Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Re-affirming that South African whiskies are acknowledged as some of the best in the world, the Three Ships whisky fleet is celebrating two gold medals received at the 2013 International Wine and Spirits Competition. The Three Ships Premium Select 5 Year Old took Gold Outstanding - the highest accolade bestowed on a whisky - while the limited-edition Three Ships 10 year old single malt received gold, only months after the Three Ships Premium Select was awarded gold and best in class at the 2013 International Spirits Challenge in London and the Three Ships 10 year old Three Ships single malt took gold at the 2013 San Francisco Spirits Competition

The two whiskies, produced at the James Sedgwick Distillery situated in the Boland town of Wellington, are crafted by Andy Watts, master distiller of more than 22 years.

The Three Ships Premium Select 5 Year Old is a blend of selected South African and Scotch whiskies, combining heavily peated malted barley and grain, and matured for five years in American oak. The whisky is robust, aromatic and unpretentious with a full peaty character on the palate leading to an extended warm finish.

The Three Ships 10 Year Old single malt is aged for the full ten years in American oak of different ages with older smaller wood contributing to the whisky’s smoothness and slight sweetness.  It is a well-rounded whisky with a hint of peat and estery notes that add a slightly sweet fragrance hinting of dried fruit and fudge.

The Three Ships 5 year old Premium Select is available from leading liquor outlets for about R115 whilst you will be lucky if you can get your hands on the Three Ships 10 year old as there are very few left of the 8000 bottles originally produced. It retails for about R260. 


The proudly South African Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky is turning heads internationally by adding yet another gold award to its already impressive list of accolades. It has just taken gold at the 2013 International Wine and Spirits Competition, the fourth consecutive year it has done so at this competition. The award also follows hot on the heels of the gold and best in class it received at the 2013 International Spirits Challenge in London, competing against whiskies from around the world. This, coupled with the title it currently holds as the World’s Best Grain Whisky bestowed on it at the 2013 World Whisky Awards, is pushing this single grain whisky’s reputation to new heights.

Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky is made from only three natural ingredients – water, yeast and grain – and owes its exceptional smoothness and distinctive flavour profile to the carefully selected oak barrels, previously used for maturing bourbon in America, in which the whisky is matured. Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky spends three years maturing in these barrels where after it is transferred to a different set of ex-bourbon barrels to extract the maximum flavour from the casks. Regular tastings by the master distiller and his team ensure that the maturation produces the quality and style desired.

The whisky is exceptionally smooth with toffee, floral and vanilla aromas softened by sweet, spicy undertones.

Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky is distilled and matured at The James Sedgwick Distillery in Wellington in the Boland and is inspired by the natural beauty of the Bain’s Kloof Pass. The whisky is crafted from the finest South African grain and pays tribute to Andrew Geddes Bain, the pioneering road builder who built Bain’s Kloof Pass in 1853 to connect Wellington to the interior.

Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky is available from leading liquor outlets and retails for about R220, with or without a gift tin. 


The Bunnahabhain 25 year old single malt, produced on the world-famous whisky producing island, Isle of Islay, has been awarded gold at the 2013 International Wine and Spirits Competition held in London. Applauded by the judges for its “delicate floral, dark sugar, caramel and coffee flavours with tremendous seaside character” they christened this 25 year old as “a gorgeous gentle giant”.

It is best to enjoy this warm and welcoming single malt neat or with a dash of water to really savour its wonderful combination of flavours. The Bunnahabhain 25 year old single malt has been matured in predominantly ex-bourbon casks with a small percentage of ex-sherry casks used.

Unlike most single malts from Islay, Bunnahabhain’s (pronounced Bū-na-ha-venn) single malts are crafted from unpeated malted barley and pure spring water piped from the Margadale River, untainted by the peaty moorlands, and for this reason, the whiskies are known as the gentle taste of Islay. The Bunnahabhain 12, 18 and 25 year old single malts, crafted by Ian MacMillan, are all un-chillfiltered, returning to the whisky-making tradition of Bunnahabhain’s distillers many years ago. With nothing taken away or added, the whisky retains all of its depth of flavour, aromas, colours and character. This allows the gentle, subtle notes of the malt to come through, providing a purer taste, nose and appearance.

