SA vs Rest of World Pinot Noir Tasting

Starting in 2015, Tim Atkin MW and Samantha O’Keefe of Lismore  Estate Vineyards in Greyton  have taken it upon  themselves to arrange a tasting where the best of South African wine are put up next to some leading examples from the rest of the world in order to facilitate discussion. The most recent event  featuring […]

March 28, 2017
by Christian
with 1 Comment

Crystallum Clay Shales Chardonnay 2015

Whereas there are some pretty dramatic examples of local Chardonnay out there at the moment, the Clay Shales Chardonnay 2015 from Peter-Allan Finlayson of Crystallum is about as unflashy as you can get. Grapes come from a vineyard over 300m high just outside of the Hemel en Aarde Ridge ward, the wine completing malolactic fermentation […]

December 2, 2016
by Christian
with 5 Comments

Crystallum Cuvée Cinema Pinot Noir 2015

The 2015s of Peter-Allan Finlayson’s various takes on Pinot Noir under the Crystallum label were recently released and suffice to say, the hype surrounding this vintage seems very much justified. Tasting notes and ratings as follows: Crystallum Peter Max Pinot Noir 2015 Wine Cellar price: R215 Grapes sourced from Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge, Overberg and […]

July 27, 2016
by Christian
with 0 Comments

SA Pinot Noir vs Burgundy

Winemag.co.za’s favourite retailer Wine Cellar has started a new series of tastings which sees SA’s best pitted against “international benchmarks” (see the full programme here) and last night saw Pinot Noir under scrutiny – four local examples up against two from Burgundy in a blind taste-off. With the Hemel-en-Aarde Pinot Noir Celebration still fresh in […]

February 18, 2016
by Christian
with 3 Comments

SA vs New Zealand Pinot Noir

Do expectations influence outcomes when it comes to wine ratings? Dana Buys, co-owner of Vrede en Lust, thinks so, arguing for instance that were you to assemble a group of professional tasters and tell them that they were about to taste a line-up of Pinot from New Zealand rather than South Africa, they would necessarily […]

August 3, 2015
by Christian
with 1 Comment

Tim James: A new “centre of wine excellence”

One of my favourite bits of wine ephemera is a fading and well-worn beige T-shirt with a picture of a bunch of grapes on the front and the words “The Hemelrand Centre for Wine Excellence”. The back just reads “Harvest 2013”; it was in that year that it was given to me – and I […]

June 15, 2015
by Christian
with 1 Comment

Tim James: On the Hemel-en-Aarde Winegrowers’ Pinot Noir Celebration

Some months back on this website,  I doubted whether local pinots are world class to the extent that local white blends, sauvignons and syrahs are world class (see here). Aren’t we overrating pinot here, I wondered? That was shortly before the announcement of four pinots getting five stars in Platter 2015. All four of those […]

February 2, 2015
by Tim James
with 3 Comments

Crystallum Clay Shales Chardonnay 2013

The small cellar on Hemelrand, the Hemel en Aarde Ridge property owned by Hans and Mary Anne Evenhuis, really is an astonishing centre of wine excellence at the moment. Not only is it the official home of Alheit Vineyards but it’s where John Seccombe put together the exciting stuff that currently appears under the Thorne […]

June 11, 2014
by Christian
with 5 Comments
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Wine magazine was published from October 1993 until September 2011 & now lives on in digital form as Winemag.co.za. We cover everything to do with SA fine wine.

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