Saturday, March 29, 2014

Patriarche Pere et Fils Merlot 2011 89 Points

Growing up in Mauritius, I remember as a kid, Patriache Pere et Fils red wines in 2 litres bottle, do not asked me what they were!! was very popular on the island, and my grandmother always has a few cases in the kitchen, part of her every day tipple with dinner or Sunday lunchtime..... surprised and pleased to see it today at Ultra Liquors Wynberg!

Textbook Merlot offering exclusive to Ultra Liquors, impressively priced at R 39.83, you simply cannot beat that value, buy by the case load, will put to shame many excessively and unjustifiably local Merlot producers! Well done Mark Norrish on bringing this to your selections!

Alcohol: moderate | 13 % abv

Origin: Vin de France

Notes: plums | cherries | blackberries | spicy

Ideal drinking occasions: anytime for a good glass of Merlot!

Serve with: Pan fried or grilled sirloin with thyme, garlic and farm butter

Drink: now until 2017 

Leopard’s Leap Chardonnay 2012 86 Points

Unoaked offering on the riper side and quite rich in texture, feels more powerful than it’s 13% abv, round and fresh, juicy, perfect with seafood, bottle ordered, lunchtime today, at Brass Bell in Kalk Bay

Alcohol: moderate | 13 % abv

Origin: Western Cape blends

Notes: lemon | stone fruit | orange | floral | honey

Ideal drinking occasions: anytime

Serve with: crispy calamari and chips (which by the way was excellent!)

Drink: now until 2016 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Thierry & Guy Fat Bastard Pinot Noir 2012 86 Points

Following with my previous post, herewith my view on the maiden vintage Fat Bastard Pinot Noir, a brand that is currently doing very well and growing in demand all over, surprisingly very well made style, delicate ripeness with impressive purity of fruit, shows Pinot character, though the wine spent 20 months in small oak shows no sign the fruit integrity has been compromised, lending subtle spices to the overall crunchy and crisp profile, food wine by excellence it is a Pinot I would like to see in 5 year time however I will not recommend keeping that long, because from experience, it is one of the worst cork closure use to seal a wine, bear in mind I do not sell closure and I do prefer good quality natural cork, but these agglomerate cork, are absolutely rubbish, I have thrown bins of wine contaminated by the glue!! For a wine with a trade price ex VAT of over R 70, surely a better cork could have been use?  

Alcohol: ideal | 12.5 % abv
Origin: Robertson
Notes: cranberry | cherries | strawberries | delicately spicy
Ideal drinking occasions: anytime with food, served lightly chilled
Serve with: grilled duck magret and crunchy roasted root salad

Drink: now until 2016 (see comment on closure) 

U.S. Champagne Shipments on the Rise

With the significant economic downturn of 2009 now behind us, shipments of Champagne from the Champagne region of France continue to show significant growth in the United States. Just last year, more than 17.8 million bottles of Champagne were shipped to the United States, an increase of more than 160,000 bottles compared to 2012.

More and more Americans understand that Champagne only comes from Champagne, which is reflected in the positive growth in shipments of Champagne to the United States since 2009. The below infographic brings this growth to light and we hope you will find it helpful in illustrating this growth. If you would like to share, please source the graphic to the Champagne Bureau, USA. You can use the following link to go to the image directly:

Argiolas Angialis Sardinia 2009 87 Points

Bright, dark gold with coppery reflections, ripe style with tangerine and marmalade note, candied orange peel, perfume, not so clean overall, probably due to older barrels? But not TCA! Hints of botrytis and high alcohol (14.5%) evident, juicy, ripe texture, dessication character evident, lacks acidity and precision, extracted with phenolic richness, tad overworked as a style, now until 2020+
Available through Solovino

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Three Renowned Wine Regions Join Growing Global Coalition to Protect Wine Place Names

Declaration expands to 19 with addition of Bordeaux, Bourgogne/Chablis and Santa Barbara County

EPERNAY, France—The American wine region of Santa Barbara County, California, and French wine regions Bordeaux and Bourgogne/Chablis became the latest signatories of the Joint Declaration to Protect Wine Place & Origin, a global movement aimed at ensuring wine place names are protected and not abused or mis-communicated to consumers.

“The attention around protection of place names has really taken off in recent years. The addition of these prominent regions only underscores that,” said Linda Reiff, president and CEO of the Napa Valley Vintners, one of the founding signatories to the Declaration. “While we all may compete in the marketplace, through the Declaration initiative, we want to take a very clear, collective stand that protection of place names is always in the consumer’s best interest.”