The distillery, dating back to 1881, is situated on the north-eastern tip of Islay overlooking the Sound of Islay. Due to the close proximity of the warehouses to the sea where the casks are stored during the maturation process, a noticeable sea influence is evident in the finish.

The whisky is available at most fine liquor outlets and retails for about R2 390.

Babylonstoren Viognier 2012 82 Points

Turbo charge Viognier, super ripe with glossy stone fruit and bitter farewell.

Alcohol: irresponsibly very high | 15 abv

Origin: Simonsberg Paarl

Notes: peach | apricot | lemon | jasmine

Ideal drinking occasions: the last drink!

Serve with: Double cream Camembert cheese

Drink: now until 2016+

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Paul Cluver Estate Seven Flags 2010 95+ Points

Fifth vintage released, a confident and restraint offerings showing impressive purity of fruit, integral oak, tight core with bright focus, savory edge, layered complexity, airy and athletic style, persistent lenght, this is without a doubt Elgin district finest Pinot Noir ever release to date with no immediate competitors in the horizon, anytime soon, confirmation of the level of excellence achieved by this estate, firmly one of South Africa's and the New World most dynamic Pinot grower

Alcohol: moderate plus | 13.5 abv

Origin: Elgin

Notes: cherries | cranberries | orange peel | olive | porcini

Ideal drinking occasions: Romantic dinner out or very special occasions celebrations

Serve with: Duck a L'orange

Drink: now until 2022+

Medeo Restaurant Winter Warmer Lunch Menu

Babylonstoren Chardonnay 2011 90+ Points

Meursault profiled with bright citrus and nutty character, juicy, full bodied

Alcohol: high | 14 abv

Origin: Simonsberg - Paarl

Notes: citrus | tangerine | hazelnuts | toast | meringue

Ideal drinking occasions: cooler days

Serve with: snails in garlic butter or grilled firm fish (SASSI) with beurre blanc

Drink: now until 2021+

Babylonstoren Babel 2011 91+ Points

Captivating Bordeaux style blend showing profound notes of red fruits medley, savory texture, moreish, ignored at your peril

Alcohol: high | 14 abv

Origin: Western Cape blends

Notes: blackcurrant | cassis | olives | tobacco | cedar

Ideal drinking occasions: on cold night by fireplace

Serve with: meaty tapas

Drink: now until 2023+

Monday, July 29, 2013

Taste wines from Africa’s southernmost winery at De Hoop Wine, Whales & Music

De Hoop Collection Nature Reserve, Overberg Region, Friday, 2 August to Sunday, 4 August

First Sighting - Shiraz 2011

Taste cool climate wines from Africa’s southernmost winery, Strandveld Vineyards, situated in Elim, South Africa’s youngest wine growing region, at the Wine, Whales & Music event at De Hoop Collection Nature Reserve in the Overberg region fromFriday, 2 to Sunday, 4 August 2013.
Strandveld SB 2012

On Saturday, 3 August, Strandveld will showcase its top tier Strandveld range and more accessible First Sighting wines alongside its peers from Elim and neighbouring areas. Visitors will be able to taste and buy wines in the De Hoop estate courtyard, including the newly launched First Sighting Shiraz 2011 and Strandveld Sauvignon Blanc 2012.

Other activities to look forward to during the weekend include whale viewing, local music, truffle-making, picnic lunches as well as gourmet meals; all the ingredients for a not-to-be-missed weekend in the Overberg.

Booking for the weekend is essential. Email or phone
021 422 4522. Visit www.dehoopcollection.coza or for the full programme.

·         Open for wine tastings in the historic tasting room and offering the experience to extend your stay in one of the welcoming guest cottages, Strandveld Vineyards, home of First Sighting can be reached at Tel: +27 (0)28 482 1906 or via email at Visit, Facebook or follow @Strandveldwines on Twitter. The GPS coordinates are 34 ° 39 ' 592 " S; 19 ° 47 ' 268 " E.

