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Shannon Mount Bullet Merlot 2013

Is there anybody putting more effort into Merlot than Shannon Vineyards in Elgin? Five clones spread across 3ha of vineyard, each parcel vinified separately, maturation involving barriques from three different Bordeaux cooperages and lasting 20 months, 40% new, 30% second-fill, 20% third-fill and 10% fourth-fill. The newly released 2013 shows black fruit, a hint of […]

July 18, 2016
by Christian
with 0 Comments

Shannon Vineyards Rockview Ridge Pinot Noir 2015

James Downes, co-owner and viticulturist at Elgin property Shannon Vineyards, reckons that the 2015 of his Rockview Ridge Pinot Noir shows “more structure with a higher degree of dark fruit coming through” than has been in the case in recent vintages. To this taster, the fruit profile is still more towards the red fruit end […]

May 27, 2016
by Christian
with 2 Comments

Shannon Vineyards Semillon 2015

Shannon Vineyards in Elgin are one of those producers who serve the niche market segment that drinks single-variety Semillon and their 2015 is most accomplished. Grapes come from a 12-year-old block 0.5ha in size, juice fermented spontaneously, maturation lasting three months in 100% new oak. A really complex nose of pear, yellow apple, white peach, […]

May 27, 2016
by Christian
with 0 Comments

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
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Wine magazine was published from October 1993 until September 2011 and now lives on in digital form as We cover everything to do with South African wine.
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