Representatives from Santa Barbara, Bourgogne/Chablis and Bordeaux are attending coordinating meetings with other Declaration members in the Champagne region of France this week and will participate in activities being outlined for the coming year. Champagne is also one of the founding signatories to the Declaration.

“We are honored to join this esteemed group of the world’s leading wine regions. Santa Barbara County wines, like all those represented in this coalition, are unique. They can’t be duplicated anywhere else in the world and today we come together to recognize that nothing shapes a wine’s character like its location,” said Morgen McLaughlin, executive director of the Santa Barbara Vintners. 

The Declaration meetings come at a time when there is considerable momentum building globally to protect place names and demand accurate and fair labeling. Recently, the Canadian government updated its laws to require all wines labeled “Champagne” truly come from Champagne, France. In 2013, Chinese trade officials formally recognized the names of Napa Valley and Champagne, thus prohibiting the misuse of these place names within its borders.

“Regions like Bordeaux, Bourgogne/Chablis, Santa Barbara and Napa Valley are unlike any place else in the world and the evolution and growth of the wine industry rests on the protection of place names. Wine consumers are becoming more and more educated about what they consume,” said Fabien Bova, director general of the Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux (CIVB). “Wine labels need to reflect the true regions from which a wine hails and consumers must be protected from those who fail to recognize the distinguishing features that makes all regional wines unique.”

André Ségala, General Manager of the Bourgogne Wine Board (BIVB) added, “We are proud of our region’s winemaking history and its identity, which sets us apart. There is fierce competition across the world, and as such, we continue to raise the profile of our wines. Name protection is essential to ensuring the authenticity of the product we share with consumers.”

By becoming signatories of the Declaration, members agree that geographic names are fundamental tools for consumers to identify the special wines associated with specific winegrowing regions. And as such, they commit to work together to bring the necessary awareness and advocacy to bear to ensure these names are protected and respected. From great winegrowing regions to consumer rights groups to everyday wine consumers, more and more are making their voices heard in the campaign to protect wine place names.


About the Declaration
The Joint Declaration to Protect Wine Place Names & Origin was signed in Napa Valley on July 26, 2005. Other signatories of the Declaration include: Champagne, Chianti Classico, Jerez-Xérès-Sherry, Long Island, Napa Valley, Oregon, Paso Robles, Porto, Rioja, Sonoma County, Victoria, Tokaj, Walla Walla Valley, Washington state, Willamette Valley and Western Australia. To lend support and read the full text of the Declaration visit

Fat bastard Robertson Pinot Noir 2012 - Maiden vintage

New addition to hugely popular Fat bastard range of wines, review and rating will follow for this delicate and savory 2012, Robertson Pinot Noir (100%).............

Exceptional Wine Event Dinner with Lismore Estate Vineyards at 54 on Bath, 26 March 2014

Lismore Estate wines poured for the evening including the latest released 2012 Viognier and maiden vintage Syrah, tasting notes and review to follow.

Samantha O'Keefe, owner, winemaker

Full house with great local supports for wine events at 54 on Bath, thank you Joburg

Lamb belly and confit with consomme served as main course with maiden vintage Lismore Estate Greyton Syrah

Quail with crayfish and Scotch egg with Lismore Estate Greyton Chardonnay

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Willi Schaefer Graacher Domprobst Mosel Riesling Auslese 2012 91 Points

Pure and fragrant, perfume talc, surprisingly very aromatic for a Riesling, almost Moscato like, subtle fruitiness with a juicy and zesty core, bright, high residual sugar well offset by racy acidity, residual co2 adds texture to the airy style, excellent food wine, moreish, alcohol of only 7.5% abv, perfect for long lunches, try it with an al dente linguini, Parmesan shavings, porcini and extra virgin olive oil, bang!

Available through Wine Cellar

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


“Come quickly! I’m tasting stars!”  Dom Pierre Perignon, French Benedictine Monk (1638 - 1715) on tasting his newly created Champagne

Over 75 brands from over 25 bubbly producers

The inaugural SizweNtsalubaGobodo Celebration of Bubbles Festival is set to dazzle Joburg bubbly lovers over the weekend of 29 and 30 March with its showcase of some of the world’s finest Méthode Cap Classiques (MCC) and Champagnes.

Taking place at the newly renovated Inanda Country Club in Sandton, visitors will have the opportunity to toast the good life at what promises to be a very stylish affair – glitz and glamour, an array of the best bubbly and gourmet delights.

