Monday, September 23, 2013

South Africa`s Top Four Online Wine Raters

South Africa`s Top Four Online Wine Raters

Surprized and humbly pleased to be recognized as one of the Top Four Online Wine Raters in South Africa, thank you Winetimes for the vote of confidence

In a dark basement under a Tsogo Sun Hotel sits a man behind rows of reds. In his hand, a half filled glass of wine. With immense consentration he gazes at the glass while holding it up to the flickering light bulb. He lowers the glass, swirl it, sniff it and move it to his lips for a slow sip. A smile that can make coffee nervous appears on his face as he jumps up and shouts “Miguel, tonight you SCORE!”

Rating System
100 point system

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Stellenbosch in the running for Wine Region of the Year title

SA’s first and foremost wine route nominated for 2013 Wine Star Awards

South Africa’s granddaddy of wine routes, the Stellenbosch American Express ® Wine Routes, which might be considered a golden oldie with its wine tourism legacy spanning over more than four decades, reaffirmed its standing as a world class wine destination as a 2013 nominee for Wine Enthusiast magazine’s coveted Wine Star Awards.

Each year this leading international wine and lifestyle magazine (USA) honours outstanding achievement in wine and spirits and this year our country’s first and foremost wine route is in the running for the prestigious Wine Region of the Year title. It hopes to succeed against tough competition which includes Portugal’s Douro Valley; Paso Robles in California; Spain’s Rías Baixas and the Walla Walla Valley in the south eastern region of Washington.

“This nomination is a huge feather in our Stellenbosch cap and underlines our popularity, prowess and longevity in this highly competitive industry. Our wine route has been the pioneer of the South African wine industry for many years and marketing ourselves to the international market has just received a helping hand!” shares an elated Annareth Bolton, CEO of the Stellenbosch American Express ® Wine Routes.

The winners will be announced in the special December Wine Star Award issue, and the honourees will be presented their Wine Star Award trophies at a gala black-tie dinner in New York City on 27 January 2014.

The Stellenbosch American Express ® Wine Routes was founded in 1971 and this pioneering initiative has changed the face of wine tourism in South Africa, spawning a host of similar regional wine routes in the country of which there are 18 today.

From humble beginnings the Stellenbosch American Express ® Wine Routes now boasts more than 150 wineries as members which have been divided into five sub-routes. This bite-size approach helps visitors get the most out of their winelands experiences, on a route that caters to history buffs, golfers, families, romantic couples, nature lovers, gourmands, casual quaffers and serious pilgrims of the grape.

Visit  or contact Tel: (+27)21 886 4310 for more information on the Stellenbosch American Express ® Wine Routes.

Oak Valley Shiraz 2011 83 Points

Chunky and extracted offerings, concentrated, rich style, full bodied.

Alcohol: very high | 14.5% abv

Origin: Elgin

Notes: blackberry | plums | prunes | tapenade | spicy

Ideal drinking occasions: winter time

Serve with: ostrich civet

Drink: now until 2021+

La Fleurette Non-Alcoholic – Brand new Sparkling Blush from J.C. Le Roux

 Get ready for a brand new take on your favourite pink bubbles with the sensational new J.C. Le Roux La Fleurette Non-Alcoholic. This irresistible sparkling blush has all the taste and alluring style of the original La Fleurette, but in a non-alcoholic alternative for you to indulge yourself a little more.

Just in time for summer, this sparkling newcomer with its lively, passion pink hue and sweet, fruity flavours of strawberry, plum and tropical fruit, is set to become a firm favourite with fashionistas with a taste for Le Good Life. Following in the footsteps of its refreshing alter ego, Le Domaine Non-Alcoholic, La Fleurette Non-Alcoholic is another sure winner from The House of J.C. Le Roux.

“J.C. Le Roux La Fleurette Non-Alcoholic entices all of the senses. Its delightful balance of freshness and sweetness, just like the original J.C. Le Roux La Fleurette, is sure to uplift your spirits. And that extra glass or two anywhere, anytime ensures that this non-alcoholic gem will enliven any occasion,” says Cellarmaster Elunda Basson.

Made with the same care and dedication as the rest of the J.C. Le Roux range, La Fleurette Non-Alcoholic will add a flirty touch and guaranteed glamour, whether visiting your favourite hotspot or enjoying a fabulous night out with friends. It is available country-wide at around R45.99.