Domaine Grier French Tradition Brut NV 89+ Points

Exclusive to Woolworths, Villiera's French offerings a blend of Chardonnay and Maccabeu, Methode Traditionelle, worth trying

Alcohol: perfect | 11.5% abv

Origin: France

Notes: lemon | pastry | spicy

Ideal drinking occasions: anytime, festive occasions

Serve with: Aperitif, oysters

Drink: best from end 2014 until 2016+

Longmarket Chardonnay 2012 89 Points

Fragrant and juicy perfect glass at lunchtime

Alcohol: moderate | 13% abv

Origin: Robertson

Notes: peach | apricot | citrus | lime | vanilla

Ideal drinking occasions: anytime

Serve with: boiled fresh noodles with nuoc nam, garlic dressing, spring onions

Drink: now until end 2014

Alvi's Drift Shiraz 2010 83 Points

Delicately juicy with peppery note, oak dust

Alcohol: high | 14% abv

Origin: Worcester

Notes: plums | blackberry | cocoa | pepper | spicy

Ideal drinking occasions: anytime

Serve with: Beef Bolognaise and pasta

Drink: now until end 2014

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Domaine Grier French Rose 2012 89+ Points

To date the best imported rose available at Woolworths, delicately dry, refreshing and crisp

Alcohol: ideal | 12.5% abv

Origin: Cotes Catalanes | France

Notes: strawberries | cranberries | cherries

Ideal drinking occasions: anytime

Serve with: Ceasar salad, bouillabaisse

Drink: now until end 2014


Learn the essence of creating a masterpiece along with Durbanville Hills’ red winemaker Wilhelm Coetzee as he shares the technique of blending red wines at the cellar on Thursday, 29 August. This hugely popular evening allows you to create your very own Bordeaux and Cape-style blends and discover what it takes in creating these extraordinary wines.

Wilhelm will assist teams of four in creating their own unique wine which will then be bottled, sealed under cork and labelled.

After the blending experience green olive and lemon chicken tagine and couscous is served followed by coffee or tea and biscotti before claiming your goodie bag and your signature red wine.

Durbanville Hills’ wines will be on sale throughout the evening.

Date:               Thursday, 29 August, 2013
Time:               18:30 for 19:00
Venue:             Durbanville Hills Wines tasting room
Cost:                R230 per person (includes welcome drink, wine blending, dinner, coffee or tea, goodie bag and your own labelled bottle of wine)

Space is very limited and booking is essential. Please contact Simone Brown on (021) 558 1300 or e-mail

Friday, July 26, 2013

Amorim Tsogo Sun Cap Classique Challenge 2013

Amorim Tsogo Sun Cap Classique Challenge 2013 organizers would like to thank the South African wine industry and the Cap Classique Association for their support of the challenge with entries exceeding expectations, long live South African sparkling wines

Sink your teeth into Steak & Shiraz at Hartenberg Wine Estate

Carnivores can indulge in the Butcher’s choice and a glass of top notch Shiraz at Hartenberg Wine Estate, one of South Africa’s leading Shiraz producers in the heart of the Stellenbosch Winelands this winter.

Tried and tested, there is no better combination than a glass of this famous red served with a juicy rib eye steak. Pair it with delicious homemade frites and a crisp, fresh salad and you’ll have a meal guaranteed to pick up your spirits.

A visit to Hartenberg is a must on a glorious sunny winter’s day with a wide variety of activities for all ages from a sandpit, jungle gym and trampoline for the little ones to boules or croquet for the adults. Alternatively, a warm, crackling fire welcomes guests in the tasting room.

Hartenberg Wine Estate’s mouthwatering Steak & Shiraz lunch is available daily from Monday to Saturday at just R90 per person including a glass of Hartenberg Shiraz. All the food is prepared by Hartenberg’s trained staff who take great pride in their food offerings. Hartenberg uses home grown herbs and salads and supports local producers of fine artisanal cheeses, cold meats, breads and olives.

