New Zealand and USA get the better of Aus and SA at Six Nations 2017

AT THE 2017 Six Nations Wine Challenge awards banquet in Sydney, New Zealand was the most successful country, winning 6 trophies, 22 double gold medals and 35 golds. The next most successful was the USA (4 trophies, 18 double golds and 20 golds), followed by Australia, South Africa and Canada, with Chile bringing up the rear in a competition judged

Read more

Durbanville not the only place they make good SA Sauvignon – far from it!

“THE SAUVIGNON Blanc Interest Group of South Africa (SBIG) fosters excellence in making and marketing South African Sauvignon Blanc locally and internationally… The annual FNB Sauvignon Blanc Top 10 competition was started in 2007 to promote innovation and excellence in the category and reward those making wines of true distinction.” So how did things pan out in the 2017 taste-off?

Read more

Spier 21 Gables Chenin declared SA Champion Wine – Veritas Awards

THE VERTEX Award for the highest-scoring wine at the Veritas Awards has gone to Spier – the first time that a single ‘South African Champion’ has been honoured in this way since the inaugural event in 1990. Plus, the Stellenbosch cellar was the most successful winery on show, collecting six double gold medals, nine golds as well as plenty of

Read more

Good quaffing at under R100 a bottle – Ultra Value winners announced

CELLARS up and down the length of the Breede River Valley had a good year in the 2017 edition of South Africa’s Ultra Value Wine Challenge convened by BuyBetterWine.com – not that they had it all their own way. The top contestants were as follows: MOST SUCCESSFUL ENTRANTS Alvi’s Drift Private Cellar – Worcester Arabella Wines – Ashton De Wet Cellar – Worcester DGB  –

Read more

2017 Cape Blend laureates share stage with winning Pinotage Rosés

AMONG the many words that the Greek philosopher Aristotle is famous for having strung together are that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”, something to be debated come the Absa Perold Cape Blend Awards honouring combinations that include a minimum of 30% and no more than 70% Pinotage. There were 53 entries in the 2017 edition

Read more

The top SA wine events in October – tastings, festivals, you name it

AMONG the many gatherings to look forward to at this time of the year are the Elgin Chardonnay Colloquium, the International Pinotage Day festivities, Veritas and WineX, Robertson’s Wine on the River and Durbanville’s Season of Sauvignon – to name just a few. For more info about what’s going down at the top SA wine events in October and to buy

Read more

Beyerskloof, Kanonkop and Kaapzicht fetch top prices at CWG 2017

THE TOP South African wines in terms of the average prices fetched at the 2017 Cape Winemakers Guild Auction in Stellenbosch were as follows, with a case = 6 × 750ml or 4.5 litre equivalent: TOP 10 REDS IN MOST DEMAND Beyerskloof CWG Traildust Pinotage 2015 R8692 per case, R1449 per bottle – Stellenbosch Cellar Kanonkop CWG Paul Sauer 2014 R8138

Read more

Nelson takes top trophy at somewhat surprising Michelangelo Awards

SUCCESS in South Africa’s Cab Franc Challenge, then at the SA Terroir Awards, and now in one of the country’s biggest wine competition… The 2014 vintage of Lisha Nelson Cabernet Franc from the Nelson Estate in Paarl must surely be in short supply after winning big time at the 2017 Michelangelo International Wine & Spirits Awards in Cape Town. Named

Read more

Huh?! Auditors yet to sign off on official Nederburg Auction results

MORE THAN two weeks after the 2017 Nederburg Auction on 16 September, the full results of South Africa’s premier sale of fine wines including mature beauties and golden oldies had yet to get the auditor’s stamp of approval. Presumably this is simply a case of an administrative hold-up and that nothing’s gone awry! For the last post-event reports (pre-October 1)

Read more

Why use a decanter? What’s the benefit? It’s elementary, dear Watson!

