Will Piet Viljoen repeat for SA fine wine what he’s busy doing for Cape Town fine art in the shape of his brave non-commercial New Church Gallery in Tamboerskloof? I.E. shake it up and slay the greedy dragons who have perverted wine competitions and turned them into personal get-rich-quick schemes and replace them with an opportunity for the celebration of mature wines.
l’Affaire Natalie is shaping up into a Dreyfuss débâcle de nos jours. It has even been hailed by Californian Sommelier the HoseMaster (below) as “the best scandal of 2012″ in a crowded field. Hose summed it up as Canadian wino Natalie MacLean daring to “use dull and virtually interchangeable wine reviews from wine experts on her blog without attribution. Though this gave the reviews value they otherwise lacked, the experts were outraged. Funny thing about experts, outrage is what they’re really good at, and little else.”
Former enfant terrible of the kitchen, the Christian Eedes of eating if you will, Bruce Robertson (below) called the Cederberg Bukettraube 2011 “the new food wine” on Saturday as he presented it alongside a locavore veined goat’s cheese at his Boat House dine-at-home mi-casa-es-su-casa in Scarborough. So does the culinary chiskop have a point?
With the Platter Guide now betrothed to Diners Club, two Platter pundits have hit the airwaves speculating that Marc Kent will join the elite of the elite and win the much sought after Diners Club Winemaker of the Year Award for a second time on Saturday night.
Last week was Chardonnay Week when Christian Eedes unveiled his Top Ten Chardonnays at French Toast in Bree Street. After a decent interval, I thought I’d show mine, distilled from a couple of hundred tasted blind with Anibal Coutinho (below, looking pensive in Rawsonville) over the past couple of months. Alas, no sponsorship from banksters or insurance salesmen and we also didn’t charge any entrance fee. All ten wines scored ♥♥♥♥♥ and are listed alphabetically. They are just a handful of wines presented in Neil Pendock’s Winelands Guide 2013 which will be launched next month.
All wines are terroir wines made from grapes grown in a particular appellation which is where they were tasted. Tastings were organized by the respective wine routes so any auditing queries should be addressed to them. There is a fair amount of similarity between our two lists – far more than in the case of the controversial FNB Sauvignon Blanc selection, which raises plenty of interesting issues around terroir and cultivars.
In the week that Whisky Live hit the Mother City like a full force gale which blew away my own invitation, the news from Scotland seemed simply splendid. As the Guardian reports this morning “figures released earlier this week by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) reveal that exports remain at record levels. In the full 12 months to the end of June 2012, they increased in value by 12pc to £4.2 billion from £3.8bn.” Serious tom. So why would the owners of Whisky Live sell their golden goose to Prime Media, as is reliably rumoured?
Forget about 50 shades of grey. It’s 50 shades of amber for proper seduction as we found out yesterday judging 62 dessert wines in the Quixotic annual quest to find the Diners Club Winemaker of the Year. Experienced Aussie international wine show judge, winemaker and reigning IWC White Winemaker of the Year Neil McGuigan (below) had no problem finding 8 of the 10 golds in the golden line-up.
The tradition in wine tasting circles is to stand when the contents of your glass is older than you. Something I’m doing less and less of these days, but a practise which would have had 22 year old Vergenoegd social media and marketing manager Matt Callcott-Stevens (below, under the horse) standing for most of Friday morning. But fortunately one taster didn’t pitch (rumoured to have been the father of freebees Mr. Min) and so there was one empty riempiestoel in the sacred circle of twelve, assembled like the disciples, to taste 40 vintages of Vergenoegd Cabernets. Foodie sources say marvellous Mr. Min wasn’t at the clashing Du Toitskloof Waterblommetjiebredie tasting in the Boland either, so hedonism’s hacks will be hoping he’s not indisposed.
Was this the best wine tasting ever in SA? Well if not the very best, certainly up there with Duimpie Bayly and his legendary line-up of sixties Pinotages or the house party hosted by Beyers Truter in Onrus to celebarte 350 years of SA wine.
The UCT Top 20 poll of SA wineries as reported in the Mail & Guardian today speaks way more to the competence and conflicts of interest of the judges than in does about SA wine quality. The poll was solicited on the digital equivalent of a UCT letter head: sent from an academic e-mail account with a UCT office telephone number by a member of the staff of that institution – that infamous barefoot agent provocateur Tim James. I refused to participate for various reasons. If bag had a sense of humour, I’d say today’s poll was Sunday’s list and the real one would be revealed later.
Today’s Cape Times offers Nederburg Baronne for R35 a bottle at branches of Picardi-Rebel. Yet in the Presidential Suite on the 16th floor of the Taj Hotel in Wale Street (Angela Merkel’s overnight bag still in the 270° glass bathroom) this evening two of the finest wines in SA were poured for a Cape Town media crew that included the new wine scribe for GQ magazine, Pieter Smedy and Thuli Gogela, the hot new indigenous food blogger.Read More…