Entries tagged with “Stark-Conde”.


A record 111 South African wines received a coveted 2018 Platter’s Guide five-star rating at the Awards ceremony held at the Table Bay Hotel tonight. Raats Family Wines was named as the 2018 Winery of the Year. (more…)

PLATTERS 2015 Guide CoverThe 2015 Platter’s Wine Guide was launched at the Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel last night, in a Beaujolais Ferment colour, with a number of changes in terms of its methodology to evaluate the 5 star wines,  as well as in the content of the Wine Guide. Out of 6000 wines submitted for evaluation, a total of 50 wines and one brandy received the highly desired 5 star rating. The Platter’s Winery of the Year is Sadie Family Wines, the second time that Eben Sadie has received this accolade.   DeMorgenzon Reserve Chardonnay 2013 was named the White Wine of the Year, Platter's JP Rossouw Whale Cottageand De Trafford Blueprint Syrah 2012 was named the Red Wine of the Year.

The first Platter’s change is that JP Rossouw has been the new publisher for the past year, looking confident last night, relative to his first more restrained presentation a year ago.  It was nice to see former publisher Andrew McDowell (more…)

Winelands WinetimesSouth Africa’s wine industry has a great fan in American wine economist Mike Veseth, who has visited our country twice in the past two years.  In his latest article, the third about his trip earlier this year, he praises the wine industry for dealing with the ‘bottlenecks it faces in selling its wines in the USA.  According to him, the design of the South African flag can be seen to reflect a bottleneck too!

Veseth visited in 2012, as the guest of Nederburg, addressing the Auction as guest speaker. He observed the wine industry then and compared it with his observations of his visit this year. He writes that it can be easier to make good wines than it is to sell and market them, and this applies to selling in the USA in particular.  He noted the increased confidence of our winemakers, and their ‘concrete plans‘ to tackle the marketing challenges, comparing his last two visits.  His observations of our wine industry over two visits are as follows:

1.   The leadership of the Winelands in Wine Tourism globally, a fantastic accolade. (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines 

*  Cape Town has a new feather in its cap, having been announced in Vancouver in Canada on Thursday as the WWF Global Earth Hour Capital 2014.  Won in competition against 163 cities, including Colorado, Chicago, Cleveland in the USA;  Seoul and Suwon in South Korea; Copenhagen; Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo;  Antwerp; and Edmonton and Surrey in Canada, the accolade recognises Cape Town’s actions on climate change and its focus on creating a sustainable environment in the city.  Cape Town’s reduction of its dependence on fossil fuels by retrofitting the City buildings, improving the energy efficiency of street and traffic lights, the introduction of its solar water heater program, the MyCiTi Bus network, the city centre cycle lanes, and the campaign to save electricity were recognised through the accolade.

*  The potentially most crippling strike ever in Germany is the threatened 3 day Lufthansa pilot strike, from 2 – 4 April. which will ground all planes of the airline.

*   Europe and the UK turned back the clock to Summer time today, Europe being in the same time zone as South Africa, and the UK (more…)

Whilst many wine farmers may not feel that they make money out of their wines, Sanlam Private Investments Director of Investments Alwyn van der Merwe said that one can make money by investing in fine wines, quoting a 6,5 % return on 2006 wines. The Livex Fine Wine 100 index, tracking a hundred of the world’s most desired wines, has increased by 40% since 2006. There is a good supply of quality wines, with heritage, a legacy, and with craftmanship.  Creating successful wines are the ‘passionate people of the industry’.  It was on this note that the Christian Eedes Top Ten Cabernet Sauvignon wines for 2012 were presented on Thursday, sponsored by Sanlam Private Investments.

Whilst being a judge in a number of wine competitions, including Veritas Awards, Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show, and Platter’s Wine Guide, Christian Eedes remarked that he is ‘bemused at the state of wine competitions in South Africa’,  and he said that some of their results ‘are curious’.  He feels that wine competitions should be held for ‘talent spotting’, to identify the ‘best of a bunch’, especially the undiscovered wines, and to recognise those wines that deserve to be at the ‘top of the pile’.  ‘Cabernet Sauvignon is a much-loved variety, and a category in which South Africa traditionally does well’, and this led Eedes to choose this variety for evaluation, showcasing the ‘potential of this variety to produce wines that can compete with the world’s best’. It is the second most planted variety locally, at 12%, but is often overlooked against other varieties, he feels.