Hartenberg Wine Estate is situated on the Bottelary Road (M23) off the R304 to Stellenbosch. For bookings, call Tel: (+27)21-8652541, Email: or visit


Three of the four specialty brandies in the Van Ryn's Collection Reserve range have been highlighted for distinction by the judging panel at this year's International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC) in London, to win what the organisers term, gold outstanding medals. The fourth brandy has earned gold.

The 12, 15 and 20 Year Olds scored gold outstanding in their respective classes, with the 10 Year Old taking gold.

To win gold, a contender must earn a score of at least 90. Those judged exceptional are honoured with gold outstanding medals.

The 12 Year Old was described by the judges as "a masterpiece of satisfaction", the 15 Year Old as having "superb balance" and the 20 Year Old as having "an incredibly rich palate" and as "satisfying and relaxing in a luxurious way."

Earlier this month, the Van Ryn's 10 Year Old also won gold at the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, while a few weeks ago, the Van Ryn's 10 Year Old and 12 Year Old came home with gold from the International Spirits Challenge.

The title of IWSC Worldwide Best Brandy for 2013 went to Asbach Private Brand 8 Jahre Gereift, a brandy from Germany. Van Ryn's is a former multiple winner of the title.

South Africa dominated the 2013 gold outstanding brandy IWSC roll of honour with Van Ryn's featuring more prominently than any other brand, followed by Oude Meester.

Thursday, July 25, 2013


This week (22 - 26 July) a host of wine experts will sniff, taste and appraise no less than 2 060 wines entered for the 2013 SA Young Wine Awards. These wines - originating from the eight wine regions of the country - were entered by 135 producers who have their eyes on the sought-after General Smuts trophy for the country's best young wine, the Pietman Hugo Trophy for the highest score in five categories, as well as 17 other championship trophies and gold, silver and bronze medals.

The SA Young Wine Show is by far South Africa's largest and oldest competition for young wines and offers wine makers the ultimate opportunity to compare their choices of wine styles and production methods with those of their peers at an early stage.

The meticulous judging system, as well as the experience and expertise of the 128 tasters who judge in specialist cultivar panels, further enhance the credibility of the competition.

As in previous years, an eighth learner judge will join the various tasting panels in order to gain valuable training and exposure. Assistant wine makers, protégés, viticulturists, cellar workers that have competed the US Wine Evaluation course and even wine writers will this year benefit from this endeavour.

Wines are judged in 17 categories, namely 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 once again leads in terms of the number of entries with 110, while Cabernet Sauvignon (wooded) breathes in its neck with 109 entries, followed by Any Cultivar Blend (Red Wine - wooded) with 102 entries.

The best of the 2013 vintage will be announced during a luncheon on Thursday 15 August at the Org de Rac Winery in Piketberg - an event hosted by the Swartland Wine Route and presented under the auspices of Agri-Expo who has been serving the wine industry for more than 180 years.

For more information, contact Elsabe Ferreira at tel 021 863 1599, via email to or visit . Stay abreast with the latest news on Facebook at South African Young Wine Show or Twitter #sayoungwine.


Children with special needs, who live on wine farms and townships in Stellenbosch and Somerset West, are being given a major developmental boost in a new critical skills development programme funded by the Distell Foundation.

The after-school programme run by the Pebbles Project Trust, caters for about 260 children, mostly from grades 1 to 7 and focuses not just on improving foundational skills for school learning but also on a wide range of other abilities.

Every day after school, the learners spend the first part of the afternoon completing school homework, with teachers on hand to help with problems. The rest of the time is spent on structured activities to enhance their physical co-ordination and motor skills, their emotional and behavioural development, their proficiency in communication and numeracy, as well as on art, music and drama.

The after-school programme operates every weekday in renovated buildings on a variety of wine farms and is run by 22 teachers trained for the purpose by the Pebbles Project. Some have already worked in the teaching profession. Others are members of their communities who have been suitably skilled to take on the task.

