The news that Francis Pratt, one of the nicest guys in SA wine and the finest mielie chef by a country mile, is scaling down his brave Berrio operation at Agulhas, confirms the gravity of the current crisis at the terroir tip of SA wine. Although harvest 2013 was the largest ever with 1.15 billion litres about to tsunami the market, the love is not being spread around in equal amounts. It’s a bit like peanut butter on bruschetta. Was it only a year ago I was predicting great things for the appellation and that was before CO2 crashed through the 400ppm ceiling last month?
The Cape Town suburb of Newlands should be renamed Slanghoek for the welcome it gave to the 250 snakes who turned out for the Cape to Canton Chinese new year festival this afternoon at the Vineyard Hotel & Spa. Here are some of the Chefs who steamed up a storm with spinach dim sums from Haiku firm favourites with snake charmer Jonathan Steyn.
The “sold out” signs are about to go up at Cape to Canton, the festival to celebrate Chinese New Year at the Vineyard Hotel & Spa in Newlands from 4-8pm on Sunday. From exhibition matches by the SA Table Tennis Champion to Chinese elevator music, Kung Fu fights to lion dances, all bases are covered. Cape Town’s top Chinese chefs are pulling out all the stops: Haiku, South China Dim Sum Bar, Tao Yuan, Katima. You name it, they’ll be there.
Albert Ahrens who lives on Cordoba in a corner of the Helderberg and makes wine in the Swartland and the Bottelary Hills asked the R64,000 question this evening. Should Stellenbosch at Summer Place, the most lavish regional wine show in SA, arrange tasting tables by cultivar and style as they currently do, or by geography? Which strikes at the roots of the terroir argument. Should all wines on the show be WO Stellenbosch which they clearly weren’t? ”I’d love to make a range of Bottelary Hills wines” admitted Albert. Maybe called BOB – Bottle of Bottelary – with one possible logo shown below. Guaranteed to be a hit at the Gugulethu and Soweto Wine Festivals, although how they would play in Durbanville is dodgy.
So now the Halloween cat is well and truly out of the bag after the Platter Guide released their annual list of 62 five ★ wines last night at the Vineyard Hotel. The ★★★★★ wines come from a shortlist nominated sighted by the tasters. Aníbal Coutinho and I tasted over 2000 wines blind in their home appellations and came up with a list of 147 ♥♥♥♥♥ wines. Ten differences between the Platter planetarium and our five heart heroes from Neil Pendock’s Winelands Guide 2013 listed here.Read More…
When the Thyse tanked at KWV (CEO and Chairman Thys leaving in short succession) I thought the industry’s Thys problem had been solved. However, it seems to have simply moved to Durbanville, where everyone is called Thys this vintage. Here are a couple spotted below at Cape Wine yesterday. One if nicknamed mooi and the other lelik. Can you decided who is who?Read More…
Having been a customer of FNB for over 30 years, I feel well qualified to produce my own Top Ten Sauvignon Blancs list to rival that announced earlier today by a tasting under the auspices of FNB and the Sauvignon Blanc Interest Group [SBIG]. I tasted blind almost the same number of wines as entered into the FNB Sauvignon Blanc Challenge with at least five important differences:
Tasting the Olifants River Sauvignon Blancs 2012 straight after the Young Wine Show had given them a go, we were blown away. One three heart, one two heart and three hearts out of ten wines tasted. To taste what we’re talking about, try the Sir Lambert 2012. Monika Greef, the west coast wine route Miss who becomes a Mrs next weekend, was “so happy” as the same wines failed to skitter at the Young Wine Show. Could it be that Charles Hopkins,Erika Obermeyer and the other judges are on an asparagus trip? We’ll have to wait for the results to see. Here is Anibal tasting blind in Vredendal this morning. Wish more wine guides tasted this way!
The wisdom of the Nederburg Auction inviting Washington wine blogger David White to open the auction last year, reveals itself in the most unexpected places. Such as the columns of The Advertiser News, a US community newspaper which is the only branch of the dead-tree media’s decaying empire that is showing growth. Community newspapers are probably the only hardcopy that will survive the digital revolution. Last week, I asked Distell CEO Jan Scannell “who is doing the honours this year?” and he replied “I don’t know.” Let’s hope it’s someone from the East, where a new dawn is breaking for SA wine. Sir David Tang would be perfect for the part.