Entries by support

Great Domaines Tasting 22 August 2019

The demand for small producer wines means that there are now distributors whose entire product ranges come from an assortment (perhaps a better collective noun would be “crush”) of boutique winemakers. It is now possible to go to a trade tasting and sample only wines made in accordance with the largely implicit guidelines of artisanal […]

Brand message 14 August 2019

Wine brands (as opposed to wine labels) create expectations about what is in the bottle – which is why it behoves critics to form their judgements in a blind tasting. When you approach a wine in a sighted environment you are expected to have preconceptions, otherwise the marketing people have failed in their task. Since […]

Brand and Price 7 August 2019

7 August 2019 How predictable is brand when it comes to determining wine quality? Put another way, should the better known brands readily submit their wines to the potentially more objective world of blind tasting? I say “objective” because the reality is that wine is performance art, and even the best made examples don’t always […]

Lurton, Morgenster et al 31 July 2019

Famous (flying) foreign winemakers were a big deal in the world of wine a few decades back. It was a natural progression from the not-so-famous flying winemakers – mostly Australian – who exported skills acquired at Roseworthy in Adelaide. In very little time they brought an apparently alien culture of clean cellars, clean fruit and […]

Good tasting 24 July 2019

Not every day in the life of a wine taster is as perfect as it sounds: a line-up of a hundred sauvignon blancs is not necessarily what you feel like first thing in the morning, nor is the discovery (which really did happen to me at an Australian Capital Show), that the day’s work is […]

Old names 17 July 2019

Forty or fifty years ago there were very few independent wine producers in South Africa. Most wine farmers were really grape farmers, selling in bulk to the wholesale merchants. Consumer interest in fine wine was negligible. It was only in the late 1960s that some of what became the founding families started bottling a little […]

Tokara 10 July 2019

It’s easy for hipster winemakers and their followers to dismiss high-end estate wine. Petrol heads feel the same way about the latest model Aston Martins, reflecting – with a traditionalist’s nostalgia – on the somewhat romanticised era of the great British motor industry, when the marque was rescued by David Brown and Ian Fleming gifted […]

Price and Value 3 July 2019

It’s not difficult to understand the problem the average wine drinker faces in trying to discern value when it comes to wine buying. There are no obvious clues or guidelines: buying wine is not like buying eggs (free range/jumbo/packed in dozens) or bacon (streaky/back, priced per kilo). There are delicious and inexpensive wines selling for […]

BD Kaaimansgat 26 June 2019

Origin is a seriously mis-used word in the world of wine. It can be so loosely applied that it becomes meaningless in the context of the connection between place and taste, or so narrowly applied that it’s impossible to obtain the product which expresses it. Most Cape wine is sold with the broadest of appellations […]

Show samplings 19 June 2019

A surge of creativity from the country’s wine producers over the past fifteen years has seen forgotten vineyards and neglected appellations brought back into the limelight. Inevitably one region’s (or style’s) gain is another’s loss, at least in terms of media interest, though not necessarily in terms of volumes consumed. Cap Classiques (bottle-fermented sparkling wines […]

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