After-school club programme manager Estée Heyns, who is the mother of two young children says: "Many children from marginalised communities lose out on the vital developmental skills in the early stages of their growing up and this keeps them from realising their potential as they become older. This critical skills development plan, conceived and produced by the Pebbles Project, is intended to enrich their lives and equip them more fully to participate positively as members of their families and communities."

Rolled out and implemented this year, the programme is already showing promising results, she adds. "The Pebbles teachers are enthused by the greater level of involvement shown by the learners and they positively reinforce each other.  They are also reporting improvement in the kids' behaviour, their confidence and their overall skill sets."

The programme also has another major benefit. "Research shows that the hours from 15:00 to 17:30 are the peak period for criminal activities and victimisation. Children left unsupervised in the afternoon are more likely to become sexually active and be at risk of becoming criminally involved. With the children in our programme under supervision, their exposure to such risk is reduced."

Monday, July 22, 2013



Last year’s Runner-Up and previous Semi-Finalistsgo through to the 2013 Semi-Finals

A wide range of enthusiastic applicants entered the First-Round of The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award 2013. All applicants completed an ‘open book’ test, from which the top six have progressed to the Semi-Finals. First-Round candidates were assessed on the basis of their completed Questionnaire (theoretical component) for which the minimum pass was 65%, as well as on the basis of their experience in wine service in fine dining establishments.

Runner-Up of The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award 2012, Kayetan Meissner, currently Sommelier at Bosman’s Restaurant at the Grande Roche Hotel in Paarl, and Semi-Finalist in both 2011 and 2012, Eric Botha, currently Sommelier at Bel Punto Restaurant in Umdloti, are both through again to the Semi-Finals.

Once again this year, all the Semi-Finalists are from Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape, the three provinces which have the highest concentration of fine dining restaurants in South Africa.

The Six 2013 Semi-Finalists are:

Current employment
Previous success in this competition
Germain Lehodey
Restaurant Mosaic, Pretoria

Sean Trollip
Kream Restaurant, Pretoria
2011 Semi-Finalist
Xolani Manconywa
Saxon Boutique Hotel, Johannesburg

KwaZulu Natal
Current employment
Previous success in this competition
Eric Botha
Bel Punto Restaurant, Umdloti
2011 and 2012 Semi-Finalist

Western Cape
Current employment
Previous success in this competition
Barry Scholfield
Rust en Vrede Restaurant, Stellenbosch

Kayetan Meissner
Bosman’s Restaurant at the Grande Roche Hotel, Paarl
2011 Semi-Finalist and 2012 Runner-Up

·         The Semi-Finals will take place on 5th August 2013 at Morgenhof Wine Estate in Stellenbosch.
·         The Finalists will compete in Cape Town on 9th October 2013 at Ellerman House, Bantry Bay.
·         The winner of The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award 2013 will be announced at an exclusive Champagne event at Ellerman House on 31st October 2013, and will win a trip to France, including a trip to the prestigious House of Champagne Bollinger. The Runner-Up will win a one night stay for two, including bed and breakfast, at Ellerman House.

Competition criteria and judging:

The competition entry criteria are:

·         Those currently employed in the service of food and wine and with a history of minimum three years of such service.
·         Contestants are required to have substantial knowledge of the local wine scene and of the professional service of both food and wine.
·         An adequate knowledge of international wine appellations and styles of wine is also a prerequisite.
·         More importantly, however, the contest examines the ability of those selling wine in the hospitality industry to relate what is produced in South Africa to the expectations of international visitors more familiar with the major wine producing regions of the world.

Semi-Finalists for the practical component of the competition are tested on their knowledge of wine styles and tasting ability in the form of a blind tasting. They are further assessed on their competence in making food and wine pairing recommendations, and finally on their ability to perform tasks of professional wine service.

Judges at all rounds of the competition include internationally trained sommeliers, Cape Wine Masters and members of the hospitality trade.

The South African Sommelier Association is fully behind The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award and some of its members will again be judges at the Semi-Finals and the Finals.

