Entries by support

Platter 11 December 2019

The latest edition of the Platter Guide has just been published, together with its ever-growing list of Five Star laureates. While the book is certainly no longer the Spoken Word it used to be many years ago, it continues to be a valuable source of rankings and ratings. It is also as much a perpetrator […]

Restless River 4 December 2019

It’s easy to recognise a blockbuster wine for what it is: there are powerful wood and fruit flavours, it’s juicy and brash. The other side of the spectrum is not as easily defined – a fine line divides elegant/refined from insubstantial and bland. But certainty about what describes these broad categories doesn’t help when it […]

Spanish Wine 27 November 2019

Pretty much everyone agrees that the Cape wine industry is a vastly different proposition today compared with the 1990s. We take this for granted, having witnessed its achievements close-up and on an on-going basis over the period. It’s a little like being aware of – rather than tracking – the minutiae of your kids growing […]

Lomond and old wines 13 November 2019

Sometimes we forget that while it’s useful to age table wine for a while, great wine must be matured to reveal its full spectrum of flavours. This distinction – between everyday wine and the more serious bottles – is not always evident, though you would be forgiven for thinking that price alone should provide a […]

KWV 6 November 2019

The KWV has come a long way in the past two decades. For most of the 20th century it served the interests of politicians and producers, rather than wine drinkers. As the national wine cooperative, it enjoyed untrammelled statutory powers, partly because it was obliged to act as the buyer of last resort. Deregulation enabled […]

Qvevri and Klein Constantia 30 October 2019

The line-up of wines on my tasting bench appeared almost a coincidence: they had arrived from the producers’ cellars a couple of days earlier, and because they were not destined for blind tasting they were put out alongside each other. Three were from Fairview, the final one from Klein Constantia. The Fairview wines were all […]

Pinot Single Site 23 October 2019

Anthony Hamilton Russell can rightly claim to be one of the senior statesmen in the world of Cape pinot and chardonnay – so he was speaking with some authority when he observed recently that neither of the two burgundy varieties has attracted the attention of the Cape’s “New Wave” winemakers. There are a few exceptions: […]

Kanonkop 16 October 2019

The annual Kanonkop vintage release evening is one of those events on the calendar worth taking seriously: in addition to a complete line-up of all the latest vintages, there are several aged releases available in limited quantities, and a couple of even older wines on the tasting tables “to make pleasure” as the French would […]

Cape Fine and Rare Auction 9 October 2019

The final wine auction of this year’s Cape season takes place at the Rembrandt Museum on 19th September. While it goes under the name of the Cape Fine and Rare Wine Auction, it’s actually the successor to the Nederburg Auction, hosted under a wider-brimmed industry hat. This is no bad thing: while the Nederburg Auction […]

Neil Ellis 2 October 2019

The much-abused term “reinventing the wheel” – together with near synonyms such as “shape-shifter” and “pathfinder” – implies a change so significant that the place arrived at is qualitatively different from wherever anyone had been before. Not just a better wheel, but a wholly re-invented one, an undiscovered country, another dimension. If these terms are […]

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