Eedes therefore invited 50 Cabernet Sauvignon wine producers to participate in his competition, and this grew to 60 after he received requests by others to be included too. He explained the methodology as being blind tasting of the wines, a responsibility which he shared with Roland Peens of Wine Cellar and James Pietersen, the Group Sommelier of Belthazar and Balducci restaurants. The winning wines were rated on points out of 20/stars out of 5, as per the Platter rating system. The majority of winning wines were 2009 vintages. The list of Top 10 Cabernet Sauvignons was announced as follows:

Delaire Reserve 2009 (5 stars)

De Trafford 2009 (5 stars)

Graham Beck The Coffeestone 2009 (5 stars)

Tokara 2009 (5 stars)

Cederberg Five Generations 2009 (4,5 stars)

Rickety Bridge Paulina’s Reserve 2009 (4,5 stars)

Stark-Conde 2009 (4,5 stars)

Stark-Conde Three Pines 2009 (4,5 stars)

Kleine Zalze Family Reserve 2007 (4 stars)

Louis 2008 (4 stars)

The function was held at French Toast wine and tapas bar, and they served a selection of tapas dishes including goat’s cheese tomato tarts, chicken empanadas, and a prawn and calamari dish.

Eedes highlighted the role of Social Media, praising the ‘mutually supportive ethos amongst Bloggers and Tweeters’, especially as he comes from a print media background (past editor of Wine) which still is cynical towards the ‘New World’ communication style.  Eedes has left the print media world, and has embraced Social Media, writing the BlogWhat I drank last night’, Tweets (@ChristianEedes), and Facebooks.  He added that his Social Media colleagues have ‘exceeded his expectations‘.

DISCLOSURE: We received a bottle of Graham Beck The Coffeestone 2009 with our media pack.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter:@WhaleCottage

At the Bouchard Finlayson tasting at the Twelve Apostles Hotel last week ‘Wine Tourism Handbook’ publisher Monika Elias gave me a copy of her 2012 edition.  It is a very handy guide to the wine estates of the Western Cape in particular, but also in the Northern Cape and Kwa-Zulu Natal.  It is ideal for tourists wishing to get a quick overview of our wine routes and regions, and for staff working in the hospitality industry.

‘The Wine Tourism Handbook‘ introduces the topic by painting a picture of the 350 year history of South African wine, as well as the making of the first wines in the world up to 10000 years ago!  It tells the story of South African wine-making by Jan van Riebeeck, in February 1659 for the first time, the establishment of the KWV in 1918, the creation of Pinotage in 1941, and the launch of the first wine route, in Stellenbosch, in 1971. From these early beginnings South Africa has become the 7th largest wine producer in the world.  It addresses equitable issues of winemaking via Fairtrade, which promotes ‘greater equity for small producers in the international trading arena. The ethos of their work is that trading partnerships should be based on transparency, respect and a sustainable and ethical system of production and purchase’.   The growing trend to sustainability led to the development of the Biodiversity & Wine Initiative, with land of wine farms set aside for conservation, eradicating alien vegetation, and protecting endangered species such as the Cape Leopard, Geometric tortoise, the Cape Leopard toad, and the Riverine Rabbit.

A chapter is dedicated to winemaking, starting with viticulture, and describing the white and red wine making processes.  The value of the label, in communicating the region and farm from which the wine comes, the alcohol content, the vintage, the variety, the origin of the grapes is explained.  Details about the origin, cultivar and vintage are certified by a seal from the Wine and Spirit Board.  Just more than half of vines planted are for white wine production, and Chenin Blanc is the single largest varietal, at 20% of planting. The methods used to make Fortified wines, Rosés, and sparkling wines are also described.  A ‘South African Bubbly Route’ lists 69 producers of MCC sparkling wine. The best way to store wine is shared, and companies through which one can order South African wines in other countries are listed.

Brandy production is addressed separately to wine production, and the types of brandy, and tasting it, is covered.  Two Brandy Routes are described – the R62 Brandy Route, and the one including Stellenbosch, Paarl, Franschhoek, Wellington, and Elgin. Twenty brandy producers are listed.