For further details, visit the official website:

Additional information on The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award

The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service 2012 Award

2012 Winner:
·         Wayve Kolevsohn: Previously employed at The Roundhouse in Camps Bay and currently the Sommelier at The Test Kitchen, Cape Town;

2012 Runner-up:
·         Kayetan Meissner: A Sommelier at the Saxon Boutique Hotel in Sandhurst, Johannesburg at the time.

2012 Judges:
·         Mia Martensson, Sommelier and Sales Manager for The Winery Of Good Hope
  • Kent Scheermeyer, Sommelier and founder of KSconsult
  • Neil Grant, Sommelier and co-owner of Burrata Restaurant, Cape Town
  • Ginette de Fleuriot, Cape Wine Master & Marketing Manager for Vinimark The Wine Company
  • Higgo Jacobs, Sommelier and consultant
This annual competition, which is aimed at enhancing and recognising the calibre of local sommeliers and wine service staff, was launched in 2011 and proved to be a resounding success.

Champagne Bollinger is proud to be the main sponsor of The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award. The competition is a joint initiative between Vinimark The Wine Company (importer of Champagne Bollinger and South Africa’s largest independent specialist wine wholesaling company) and The Reciprocal Wine Trading Company, importers and distributors of Riedel Glassware.

Ginette de Fleuriot, Marketing Manager at Vinimark The Wine Company and organiser of The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award comments, “This industry-wide initiative was established to advance the interests of all of the country's fine wine producers, as well as those who make their living from the sale of wine in hotels, restaurants and wine bars. The sponsors and organisers trust that this competition will continue to act as a catalyst for the hospitality industry to expand training facilities and support local sommeliers and sommeliers-in-training, in the interests of all those who enjoy dining out.”

Neil Grant, Chairperson of the South African Sommelier Association (SASA), states: “Wine service has a poor history in South Africa and only with incentives such as these will we find an improvement within the industry. Chefs in South Africa over the past 10 years have proven how good they are and now wine stewards/sommeliers need to be part of this movement so we can challenge the international markets.” SASA has committed to mentoring the winning candidates to further assist in guaranteeing continued professional wine service of an international standard.


J.C. Le Roux voted SA’s top wine brand for 3rd consecutive year

J.C. Le Roux has been voted South Africa’s top wine brand for the third consecutive year in the 2013 TGI ICON Brand Survey.

TGI ICON brands are typically South African brands that are loved, have a loyal following and instill a common experience in the hearts and minds of consumers irrespective of cultural backgrounds, income levels and language. South Africans will even seek these brands out in countries outside South Africa.  

With its hat trick as winner of the alcoholic drinks wine category in this annual consumer opinion poll, J.C. Le Roux, a platinum brand winner this year, has proven its prowess once again as South Africa’s leading sparkling wine. It was one of more than 8 000 brands measured in 165 product categories, as used by South African consumers.

“It is an honour for J.C. Le Roux to be voted the country’s top wine brand by consumers for the third consecutive year. With this uplifting South African favourite, we truly bring Le Good Life to consumers’ doorsteps and into their homes, ensuring style and glamour for every occasion with our fine selection of wines,” says Brand Manager Lucindi-Jane Branfield.

The House of J.C. Le Roux, situated in the heart of the Devon Valley in Stellenbosch, is acclaimed for its passion, craftsmanship and expertise to make outstanding vintage Méthode Cap Classique and sparkling wines to suit every palate.

For more information, visit or follow @LeGoodLife on Twitter.

Amorim Tsogo Sun Cap Classique Challenge

Amorim Tsogo Sun Cap Classique Challenge

3 days to go to recognized South Africa's Cap Classique of the year 2013, entries close Wednesday 24th July 1600

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Tokara Reserve Collection Chardonnay 2009 92 Points

still youthful and vibrant, showing very good development, impressively captivating

