Entries by support

Natural Wine 2 November 2018

The industrial food sector has been getting a bad press, and not only from luddites whose world-view involves an idealised vision of some agricultural Eden. The 1970s and 1980s was the worst era of modern French wine, when even the most heralded producers selected their planting material on the basis of yield, rather than clonal […]

Klein Constantia 26 October 2018

Most people with an inkling of the history of South African wine would regard the Constantia Valley as the cradle of our wine culture. Its case rests less along the lines of “first one there” and more upon the role it played in nurturing the country’s incipient fine wine culture. Van der Stel’s farm, which […]

Moderate Consumption 19 October 2018

It would seem a safe assumption that readers of a weekly wine column don’t need to be reminded of the virtues of moderate consumption. Nevertheless, the virulent attacks by the crypto-prohibitionists in our midst (many of them doctors who should know better) sometimes make it necessary to repeat why it is healthier to drink than […]

Scoring 12 October 2018

In the arcane world of wine geek bickering, the question of wine scores occupies a disproportionate amount of territory. Those who, like me, are parsimonious in allocating points suggest that no useful purpose is served in scoring hundreds of current vintage wines in the 95 – 100 point range. There’s not enough differentiation, there’s no […]

Swartland Vertical 5 October 2018

For most of the 20th century the Swartland, (the region which is now so important to “new wave” Cape wine), was simply a bulk wine source for the wholesalers. In the late 1990s a joint venture between Charles Back (Fairview), Gyles Webbs (Thelema), John Platter and Jabulani Ntshangase (newly returned to South Africa from a […]

Whites 28 September 2018

If you are a red wine drinker, you’re probably tired of hearing that the Cape’s white wines generally outperform the reds in international competitions. While this was an absolute rule ten years ago, it’s much less evident today. It is probable that you will still find better value amongst the country’s white wines, though this […]

MCC Krone 21 September 2018

For most producers of Champagne-method sparkling wine (known in South Africa as Methode Cap Classique), the whole enterprise is a little like the vinous equivalent of writing a sonnet. The form is both the vehicle and the limitation. The opportunity for genius presents itself out of the discipline imposed by rules. Champagne itself has always […]

Shiraz and Pinotage 14 September 2018

The 1980 Meerlust Rubicon gave South African wine drinkers their first high profile red Bordeaux blend, effectively launching a category which, over time, has come to dominate the premium end of the red wine business. Sure, there are the exceptions – Kanonkop Black Label Pinotage, La Motte’s Hanneli R, Waterford’s The Jem – which trade […]

Ex Animo 7 September 2018

Stability is a defining feature of Old World wine-producing countries: the established order of a long-established region (like Bordeaux) is unlikely to change dramatically. The New World, on the other hand, thrives on flux. Wine drinkers are more fashion-oriented, which means that they are always ready to abandon last year’s favourites for next season’s “must-haves.” […]

Auction Season 31 August 2018

Lord Tennyson held that in Spring “a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.” In South Africa, however, Spring is auction season. On 7th and 8th September Nederburg hosts the opening salvo; three weeks later the Cape Winemakers’ Guild (CWG) wraps up proceedings. It would take a very distant relationship with the truth […]

Research shows that, taken in moderation, wine is good for your health. RMB WineX supports responsible alcohol consumption. © 2018 WineX Pty Ltd

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