For more information, visit, or follow @LeGoodLife on Twitter.
JC La Fleurette Non-Alcoholic

J.C. Le Roux celebrates spring with Ltd edition gift packs

Celebrate spring with J.C. Le Roux’s delightful, palate friendly Méthode Cap Classiques, La Vallée and La Vallée Rosé strutting their stuff in a stylish limited edition gift pack during the month of September.

Available exclusively at The House of J.C. Le Roux on the outskirts of Stellenbosch and at Makro stores country-wide, the gift packs are adorned with beautiful butterflies to herald the arrival of the new season.

The golden hued J.C. Le Roux La Vallée is presented in a beautiful gift pack festooned in rich yellow and orange, a glamorous partner for this firm favourite of bubbly lovers who enjoy a Cap Classique with an off-dry taste without being too sweet.

Beautiful purples and pinks offer a prelude for the blushing J.C. Le Roux La Vallée Rosé with its subtle hint of sweetness and lovely salmon hue, an enchanting Cap Classique equally enjoyable to all.

With stylish designs that embody a festive spring spirit, the new gift packs are sure to be instant hits this season. The J.C. Le Roux La Vallée gift pack is available at R75 and the La Vallée Rosé gift pack at R85.

The House of J.C. Le Roux, situated in the Devon Valley in the heart of the Stellenbosch Winelands, is open seven days a week. Le Venue is open from 09h00 till 16h00 with breakfast served between 09h00 and 11h00 and lunch from 12h00 till 15h00. Visit, or follow @LeGoodLife on Twitter.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Pierre Mignon Champagne Brut NV 90 Points

Buyers own brand exclusive to Spar group South Africa at around R 299 retail, very well made, structured with depth of flavour, fairly rich for a NV, the higher proportion of Pinot Meunier shows it's instant maturity, long lenght, seek it out.

Alcohol: perfect | 12% abv

Origin: Le Breuil, Marne Valley | France

Notes: citrus | brioche | nutty | honey | toast

Ideal drinking occasions: anytime

Serve with: savory dim sum

Drink: now until 2016+

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Oak Valley Chardonnay 2012 94 Points

Having tasted all previous vintages of Oak Valley Chardonnay, over the years, they were good, typical of Elgin district in way of ripeness, fresh and lively with showy oak and glossy mouthfeels, but somewhat lacked the X-Factor, however discovering the 2012 for the first time recently, not only it is gratifying to noticed quite a change in ripeness, yet with no loss of flavor and much lower alcohol than I can ever recall, this is bright, athletic with a laser like precision rarely encountered outside Burgundy Cote D'or, faintess hints of toast, the oak is expertly integrated, supportive where necessary, this is a new and very high standard set for Elgin Chardonnay, super table friendly, tight limey core, fantastic now, yet have impressive structure for long haul cellaring under correct conditions, well done Pieter Visser for pushing the boat very far out! buy at least 12 bottles! 

Alcohol: ideal | 12.5 % abv

Origin: Elgin

Notes: lime | apple | grapefruit | almond | toast

Ideal drinking occasions: romantic dinner

Serve with: grilled scallops, air dried ham foam

Drink: now until 2028

Diemersdal Estate Wine 1984 91 Points

Courtesy of Mike Ratcliffe of Warwick Wine Estate from his own private cellar, tasted at Grande Roche hotel, during South African Airways 2014 Onboard listings judges cocktail, this blend of Cabernet, Shiraz and Pinotage, bottle by KWV then, was as fresh as a daisy, with impressive purity, graceful development and maturation, still so much life, seems to have reach it's peak, yet will remain stable for the next 7 years at least.

Alcohol: NA (probably around 12% abv)

Origin: Durbanville

Notes: red fruits in spirits | cured meat | earthy | spicy

Ideal drinking occasions: with good company

Serve with: savour on it's own, intellectual drop

Drink: now until 2020+

Nederburg Private Bin R 163 Cabernet Sauvignon 1982 91 Points

Courtesy of Cape Wine Master Bennie Howard, from his home collection, a Nederburg Auction wine, during the gala dinner of South African Airways Onboard 2014 listings at Bosman, Grande Roche hotel, this is testament of how quality South African wine age over decades, at a time when the obsession, ego with high alcohol and physiological ripeness was not the buzz word, unmistakably mature Cabernet, fresh and lively, still so much energy for a 31 years old wine, respect.

Alcohol: ideal | 12.5 % abv

Origin: Paarl

Notes: cassis | stony | leather | truffle | game

Ideal drinking occasions: formal dinner with close acquaintances

Serve with: pan seared duck breast

Drink: now until 2018