Toasting the good life with decadent bubbly at the celebration of bubbles festival this week end

Festival visitors can look forward to sampling 20 top local and international brands including globally renowned Veuve Clicquot. This top bubbly brand will be giving those with a taste for the finer things in life, a taste of its finest French Champagne offering. Other well-known MCC producers that visitors can look forward to include Graham Beck Wines, Pongrácz, Villiera, Simonsig, Môreson, Genevieve MCC and Krone.

“SizweNatsalubaGobodo is delighted to participate in this prestigious event.  Twenty years into our country’s hard-earned democracy, we have much to celebrate.  Our participation allows us to celebrate not only as a country but as a proudly African firm that has ultimately changed the accounting landscape.  Together with our new brand promise, ‘opportunity exceeded’, we look forward to toasting the beginning of our commitment to go above and beyond to achieve success across sectors and at all levels”, comments Nonkululeko Gobodo, Chairperson of SizweNtsalubaGobodo.

Music, gourmet food and the best in Champagne and Cap Classique

The Celebration of Bubbles is owned and managed by Darielle Robertson and Michelle van Eyden.  Darielle has vast experience in the wine industry and has managed the annual Franschhoek Cap Classique and Champagne Festival for the last 8 years.  Michelle was a founding member and shareholder of Vodacom Sport and Entertainment (now SAIL) and has an extensive background in all aspects of sponsorships and commercial rights management.  Their partnership is based on a desire to create a sophisticated new event in Gauteng with the sponsor, SizweNatsalubaGobodo.

The Festival takes place at the Inanda Country Club in Sandton from 12:00-18:00 on Saturday and Sunday, 29 and 30 March.  Tickets are R250 per person and include 10 tasting tokens and a champagne flute.  Book tickets at or purchase at the entrance. Limited space available.

Participating Champagne Producers

Veuve Clicquot
Piper Heidsieck

Participating Méthode Cap Classique Producers

Genevieve MCC
Graham Beck Wines
Saronsberg Cellar
De Wetshof Estate
Villiera Wines
J C Le Roux
Simonsig Wine Estate
Plaisir de Merle
Bon Courage
Domaine des dieux
Uitkyk Wine Estate
Lords Winery
Haute Cabriere

For more info visit the Facebook Page at or follow the action on Twitter @BubblesFest.
Issued by KL PR & EVENTS

Best Hotel and Restaurant priced Champagne in South Africa

“Tsogo Sun Invites You To Celebrate With Champagne Whether it's a birthday, an anniversary, an engagement, a graduation, a promotion or a Friday afternoon, there's always a reason to celebrate.

We believe that every one of life's milestones deserves a celebration with Champagne, which is why you'll find the real thing at selected Tsogo Sun hotels and casinos at prices that will give you a reason to celebrate.

Champagne is a unique sparkling wine, and only comes from Champagne region, north east of Paris, France, nowhere else in the world.

Harnessing the group's considerable purchasing power, Tsogo Sun has negotiated the very best prices you'll find for Champagne at any hotel or restaurant in South Africa - in some cases as much as R3000 less than other establishments. This offer is available on all listed Champagne brands, including Prestige labels such as Dom Perignon, at all Tsogo Sun's Deluxe properties, including 54 on Bath, Beverly Hills, InterContinental OR Tambo, InterContinental Johannesburg Sandton Towers,The Palazzo Montecasino, Sandton Sun and Suncoast Towers.

Cape Legends Inter Hotel Challenge 2014 Extends from Cape to JHB and Durban

The second annual Inter Hotel Challenge, the hospitality industry’s ultimate showdown of food and wine pairing, is to be sponsored by Cape Legends Fine Wines and the Cape Legends Inter Hotel Challenge 2014 will, for the first time, include Johannesburg and Durban. 

The multi-faceted Challenge pairs chef and wine steward trainees from top hotels, under the guidance of the executive chefs and sommeliers, with the expertise of winemakers from leading Cape Legend wine estates. It is the brainchild of food, wine and travel portal, and was initiated to provide mentorship, upliftment, opportunity and inspiration for the hospitality industry's more talented, creative trainees.

In 2013, its inaugural year, the Challenge invited 10 Cape hotels to contest each other in a thrilling Cook-Off, with awards and generous prizes going to Best Chef, Best Wine Steward and Best Table, amongst others. This year, the initiative extends to Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal with a total of 21 hotels on board: eleven in Cape Town, five in Johannesburg and five in Durban, and a new award for the Best Team, inspired by Guy Webber of Stellenzicht. “The prize is from KitchenAid and will be exhibited prominently in the winning hotel; it comes with something rewarding and fun for the whole team!” says Annette Kesler, Editor of

This year's inspirational and practical prizes include a three week working visit to India to The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel and their three top restaurants in Mumbai, with the TAJ Group. Return flights are provided by Cape Legends. Tsogo Sun is providing a working stint for the winning wine steward to Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban, to be mentored by the top sommeliers at Tsogo Sun's properties. There are bursaries in excess of R35,000 from the Cape Wine Academy and a brand new R15,000 award for the most promising Chef Candidate from the Hospitality Property Fund. 

