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Shannon Sanctuary Peak Sauvignon Blanc 2015

The Sanctuary Peak Sauvignon Blanc 2015 from Shannon Vineyards in Elgin was among the 20 finalists in the recent FNB Sauvignon Blanc Top 10 competition but was ultimately not a winner. Let that not deter you – it’s an absolute cracker. Made by Gordon and Nadia Newton Johnson, the wine includes 8% Semillon, spontaneously fermented […]

November 6, 2015
by Christian
with 1 Comment

Tim James: A Visit to Shannon Vineyards

The longest row of vines at Shannon Vineyards is just over 100 metres. I’m a bit embarrassed to say that the detail I remember best from a recent visit is probably this rather trivial one – though I spent a few hours with James Downes driving and walking around this beautiful Elgin property. The vineyards […]

October 12, 2015
by Tim James
with 0 Comments

Shannon Mount Bullet 2011

Any producer intent on building an ultra-premium wine brand can’t afford to ignore the US. It’s the world’s biggest wine market and relatively price insensitive at the top end. “Whether by design or good luck, we’ve made a phenomenal Merlot from the get-go and though we currently sell next to nothing in the US, it’s […]

September 1, 2014
by Christian
with 3 Comments

Hermit on the Hill The White Knight 2009

On Sunday, a blind tasting exploring top-end Sauvignon Blanc. [Please note: This was a informal affair conducted among friends. The scores below are my own.] All wines from the 2009 vintage, all bar the Hermit on the Hill single property wines, some single variety and others Sauvignon-dominated blends, some unwooded and others wooded. What insights? […]

October 15, 2013
by Christian
with 6 Comments

Shannon Vineyards Mount Bullet 2011

One Elgin producer who’s getting it right when it comes to red wine is Shannon Vineyards. Yesterday at a workshop held to explore if the ward’s red wines have any meaningful sense of place, the Rockview Ridge Pinot Noir 2012 and the Mount Bullet 2011. Rockview Ridge Pinot Noir 2012 Price: R230 Rather shy on […]

August 20, 2013
by Christian
with 0 Comments

Lothian Vineyards Pinot Noir 2011

Local Pinot Noir, I’m watching you. Lothian Vineyards in Elgin was established in 2004, first bottling in 2010, and counts another newbie but the already prestigious Shannon Vineyards as its immediate neighbour. The 2011 comes from a 2.25 ha vineyard planted to three different clones, spontaneous ferment, 11 months in French oak, 30% new. Clean […]

March 6, 2013
by Christian
with 0 Comments

Shannon Vineyards Mount Bullet 2010

Yesterday a visit to Shannon Vineyards in Elgin for a better understanding of why this operation produces one of the better Merlots around. First a really insightful tour of the vineyards with co-owner and viticulturist James Downes. Merlot makes up 3ha of the 15.5ha under vine on the property (Downes also farms apples and pears) […]

October 26, 2012
by Christian
with 0 Comments

Shannon Vineyards Mount Bullet 2010

Before we despair of Merlot as a single-variety wine under local conditions, it’s worthwhile to reference the outstanding example that is Mount Bullet from Shannon Vineyards in Elgin. A sneak preview of the 2010 suggests that grower James Downes and winemakers Gordon and Nadia Newton Johnson of Newton Johnson Vineyards have refined their game even […]

March 26, 2012
by Christian
with 2 Comments
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