| SA Wine Ratings, News, Opinion & Analysis

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

Litigo Pinot Noir 2012

Eben van Wyk, a partner at intellectual property law firm Spoor & Fisher, has started his own label in the form of Litigo, his first wine being a Pinot Noir 2012. Grapes come from one site in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley and another in Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge and the wine was made with the assistance of Crystallum’s [...]

December 16, 2013
by Christian
with 1 Comment

CE’s top 12 wines of 2013

Below are my dozen most memorable wines of 2013. Arendsig Inspirational Batch 1 2012 Made from a Rawsonville Chenin Blanc vineyard planted in 1972. Along with Opstal Carl Everson 2012, emphatic proof that excellence can be had from the “other side of the mountain”. Beeslaar Pinotage 2012 Abrie Beeslaar starts his own label and comes [...]

December 2, 2013
by Christian
with 6 Comments

Crystallum Bona Fide Pinot Noir 2012

The latest releases from Crystallum as made by Peter-Allan Finlayson. Of particular interest, he has a new Pinot Noir called Bona Fide, which I think is up there with Seven Flags 2010 from Paul Cluver as one of the best examples in the country. Agnes Chardonnay 2012 Price: R160 Grapes from Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge [...]

July 12, 2013
by Christian
with 0 Comments

Crystallum Peter Max Pinot Noir 2012

On the eve of my departure to the Loire to judge Concours Mondial du Sauvignon 2013, supper with my wife Jane at the newly opened Frères Bistro on Hans Strijdom Avenue in town. For mains, she had the sirloin with Café de Paris butter and I the pork belly confit – both dishes honest and [...]

April 20, 2013
by Christian
with 3 Comments
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