The Newmark Award includes generous cash prizes and in addition, there is a complimentary twelve month Wine Advisor membership to the South African Sommelier Association for the wine steward candidate who shows the most promise.

"In South Africa we are blessed to have incredible human resources as well as outstanding wines," said Ross Sleet, marketing director of Cape Legends. "The aim of the Challenge is to encourage a culture of mentorship, promoting skills development in the hospitality industry that will give a much-needed leg up to young talent. For Cape Legends, it's particularly gratifying to be part of the education and training of these determined young sommeliers, as they strive to reach the highest level of professionalism, which creates a great feeling of unity amongst all those who participate." 

The initiative will launch in all three cities in March, with a draw for the wine/hotel partnerships. Each hotel will be paired with one of the Cape’s gracious and renowned wine estates and invited to create a superb menu, using versatile pork, complemented by aptly paired wines.

Participating wine estates are: Alto, Durbanville Hills, Fleur Du Cap, Le Bonheur, Lomond, Neethlingshof, Plaisir De Merle, Pongrácz, Stellenzicht, Uitkyk and Zonnebloem.

Hotels participating include, in Johannesburg: 54 on Bath,  Michelangelo, Protea Hotel Balalaika Sandton, Radisson Blu Gautrain and Southern Sun Hyde Park Sandton; in Durban: Beverly Hills, Hilton, Oyster Box, Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani and Zimbali; and in Cape Town: Birkenhead House & Birkenhead Villa, Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat, Cape Grace, Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel, One&Only Cape Town, Queen Victoria, Radisson Blu Waterfront, Southern Sun The Cullinan & Southern Sun Waterfront, Taj,  Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa and the Vineyard Hotel.

A major highlight of the Cape Legends Inter Hotel Challenge 2014 is the 'Grape to Glass' Experience in April and May, when all the candidates from the participating hotels in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban will attend a valuable one-on-one experience at the Cape Legends' estates with their top winemakers, giving them the background they will need to pair their menus with the most suitable wines from their particular estate.

The first round of the Challenge, the Regional Cook-offs, will take place in Johannesburg on 3 June at the HTA School of Culinary Art, in Durban on 5 June at the International Hotel School and in Cape Town on 11-12 June at the South African Chefs Academy [SACA]. The final Cape Legends Inter Hotel Challenge Cook-Off will be held 18-19 June at SACA in Cape Town. Both the Regional and Final Cook-offs will be judged by panels of esteemed food, wine and hospitality professionals.
The winners will be announced at a black tie dinner at the Mount Nelson in Cape Town on 25 July, where all 21 hotels will be participating. A highlight of the evening is the elaborate table décor competition in which each hotel excels with superb table settings in the theme of 'Gold'.
During the first two weeks of July the public will have the opportunity to taste the food and wine-paired menus at each of the 21 participating hotels, in the Candidate Menu Showcase. An amount of R25 per diner will be donated to StreetSmart South Africa.

For more details visit Follow the Cape Legends Inter Hotel Challenge 2014 on Twitter @Showcookcom. Twitter Hash Tag: #CapeLegendsIHC and #CapeLegends.


Cape Legends Fine Wines:
Cape Legends, Distell’s fine wine division, represents an extensive collection of award-winning wines from estates in and around the Cape Winelands. This includes Allesverloren, Alto, Durbanville Hills, Earthbound, Flat Roof Manor, Fleur du Cap, Hill & Dale Jacobsdal, Le Bonheur, Lomond, Monis, Neethlingshof, Place in the Sun, Plaisir de Merle, Pongràcz, RED ESCape, Stellenzicht, Theuniskraal, Uitkyk and Zonnebloem. While each differs in character and style, the collection shares a common trait of fine wine quality and innovation in production marketing and distribution.  

Champagne Jacquart Brut Mosaique 89 Points

This Non Vintage is predominantly composed of Chardonnay (35% to 40%) including many grands crus from the Cote des Blancs and balanced by the presence of Pinot Noir (30% to 35%) from Montagne de Reims and Pinot Meunier (25% to 30%)

Pure and vibrant, lifted citrusy core, primary fruit driven with hints of leesy notes, delicate freshness, salty tang, unusual tannic bite.
Suggested as an aperitif.