Alcohol: high | 14% abv

Origin: Walker Bay

Notes: tangerine | peach | grilled nuts | vanilla | smoky

Ideal drinking occasions: impress your Burgundy "centric" friends

Serve with: baked cod

Drink: now until 2023

CR&F Aguardente Velha Reserva 91 Points

rich amber with subtle vanilla and smoky notes, juicy, perfect digestif

Alcohol: within range | 40.2% abv

Origin: Portugal

Notes: raisin | prunes | spices | honey | caramel

Ideal drinking occasions: after meals

Serve with: Cohiba cigars

Drink: now

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Glen Carlou "Celebrating 25 years of Chardonnay" 2012 95 Points

Limited release of only 1000 bottles from acclaim Quartz Stone Single Vineyard to celebrate 25 years of excellence in Chardonnay productions ("green label", unwooded & single vineyard) Glen Carlou is without a doubt THE undisputed Paarl champion as well as one of South Africa's and the world most consistent and finest Chardonnay growers, in fact if ever one day there will be an official South African classification aiming at rubbing shoulders with Burgundies icons their single vineyards deserve  the recognition of being "Grand Cru / First Growth", no debate, full stop.
Corton cross Chevalier Montrachet inspired offerings, captivating, profound, bright, perfectly ripe, precise, focus and laser like acidity beaming with energy, Head Winemaker Arco Laarman, most captivating chardonnay to date, this is world class.

Bottle 337 of 1000 tasted blind alongside 2 Grand Cru Burgundies

Alcohol: moderate | 13% abv

Origin: Paarl

Notes: citrus | orange blossom | tangerine | hazelnut | toast

Ideal drinking occasions: very special occasions, wedding anniversary, engagement....

Serve with: veal rib roast, Bearnaise sauce, wilted baby spinach truffle scented oil

Drink: irresistible now, yet will last until 2025+

The Winery of Good Hope Chenin Blanc 2012 90 Points

lifted aromatics, juicy, broad, refreshing

Alcohol: moderate | 13% abv

Origin: Stellenbosch

Notes: apples | citrus | peach | honey | frangipani

Ideal drinking occasions: anytime

Serve with: grilled prawns peri peri

Drink: now until end 2014+

Overgaauw Chardonnay 2012 85 Points

delicately juicy, tensile, subtle spices

Alcohol: moderate plus | 13.5% abv

Origin: Stellenbosch

Notes: stone fruits | lemon | nutty | honey | vanilla

Ideal drinking occasions: anytime

Serve with: steam pork ribs rubbed in fermented black beans and chilli

Drink: best revisited end 2014

Overgaauw Estate Merlot 2011 89+ Points

South Africa's original Merlot bottling, maiden vintage in 1982, powerful style, deserve lengthy aerating if open now.

Alcohol: high | 14% abv

Origin: Stellenbosch

Notes: blackberries | currants | cherries | peppery | cedar

Ideal drinking occasions: cool autumn to winter dinners

Serve with: wine marinated braised chicken with red peppers, bacon and mushroom

Drink: best revisited in 2015

Dr Charles Niehaus Roodeberg 2011 93+ Points

seamless blends, savory offering, pin point freshness. engaging, captivating

Alcohol: very high | 14.5% abv

Origin: Western Cape blends

Notes: blackberry | plums | cassis | spicy | juicy

Ideal drinking occasions: wine to impress

Serve with: Char grilled T Bone

Drink: now until 2021+

Overgaauw Sylvaner 2012 91 Points

South Africa's only bottling of it's kind, bright, lemony, racy, delicate, super table friendly, impressive longevity, should be a permanent feature in any fridge, surprise your friends

Alcohol: perfect | 12% abv

Origin: Stellenbosch

Notes: lemon | grapefruit | straw | spicy  

Ideal drinking occasions: anytime

Serve with: grilled linefish of the day

Drink: now, may be kept up to 2025

Louis Sauvignon Blanc 2013 90 Points

textbook, pack with flavor, plush, smart wine

Alcohol: high | 14% abv

Origin: Darling

Notes: tropical | kiwi | lime | gooseberries | granadilla

Ideal drinking occasions: anytime

Serve with: goat cheeses, relish and crackers

Drink: now until winter 2014

JC Leroux Brut MCC 85 Points

Pinot Noir driven blends with Chardonnay, fruity, juicy, fresh and well price

Alcohol: perfect | 12% abv

Origin: Western Cape blends

Notes: berries | apple | lime | pastry | toast

Ideal drinking occasions: anytime

Serve with: Oysters, fish and chips

Drink: now

Spier 21 Gables Chenin Blanc 2012 92+ Points

40 years old bush vines, delivering impressive purity, juicy structure, supportive oaking

