De Wetshof Thibault 2009: The blueprint of a fine wine

De Wetshof wine estate in Robertson, famous for its seamless Chardonnay and classic Pinot Noir, has added a Bordeaux-style blend to its wine repertoire, called De Wetshof Thibault 2009.

Home to the famous Nature in Concert Pinot Noir, De Wetshof wine estate has a reputation for producing wines that are delicate and Old World in style. The De Wets – father Danie de Wet, mother Lesca and sons Peter and Johann – they, in turn, are known for being a sentimental bunch. A reputation which resonates with the wine drinker who knows that wine is not just about grapes.

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Classic glitz at the TAJ

Glitzy wine folk were out in full force on Friday evening to attend the prestigious TAJ Classic Wine Trophy awards.

The results in this annual wine competition are determined by a panel of French judges who adjudicate our local produce in order to recognize, reward and promote the elegance, balance, finesse and ageability in South African wines. Continue reading

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Forget wine wars. It is time for a paddle battle!

Anel Grobler of Spit or Swallow wasn't doing any spitting

Cape Town’s weather is so last season.

The only sign signalling the advent of spring is that invites to the annual Nederburg Auction have been issued.  This annual wine calendar highlight, set for 28 and 29 September this year, will again see some of South Africa’s top wines presented to the country’s most discerning buyers – and, if this year’s selection is anything to go by, buyers should be prepared for a serious battle of the bidding paddles.

If you are intending on doing some bidding on the day, be prepared to compete with this blonde ambition as Anthony Barne opens bidding for the following wines… Continue reading

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Girls love having fun, and so much more…

The week before last I received a ‘girls only’ invite from a cute little place in town called I Love My Laundry.

With drinks supplied by Taittinger, the crowd was as rowdy as just a group of girls high on bubbles can be. There was gossip. And there was lingerie. There was the kind of small talk only we girls can find fascinating and there were the obligatory snide looks. We understand that this is how it is with girls. We laugh harder, we cry more, we shop to feel good and we shop to feel even better. And yes, we do love our laundry. And we love champagne. The person responsible for inviting the group of blogging girls clearly knows this.

We love this, and so, so much more… Continue reading

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Decanter World Wine Awards 2012

Regional Trophy, Villiera Monro Brut 2007.

The Decanter World Wine Awards results, now in its 9th year, were officially announced this morning. This annual international wine competition gets everybody really excited and I therefore feel obliged to share the list of South African Trophy and Gold winners:

Decanter Awards South African Regional Trophy Winners:

South African Single-Varietal Red over £10
Bellingham The Bernard Series, Bush Vine Pinotage 2010

South African Pinot Noir over £10
Chamonix Pinot Noir Reserve 2010

South African Red Bordeaux Varietal over £10
Fleur Du Cap Cabernet Sauvignon Unfiltered 2010

South African Chardonnay over £10
Jordan Nine Yards Chardonnay 2010

South African Red Rhône Varietals over £10
Nederburg Manor House, Shiraz Mourvedre 2010 Continue reading

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Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show: views from an associate judge

Mr. Anthony I-dig-SA-Chenin Rose

“You are a bit of a young fogey at heart, aren’t you?” observed UK wine writer and international judge at this year’s Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show, Anthony Rose. This rhetorical question was directed at me as I was defending a particular style of Chenin Blanc deemed to be ‘traditional’ and therefore less desirable.

We were seeking to identify the top Chenins – worthy of an Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show Gold Medal –  and, unfortunately, the style I was punting just wasn’t as appealing as the more ‘luminous’ and bright styles in the line-up. “That is Jean Daneel [Chenin] five years ago,” noted panel chairman Christian Eedes, implying that we have moved beyond that. But I liked Jean Daneel’s Chenins then, and shoot me, but I still do. Continue reading

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Stop saying Gorgeous!

I don’t think I’ve ever used the term ‘gorgeous’ so liberally, so continuously and so consecutively – but there really is only one word to describe the latest offering at Steenberg, which is why it is called exactly that. Gorgeous by Graham Beck is an intimate ‘Champagne’-styled bar offering the full range of Cap Classiques by Graham Beck along with canapés to match.  It is situated adjacent to the estate’s fine dining restaurant, Catharina’s, but don’t expect to find any indication of the old – this section of the building has been transformed into a cocoon straight out of a trendy décor catalogue.

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You bring the thunder. I’ll bring the Pinot.

Where I’m from thunderstorms dominate the sky in summer. They are mighty in their magnitude and brutal in force. These storms roll in from the west in a magnificent display of temper. Dark and brooding at first with a sudden switch to fury, there is nothing mild about these Free State storms. They are intense, wild and incredibly sexy. When these storms gather in the skies I open a bottle of Pinot Noir – because there is only one varietal to drink when nature displays her rage, and that is a sensual Pinot Noir. She brings the thunder and I bring the wine.

Pinot Noir is sexy. A great Pinot is dead sexy – and calls for an epic storm.  Continue reading

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Bordeaux-style white blends on the catwalk

Christian Lacroix versus Coco Chanel

There is much to be said in praise of the Bordeaux-styled white blend. When done right this classic blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon has the potential to offer mind-blowing drinking. Yesterday this theme was explored at my monthly tasting with wine club Bald & The Beautiful, and the feeling was that, like with fashion, what was in vogue yesterday isn’t necessarily the fashion today.

Sticking to this analogy, my observations follow the logic that some of these wines are as classic as Coco’s black dress, while others have fallen out of fashion favour and should be treated as shoulder pads. I also encountered a Björk-style wine: appealing simply because it is weird.  Continue reading

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