Most of the book is dedicated to the wine routes of the Western Cape, categorised as Central Region, Inland, East Coast, and West Coast. The Central Region consists of Cape Town wine production in Constantia and Durbanville, and also in Franschhoek, Paarl, Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch Berg, Bottelary Hills, Greater Simonsberg, Helderberg, Stellenbosch Valley, Tulbagh and Wellington.  Advice is provided on getting around on the wine routes, and drinking and driving is strongly  advised against. Tour guides specialising in wine are recommended.  A Top 10 ‘Things to do’ list is presented, which includes lunch at Jordan wine estae, Staying in a tented camp at Clara Anna Fontein Game Reserve, seeing a show and eating at Die Boer Theatre Restaurant, viewing the Hess Collection at the Glen Carlou art gallery, tasting Jorgensen Distillery’s ‘artisanal drinks’, visiting the first biodynamic farm Bloublommetjieskloof, making wine at Stellenrust, enjoying a braai at Midddelvlei, and going on a game drive at Villiera Wildlife Sanctuary.

Highlights of the Constantia Region include Groot Constantia, Klein Constantia, Buitenverwachting, Eagle’s Nest, Constantia Glen, Constantia Uitsig, Steenberg, and Cape Point Vineyards, and the restaurants La Colombe, Bistro Sixteen82, and Buitenverwachting.  Some top Durbanville wine estates include De Grendel, Durbanville Hills, Meerendal, and Nitida.  The Franschhoek wine route includes Allée Bleue, Boekenhoutskloof, Boschendal, Cape Chamonix, Colmant Cap Classique & Champagne, Morena, Graham Beck, Grande Provence, Haute Cabrière, Holden Manz, La Motte, Rickety Bridge, Solms-Delta, Stony Brook and Vrede en Lust. Restaurants on this Route include Pierneef à La Motte, Fyndraai, Haute Cabrière Cellar Restaurant, and Babel.  The Paarl wine route includes Babylonstoren, Backsberg, Fairview, Glen Carlou, KWV Wine Emporium, Laborie, Landskroon, Nederburg, Noble Hill Wines, Perdeberg Winery, Scali, Veenwouden, Val de Vie,  and Vondeling.

Stellenbosch is the oldest and largest wine region, and has a number oif wine routes. Some of the best known estates on these routes include Waterford, Blaauwklippen, De Trafford, Flagstone, Kleine Zalze, Neil Ellis, Stark-Condé, Beyerskloof, Hartenberg, Hazendal, Villiera, Delaire Graff, De Meye, Bartinney, Kanonkop, Mont Destin, Rustenberg, Slaley, Thelema, Tokara, Uitkyk, Warwick, Alto, Dombeya/Haskell, Graceland, Ken Forrester, Longridge, Rust en Vrede, Vergelegen, Waterkloof, De Toren, Dalla Cia, Jordan, Meerlust, Spier, and Vilafonté. Recommended restaurants are the Postcard Café, Terroir, Delaire Graff, Towerbosch, Overture, and Jordan Restaurant by George Jardine.

The Inland region consists of the Breedekloof, Klein Karoo (Boplaas is one of the best known), Swartland, Robertson (dominated by Graham Beck, but also with Zandvliet, De Wetshof, and Van Loveren being better known) and Worcester wine routes.  The Swartland wine route is growing in stature, and very fine wines are being made in this region, including Mullineux, Sadie, AA Badenhorst, and Allesverloren.

Agulhas and Elim (Jean Daneel and Raka are best known), Bot River (Beaumont is best known), Elgin (a wine route with increasing recognition for Almenkerk, Paul Cluver, Shannon, and Iona), and Walker Bay are the wine routes classified under East Coast in the book.  The new Hermanus Wine Route has excellent wineries, including Creation, Hermanuspietersfontein, Ataraxia, Bouchard Finlayson, and Hamilton Russell.

The West Coast region consists of the Darling (Cloof is best known) and Olifants River (Cederberg and Stellar better known) wine routes.  The Garden Route is not well-known as a wine region, and Bramon makes an organic sparkling wine in Plettenberg Bay.  In KwaZulu-Natal Abingdon and Meander wines are made.