Alcohol: high | 14% abv

Origin: Tygerberg

Notes: apples | lemon | floral | vanilla | nutty

Ideal drinking occasions: anytime

Serve with: tempura prawns

Drink: now until 2019+


The Beautiful Lady logo 

The newest addition to Nederburg's gourmet collection of hand-made Heritage Heroes wines is the maiden 2012 vintage of The Beautiful Lady.

The single-vineyard Gewűrztraminer returns the varietal to the Nederburg portfolio after an interval of 15 years, according to the winery. The new wine is sourced from the same Stellenbosch farm used by Günter Brözel to produce the Gewűrztraminer entry that earned him the title of Diners Club Winemaker of the Year in 1985.

The gracefully aromatic wine with a subtle sweetness is the ideal accompaniment to aromatic and spicy dishes, says cellar master Razvan Macici. It also extends the food pairing repertoire of the Heritage Heroes line-up that includes two wooded whites and two red blends.

The Beautiful Lady takes its name from a description of Ilse Graue, the wife of Johann Graue, a German immigrant who bought Nederburg in 1937. He is credited with introducing far-reaching wine-growing and winemaking changes at Nederburg.

Ilse brought her own changes to Nederburg, remodelling the 1800 manor house to accommodate her Bechstein piano and to include a second storey for the bedrooms.

"She brought a gracious sense of hospitality to Nederburg, planting a fine rose garden that still occupies pride of place in our garden. She brought her fine china, crystal glass, silver and paintings from Germany, when she settled here with her husband and son, Arnold. She played her grand piano for her guests and entertained regularly," says Macici.

It was former winemaker Günter Brözel who called her "the beautiful lady".  She made him feel welcome when he joined Nederburg as winemaker in 1953. Ilse moved from Nederburg to Hermanus when she was widowed in 1959 and lived there until her own death 25 years later.

Macici believes the elegant, fragrant and lively wine with a haunting, almost elusive sweetness, is an apt tribute to Ilse. "The rose petal aromatics remind us of the rose garden. The wine's litchi, pineapple and Turkish delight characteristics are very alluring and its sweetness is more suggested than overt, enlivened by good acidity. It closes on a lovely, lingering finish."

He enjoys it as an aperitif or with fruity curries and fragrant Thai and Indian dishes made with butter or coconut milk, Cantonese and Schezhuan seafood and poultry dishes. "It also makes a great partner to fruit flans."

The Beautiful Lady joins The Anchorman, a wooded Chenin blanc; The Young Airhawk, a wooded Sauvignon blanc; The Brewmaster, a Bordeaux-style red; and The Motorcycle Marvel, a Rhône-style red, to complete the Heritage Heroes collection. The whites are available from Nederburg in Paarl for R95 a bottle and the reds for R110.  The wines are also available from the Vinoteque, fine dining establishments and selected fine wine shops.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Spier 21 Gables Pinotage 2011 90+ Points

Plush offering, concentrated texture, excellent purity, juicy and broad, seamless

Alcohol: very high | 14.5% abv

Origin: Stellenbosch

Notes: plum | blackberry | mocha | toast | smoky

Ideal drinking occasions: winter time

Serve with: Springbok or similar venison steak

Drink: now until 2021+

Viticoltori Acquesi Moscato d'Asti DOCG NV 90 Points

Inviting and super charming aromatic semi sparkling wine packed with juicy flavors, recent wine list addition to BICE Ristorante at Southern Sun Hyde Park

Alcohol: perfect | 5.5% abv

Origin: Piedmont | Italy

Notes: lemon | peach | lychees | honey | zest

Ideal drinking occasions: anytime, aperitifs

Serve with: sushi or creme brulee

Drink: now