SO WE WERE at a dinner party and contemplating the pros and cons of aerating our wines, letting them breathe before serving, and what was hauled out of a cupboard reminded us of how decanters can vary in form and function. With the best intentions, my dear host presented a beautiful cut-glass, tear-drop shaped antique that could have been used

Read more

Top score in Winemag Pinot Report goes to Creation, Hemel-en-Aarde

THERE WERE 52 entries from 33 South African producers assessed for the 2017 Pinot Noir Report on Winemag.co.za. The top-scoring wines were as follows (see below), with Creation Reserve Pinot Noir 2015 judged best overall: “Gleaming garnet with an inviting bouquet… Peppercorn and clove… Layers of dried fruit mingle with hints of raspberry and piquant spice… A lingering wine with

Read more

Cap Classique specialists and champions not always one in the same

AT THE TIME of writing, 46 years after South Africa’s first Méthode Champensoise sparkling wine was made at Simonsig in Stellenbosch (Kaapse Vonkel Brut 1971), the number of Cap Classique bubblies had grown to around 300, produced at some 200 cellars adhering to the traditional method* that dates back to the 17th century and which resulted in the famous wines

Read more

Full results of 2017 Cap Classique bubbly shootout available… finally…

AFTER MUCH anticipation, the trophy laureates at the 2017 Amorim Cap Classique Challenge were announced at an awards function in Cape Town: Simonsig Cuvée Royale Blanc de Blancs 2012 (overall winner), Domaine des Dieux Claudia Brut 2011 and Simonsig Woolworths Pinot Noir Rosé 2015, as well as Graham Beck Brut Zero 2005 in the Museum Class for wines no longer on

Read more

Franschhoek’s Finest: leading wines from valley’s top cellars in 2017

IF YOU’RE contemplating which Franschhoek wineries to buy from, the following have the best track records in the valley over the past 10 years – full SA Wine & Cellar Classifications here.   ALLÉE BLEUE Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Chenin Blanc L’Amour Toujours (Red Blend) Pinotage BELLINGHAM The Bernard Series Basket Press Syrah The Bernard Series Bush Vine Pinotage The Bernard Series

Read more

It’s clobbering time… Gold galore for Kanonkop Cab in IWSC, London

KANONKOP, Spier and Nederburg have placed top of their class in the 2017 International Wine & Spirit Competition, London – Kanonkop leading with three vintages of their Cabernet Sauvignon from the Simonsberg in Stellenbosch, Spier of Stellenbosch excelling with the same vintage of their Pinotage that triumphed at Mondial earlier in the year as well as at the 2016 Veritas

Read more

CWG Auction Shortlist: contemplating the unique and unusual on offer

UNLIKE the annual Nederburg Auction of rare South African wines in Paarl, the annual Cape Winemakers Guild Auction of rare South African wines at Spier in Stellenbosch is open to anybody and offers limited releases made exclusively for sale at this event and packaged as such – with no reserve prices. These are mostly young wines, some special cellar- or vineyard-selections,

Read more

Saronsberg and Noble Hill champion SA at 2017 Syrah Masters, London

“OF ALL THE major red grapes, Syrah must be the hardest to classify. Not only does it have two names – Syrah and Shiraz – but each reflects a different personality. This is a variety that can produce restrained and delicate wines, or, depending on climate and treatment, something rich and powerful” – Patrick Schmitt, The Drinks Business, UK. “As for

Read more

In ‘Pursuit of Perfection’ at 43rd Nederburg Auction in Paarl

THE NEDERBURG AUCTION is an opportunity to buy some rare South African wines at what is reputed to be the fifth biggest sale of its kind in the world and the the ‘Oldest in the New World’. For most wine lovers, attendance is still by invitation only, but whether you purchase with the help of a retailer bidding on your behalf,

Read more

Niche, obscure, extraordinary varieties… ‘Unusuals’ well worth exploring

THERE ARE good reasons why Cabernet and Merlot, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, Shiraz and Sauvignon Blanc have come to be the most widely planted grape varieties in many wine-producing countries around the world. But of course, there are exceptions to the rule, unusual delights ranging from national and regional specialities to niche cultivars that many wine lovers might not have

Read more

Unwooded winners of Chenin Blanc Challenge unlikely but possible

“THE CHALLENGE with Chenin Blanc is that there are so many styles,” comments Top Wine SA reader Peter F May. “The names [of the 2017 Top 10 Challenge winners] give no indication where they are on the dry-to-sweet scale, and, apart from the three with ‘barrel fermented’ in their names, how much if any wooding they’ve had. Did the judges prefer wooded,

Read more
1 2 3 22