What I Drank Last Night
Good Booze. Good Food. Good Company.

Rivendell Sauvignon Blanc 2012



It’s nearly August and judging for this year’s rounds of the Absa Top 10 Pinotage Competition and the Standard Bank Chenin Blanc Top 10 Challenge are concluded, results to be announced shortly. The FNB Sauvignon Blanc Top 10 competition seems to be taking a more laid-back approach, with entries still open until 3 September and no indication to date of who the panel will be this year.

Let’s not forget where this competition started – in 2007, the now defunct Wine magazine got TOPS at SPAR on board as a corporate sponsor and off we went. Back then, we typically eulogised pyrazine-bombs because the majority of alternatives were close to dish-water. Have we progressed?

Browsing Oakhurst Kwikspar after a delicious pizza at nearby Massimo’s in Hout Bay this past weekend, I chanced upon a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc 2012 from Bot River producer Rivendell bearing Veritas 2013 double gold stickers (R95.95 a bottle).

Green pepper. And maybe some dried herbs. Big and rich and yet the acidity still mouth-puckering. Remarkable like being tackled by Willem Alberts (aka the “Bone Collector”) must surely be. Whoever sits on the FNB Sauvignon Blanc Top 10 panel this year, please look for more finesse. It is out there.

Score: 88/100.

Glen Grant 50 Years Old

Glen Grant master distiller Dennis Malcolm.

And so on a trip facilitated by liquor marketing company Edward Snell and Co to mark the launch of Glen Grant 50 Years Old single malt Scotch whisky which has taken in a visit to Manchester United's home ground of Old Trafford, watching the last day … [Continue reading]

Morgenster 2005

How Merlot can you go?

Who says South Africa isn’t capable of top Merlot? Last night the Morgenster 2005, a blend of 86% Merlot and 14% Cabernet Sauvignon showed very well indeed. A classic nose of red and black fruit, some cigar box and a touch of forest floor by virtue … [Continue reading]

Chamonix Pinot Noir Reserve 2011


Does local Pinot Noir benefit from a sympathy vote? Make a halfway decent wine from this perennially difficult grape and your ratings get bumped up disproportionately it very often seems to me. Last night the Pinot Noir Reserve 2011 from Chamonix, … [Continue reading]

The North Coast wine scene

Wine by Portugal, ice-bucket by SA.

Just back from a family holiday to the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast and I was reminded once again how fragile the domestic wine culture is. Wine lists in restaurants are typically short and dominated by the fare offered by big distributors – it seemed … [Continue reading]

Mullineux Syrah 2012

More than the sum of its parts.

Have Mullineux Family Wines already got to the point that a new vintage is absorbed by the market so quickly that any formal announcement of a new release is superfluous? I saw the Syrah 2012 selling for R238.90 a bottle at Liquor City Claremont and … [Continue reading]