Available locally through Southern Distributors at R 280/bt ex VAT 

Easter Cap Classique indulgence at The House of J.C. Le Roux

From Monday, 14 April 2014
Issued by GC Communications on behalf of The House of J.C. Le Roux   

Indulge your senses this Easter with luxurious, handmade Belgian chocolate delicacies paired with three exceptional Méthode Cap Classiques at The House of J.C. Le Roux in Stellenbosch.

Made in the classic French tradition in true champagne style, each Cap Classique is perfectly matched with a sweet treat for the ultimate tasting experience. The fresh, lively Pinot Noir Rosé 2009 is paired with a Belgian milk chocolate egg with a delicate, rose infused truffle filling. The showstopper, La Vallée, melds sublimely with Belgian white chocolate blended with cream and coriander creating a light, fresh and spicy surprise on the palate. Its blushing alter ego, the striking La Vallée Rosé, will definitely hit the right notes with Belgian white chocolate combined with a secret chai spice blend. 

Head to The House of J.C. Le Roux this Easter to experience a world class Méthode Cap Classique destination in the heart of the Stellenbosch winelands.

The Easter tasting from Monday, 14 April 2014 is R50 per person and is subject to availability. Tasting times are Monday toFriday from 10h00 to 17h00 and weekends from 10h00 to 14h00. Booking is essential, phone 021 865 8222. Please note that The House of J.C. Le Roux will be closed on Good Friday, 18 April 2014.

Visit or follow @LeGoodLife on Twitter.

Third edition of elegant flagship Constantia Glen FIVE released

Issued by GC Communications on behalf of Constantia Glen  

Constantia Glen, the magnificently appointed boutique wine estate known for exceptional cool climate wines, has released the 3rd edition of its flagship red, the much anticipated Constantia Glen FIVE from the phenomenal 2009 vintage.

An elegant expression of five Bordeaux varieties grown on the upper reaches of the Constantiaberg, the wine is a benchmark of a vintage widely held as monumental for South African red and white wines. The cool yet dry conditions ensured a longer than usual ripening period resulting in the slow accumulation of sugars and abundant flavours.  

The Constantia Glen FIVE 2009 is a superb exercise in balance and freshness from the cool climate Constantia Glen vineyards and a worthy successor to the previous two highly acclaimed vintages. Showing more restraint and finesse, the wine is a departure from the more Cabernet driven 2008 blend with a greater leaning towards Petit Verdot and Merlot. The 2009 vintage has already been applauded internationally with a 91 point rating from respected UK wine commentator and Master of Wine, Tim Atkin.

The wine comprises the five classic Bordeaux varieties, Petit Verdot (40%), Merlot (25%), Cabernet Franc (17%), Malbec (15%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (3%), and was aged in 100% new French oak barrels for 18 months.    

“Superbly balanced, restrained and elegant with all the underpinnings of the expressive Bordeaux varieties,” is how winemaker Justin van Wyk, who has been working in the Constantia Glen cellar for the past six years, describes this wine. Aromas of full ripe black cherry fruit and rich spice invite further exploration revealing great depth and complexity that follows through onto the palate. These layers of flavour are supported by incredible texture from the round, yet persistent tannins. Once decanted, the multifaceted 2009 vintage shows powerful development.

“The wine has the depth and refinement symbolic of the cool ripening season of 2009. The result is a unique wine with beautiful richness and concentration that lends a long, well-defined finish and exceptional longevity,” says Justin.
He also attributes the ability of the Constantia Glen team to hold back the wine for three years of bottle maturation to develop further prior to release to the exceptionally long and cool ripening period of the 2009 vintage.

“The beautiful balance of acidity and tannin structure coupled with encouraging youthfulness and minerality, are all indications of fantastic ageing potential for the next 15 – 20 years,” adds Justin who recommends enjoying this wine with roasted quail, beef fillet or rosemary scented grilled lamb chops.

Constantia Glen FIVE 2009 is available at fine dining restaurants and boutique wine shops and sells at the cellar door for R270 a bottle.

Constantia Glen is open daily from 10h00 till 17h00 on week days and from 10h00 till 16h00 on Saturdays and Sundays. Look out for the Constantia Glen signs towards the top of Constantia Main road. Call Tel: 021-795 6100 or 021-795 5639,  or visit for further information. The GPS co-ordinates are S 34º 0’39.6” E 18º 24’30.6”.