best selling South African Sauvignon blancs in its price category.
Selling primarily in South Africa, but also in nearly 30 countries worldwide, Southern Right Sauvignon blanc has made a name for having a style between the extremes of full, intense, pungent, pyrazine driven New Zealand Sauvignon blanc and tight, more aromatically restrained, mineral, Loire Sauvignon blanc – with, if anything, a leaning towards the Loire.
An enormous effort is place into achieving complexity, minerality, length, palate coverage and age-worthiness in Southern Right Sauvignon blanc – without relying on high alcohol (and its inevitable - often “hot” - sweetness) or residual sugar for palate weight. Aside from the natural cool, maritime climatic benefits the grapes enjoy, the following are seek for or use:
1. Picking at ripeness levels from 12% alcohol to 13.5% alcohol aiming for the final wine to come in close to 13% alcohol, thereby avoiding the sense of sweetness higher levels can give.
2. Using 5 different clones of Sauvignon blanc – each with their own characteristics – to build complexity.
3. Growing grapes in 17 different vineyard parcels to build further complexity. Each is separately vinified as appropriate to the parcel. All parcels are blended together for the final single wine.
4. Blending Sandstone soil grown Sauvignon blanc with Clay-rich soil grown Sauvignon blanc for a more complete wine.
This is something we researched for many years prior to implementation in 2008. Sandstone grown Sauvignon blanc is more edgy, tense and aromatic, Clay-grown Sauvignon blanc is denser on the mid palate, more “thiols” than “pyrazines” and has greater structural length and age-worthiness.
5. Using a range of yeasts. Yeast which emphasizes aromatics, yeast with generates glycerol and mouthfeel at lower alcohol, and yeast which is endemic to our vineyard. Each adds a nuance to the final blend.
The 2012 displays particularly lifted fruit, with a lovely neutral viscosity to coat the tight, vibrant mineral core.
The finish is characteristically dry. The wine is complex and persistent – a little richer than the 2011. As for all Southern Right Sauvignon blanc, there is an appealing marine pool, sea saltiness to the wine.
Southern Right Sauvignon Blanc 2012 analysis are as follows: Alcohol 13.2%, Acid 7.2, pH 3.13.
The appellations of the grapes are as follows: Hemel-en-Aarde Valley 42.4%, Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley 7.9%, other Walker Bay, 49.7%.
Soil types are as follows: Light structured Table Mountain Sandstone derived soils 69%, clay-rich Bokkeveld Shale derived soils 31%.
Southern Right Sauvignon Blanc is particularly proud of the numerous prestigious restaurant listings from around the world – both by the bottle and by the glass.
Each bottle carries the message of Walker Bay Southern Right whale watching attractions to the world, through their annual Conservation Award and their annual (sadly modest due to the small scale of the business!) donations for conservation efforts in the Walker Bay area, Southern Right proudly play a part in maintaining Hermanus as one of the country’s prime eco-tourist destinations.
Cherry red with slight garnet hue. Clean, crunchy delicately ripe red fruits, cherries, raspberries, strawberry jam, hints of stony/earthy element, subtly oaked, spicy, fresh.
Dry with dash of residual sugar, perfectly ripe, red fruits follows through, full texture, fresh and vibrant, crunchy, lots of energy for a Pinotage, elegant profile, savory with black olives notes, touch briny, with mid palate stuffing adding interest, alcohol is high (14) but integrated, long lenght, persistent.
French patissier and host of Baking Mad on DStv's BBC Lifestyle channel, Eric Lanlard, boasting his latest book 'Tart it Up
English actress and recipe author Fay Ripley and Eric Lanlard with Gizzi Erskine, food writer and television presenter of Cook Yourself Thin hanging on to her glass of Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel Brut Rosé
Eric Lanlard with Willie Harcourt-Cooze Chocolatier and TV star from Willie's Wonky Chocolate Factory enjoying a glass of Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel Brut Rosé
Waiters served Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel Brut Rosé at the beck and call of British foodies and celebrities
Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel Brut Rosé took centre stage at a star studded London event when celebrity chef Eric Lanlard, the world renowned French patissier and host of Baking Mad on DStv’s BBC Lifestyle channel served it to glamorous British foodies at the launch of his latest book ‘Tart it Up!’.
To entice celebrity palates, Kaapse Vonkel Brut Rosé with its elegant, soft bead, was served with decadent tarts such as fig, lardon & Dolcelatte and broccoli & beetroot followed by an array of Eric's signature desserts.
This famous French chef keeps Simonsig’s flagship Cap Classique Cuvée Royale in the private cellar of his magnificent UK home and enjoys it so much that he “would spend his last R200 on a bottle”, as quoted in a recent magazine interview. Converting a true Frenchman to choose a South African Cap Classique over French Champagne, is no small feat and especially fitting for Simonsig, the first South African wine estate to create a sparkling wine made according to the French tradition of secondary bottle fermentation back in 1971.
OBiKWA, the adventurous, fun-loving range of wines has stuck its neck out with an innovative and easy-to-use Facebook tab, entitled “O Face” that lets you unleash your inner ostrich online!
Intrepid wine lovers will have loads of fun ostrichifying themselves in three easy steps. The ‘O Face’ tab on the OBiKWA Facebook page activates your webcam to take a photo or gives you the choice to use one of your existing Facebook images. Once you have decided which image to use, you’re ready to let loose your adventurous ostrich by applying the various wacky application effects. When you’re done, run wild by sharing your new look with all your Facebook friends! By unleashing your inner ostrich, you’ll stand the chance to win a case of OBiKWA wine with your face on it! Go on, stick your neck out and join the OBIKWA tribe by visiting
Light straw colour with apple, minerality and Cape gooseberry flavours. An elegant, vibrant and refined wine from top quality fruit. A full and lingering finish that is well rounded and a perfect food match.
Cellars wishing to enter their finest market ready wines and brandies for this year’s Veritas Awards – SA’s most highly respected industry competition – should not hesitate, for the closing date is 8 August.
Winning a Veritas medal after being blind tasted and judged by experienced and qualified experts is considered to be one of the industry’s most coveted expressions of outstanding quality. The Veritas double gold, gold, silver or bronze medal not merely translates to a pretty shiny sticker on a bottle, but to an acknowledged symbol of quality which draws the eye of the increasingly well informed consumer. The value of this competition in terms of marketing for established, and especially emerging brands, is widely recognized.
In 2010 brandy joined the line-up of the more than 1700 hopefuls that enter annually. Whereas South African brandies previously competed only at an international level, our country’s leading brandy masters can now compare their creations with those of their local peers.
Good news for participants is that the South African National Wine Show Association (SANWSA) that runs this competition has announced that there will be no increase in the entry fees for this year.
While the judging process takes place from 3-7 September those interested in the results will have to be patient until 6 October when the winners will be announced during a gala dinner at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC).
· The recent election of Charles Hopkins as the new chairperson of the SANWSA heralds a period of renewal for the wine industry, especially in terms of the awards ceremony and the compilation of the tasting panels. “I would like to put greater emphasis on the transparency of the entire process,” says Hopkins, a leading cellar master, wine educator and judge. “People should really understand the process and take ownership thereof. I would also like to see younger faces, sommeliers and experts with a commercial background being included in the tasting panels.”
Visit www.veritas.co.za for more information and entry forms, or contact Elsabe Ferreira at 021 863 1599, fax 021 863 1552 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Issued by Marlene Truter Communications
tel 021 437 1568
On behalf of SANWSA
tel 021 863 1599