Opinion, Rants, and Stories, Wine Reviews

A Thelema Cabernet Vertical and Notes on Greeness


Last week saw some rather good wines find their way down my gullet. The first few of those was at a vertical tasting of Thelema’s Cabernet Sauvignon and single vineyard Cab, The Mint. At a time when the idea of ‘greeness’ is on many a South African wine anorak’s tongue, I hoped it would prove an informative tasting, as the latter wine prides itself on its minty note.

[This post got away from me. I feel I am not well-suited to the digital age of short pithy SEO optimized posts. If you want just my thoughts on the Thelema wines feel free to skip down to the bottom. First though, a little introduction to greeness in wines] Continue reading “A Thelema Cabernet Vertical and Notes on Greeness”

Wine Reviews

Wines for Golfers?


If only it was all about the drinking. This blog is predominantly about South African wine, and so to give a little breadth to the conversation I am trying to find other things to write about than simply what different wines taste like.  Continue reading “Wines for Golfers?”

Wine Reviews

Nitida Wines and Some Scoring Clarification

Before I get into the wines, I thought it best to clear up something on scoring. While I think scoring wine is problematic, I have found it is not without its uses. I have started using the kak an lekker scale. This is quite obviously silly. But it feels sad-clown silly, rather than monty-python silly. Now I think about it, a sad clown trying to get through a massive blind tasting shouting “kak” and “lekker kak” could be an amusing skit. The point is, calling wines kak and lekker, and fokken kak has already got old. It’s juvenile, and I’m not grinning even a little. Continue reading “Nitida Wines and Some Scoring Clarification”

Opinion, Rants, and Stories, Wine Reviews

Iona Chardonnay 2012 and a Musing or Two

iona chard 2012

Have you ever tasted a wine and been unsure of yourself? In blind tastings this will happen almost immediately, but I’m talking about a sighted, straighforward tasting. You taste a bit of wine and just are not sure what you think. It’s weird. It doesn’t happen that often to me, especially with straightforward wines, but it happened last night, and it’s why I’m sitting here at 9:30 am with a small pour of Iona Chardonnay in front of me, awaiting my final decision. Continue reading “Iona Chardonnay 2012 and a Musing or Two”

Wine Reviews

Migliarina Elgin Chardonnay 2012 – Fokken Lekker

Migliarina chard

Many South African wine drinkers who enjoy their Syrahs serious, and their producers small (you know the types, who are titilated by a hand drawn ’22/1784′ on the bottle) will know of Carsten Migliarina. He only makes around 1200 cases of his own wines of which Platter tells me 65% are red and 35% white. All of which makes this Chardonnay perfect for hipsters who love quality, and like to drink things no one else has.  Continue reading “Migliarina Elgin Chardonnay 2012 – Fokken Lekker”

Wine Reviews

Marvelous Wines

Nicked the pic from the Wine Detective. (text my own, obviously)

It takes some gumption to call your wines Marvelous. But Chef Peter Tempelhoff and wine maker Adam Mason have plenty of that. With Mason now making wine for Mulderbosch, and Peter Tempelhoff overseeing the five restaurants in The Collection by Liz McGrath, they somehow found the time to start a wine label. There are two premium wines – which I’ll put in a separate post – called Yardstick Wines, and then the cheaper Marvelous range named comically, KABOOM!, Ka-POW! and SHAZAAM!. Continue reading “Marvelous Wines”

Articles from elsewhere

Chef Peter Tempelhoff A Profile


I’m posting reviews of Adam Mason and Peter Tempelhoff’s Marvelous and Yardstick wines this week, so I thought I’d set the mood with a profile I wrote on Chef Templehoff last year for Wine Style Magazine.

Image Source: The Collection by Liz Mcgrath

Continue reading “Chef Peter Tempelhoff A Profile”

Opinion, Rants, and Stories

The Zuma Obama Dinner Wine List [UPDATED]

Obama Attends Luncheon At UN

UPDATE: As I thought, by trawling twitter over the weekend I managed to find out which wines were served at  President Zuma and Obama’s official dinner. I’ll leave the original post below.

It turns out the wines were not every exciting, and I would have far preferred to have drunk from my selection. According to Christiaan Smit  the Presidents drank: Continue reading “The Zuma Obama Dinner Wine List [UPDATED]”

Opinion, Rants, and Stories

Another Damned Wine Competition

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I noticed this a little while back, but I think I subconsciously blocked it out. I have steered clear of writing anything about wine competitions because rants get tiring. Like ’em, hate ’em, or be entirely ambivalent about them, wine competitions and awards are going to be here forever.

I have made peace with this idea. But the thought of more competitions is ludicrous; especially one so obviously determined to print as many stickers as possible, that were I a conspiracy theorist, I’d start looking for printing companies putting up the cash to run the damned thing. Continue reading “Another Damned Wine Competition”

Opinion, Rants, and Stories

WTF is going on with the Wine Wizard


Michael Fridjhon is a great wine taster with a difficult surname to spell right the first time round. He has recently started calling himself a wizard. I hope he has bought a hat with runes on. The reason he has started the wizard stuff is because he launched his new website winewizard.co.za. Continue reading “WTF is going on with the Wine Wizard”

Drunk, Wine Reviews

Celebrating Carl Schultz’s 20th Vintage: A Gravel Hill Vertical

Gravel HIll 2

Hartenberg has been around a long while. This property on the Northeastern slopes of the Bottelary Hills has had vineyards on it since the mid 1690’s. 20 years ago they hired winemaker Carl Schultz, and it was to celebrate his 20th vintage that I was at the farm recently.

We celebrated with a vertical tasting of Hartenberg’s flagship wine, the Gravel Hill Shiraz.

I’ll give you my notes below, but I first want to comment on what I learned about wine during this tasting. It makes you look a fool, even if it’s only you that know. Continue reading “Celebrating Carl Schultz’s 20th Vintage: A Gravel Hill Vertical”

Drunk, Opinion, Rants, and Stories

On Drunkenness

Eduard_von_Grützner_Falstaff_mit_Handschuhen (1)

I realized this morning that there have been no posts this week. I considered after posting my first video that, as a picture is apparently worth a 1000 words, and video is simply 24 pictures a second, I’d get away with it.

I have, however, always found that assumption to over value pictures. Take Gigli, the film was composed of hundreds of thousands of pictures, and it takes only two words to describe it. Goddamn awful. So, what to write about.

The only worthwhile wine endeavor I have taken part in this week was the Young Guns 3 tasting at Wine Cellar. The problem is I was so busy playing music, changing Power Point slides and pressing play that I didn’t properly taste the wines. I drank as much as I could of them, but came away with nothing but a hangover. Luckily I had tasted most of them last week. 

And that’s when I realized what the topic of this post should be.


Continue reading “On Drunkenness”


First Video Post – Foreign Condescension and The Aristargos 2012

I have no real idea why I have done this. Maybe I’m trying to break into a new, illiterate wine drinking market.  Staring into a camera, and then staring at yourself afterward must be the weirdest, most naval gazing activity possible. I prefer words. On a page. Behind which I can hide comfortably. You see, even here I can’t help but type.

If you like it, I’ll do more, because look, I’m not short on rants.

Also, it’s a tad long.

Only 999 more to equal Gary Vaynerchuck, so you better damn well like it.