Twenty-seven wine-related festivals are also listed, with dates for the year ahead.

The Wine Tourism Handbook is a wealth of wine information, and should ideally be given to all tourists arriving in Cape Town, as compulsory reading about the excellent and extensive wine range on its doorstep.

Wine Tourism Handbook 2012: Enjoying Wine at the Source, World Focus Media, Tel 083 631 3393 www.winetourismhandbook.co.za

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter:@WhaleCottage

Chef Christoph Dehosse had recommended a visit to the Postcard Café at Stark-Condé wine estate when it first opened just over a year ago, and I only managed to get to it last Friday.   Its picturesque setting in the fertile and higher rainfall Jonkershoek Valley must be one of the most exceptional in the Winelands, at the edge of a dam, with the mountains in the background.

My son and I did a tasting of the Stark-Condé wines first, in the Bali-inspired tasting venue which opened in 2010 on an island in the middle of the dam, on the Oude Nektar farm, next door to the well-known Old Nektar, belonging to 99-year old Una van der Spuy, well-known for her garden and the books she has written about it.  One can sit inside or out, and sitting outside to enjoy the spectacular view, despite the cooler and cloudy day, was a natural choice.  Rick was the winetasting host, and would not allow us to pay for the tasting, despite the board at the entrance indicating that they charge R30 for five wines tasted.  He explained that the name of the wines comes from a combination of the maiden name of the mother of owner Hans Schröder (Stark) and the husband of Schröder’s daughter Marie (Jose Condé from Kansas City), who is the winemaker.  The Stark-Condé price list introduces the wine estate as follows: “We are a small family-owned winery dedicated to making hand-crafted wines. We use traditional techniques: hand-picking, meticulous sorting of the grapes, open fermentation, hand-punchdowns, basket pressing and maturation in French oak barrels. The Stark-Condé wines are from our own estate vineyards and the Pepin Condé wines are from select vineyards outside the valley”.

Rick explained that ‘Pepin’ means short, Condé’s nickname in Spanish, coming from Columbia. The Pepin Condé range consists of a Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir from Elgin, Chenin Blanc from Stellenbosch, ranging from R75 – R95, and Pinot Noir from Rowey Vineyards in Elgin (R185).  The Stellenbosch range consists of a Cabernet Sauvignon (Platter 4,5 star rating for 2008 vintage) and Syrah (Platter 4 star rating for 2008), both costing R130. The Three Pines range has a Cabernet Sauvignon (the 2009 vintage was awarded 5 stars in the latest Platter, and the 2008 vintage which we enjoyed even more was awarded 4,5 stars), and Syrah (Platter 4,5 star for the 2008), all costing R260.  The Stellenbosch and Three Pines ranges spent 22 months in French oak barrels and a further year in the bottle. Lingen is a red blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (40%), Syrah (40%), and Petit Verdot (20%), and costs R145.  Rick said the terroir of granite gives the wines spiciness and complexity, while the clay adds a soft roundedness to the wines.

As Rick did not know all the details of the family connections, he referred us to Marié Condé, who owns the Postcard Café, but she unfortunately was not at the restaurant over lunch.  We were delighted that wine estate owner Hans Schröder was around, and he came to sit down for a chat. He told us that he grew up in Namibia, but moved to South Africa.  He was in the Navy, and then in shipping for a number of years before he went to Japan to study business administration, regarding Japan as the leader on this topic at the time. He had to learn Japanese to be able to study.  He started a consultancy, guiding companies in doing business in Japan.  He could only bring his Japanese wife on holiday to South Africa, but could not live here with her in the pre-1994 apartheid era. In 1998 he returned to South Africa, and bought the farm in the Jonkershoek valley.  He enjoyed wines, but wasn’t a winemaker, and appointed my school classmate Neil Ellis to make the Neil Ellis branded wines.  The Neil Ellis tasting room and cellar was set up at their Helshoogte Pass property a year ago, but some of his wine will still be made at Oude Nektar for a year or two, Neil told me, by chance having a table next to ours on Friday, at which he was entertaining Irish clients.  Mr Schröder does the marketing of both sets of wines, going on separate Stark-Condé and Neil Ellis marketing trips to Japan, China, Korea, and Hong Kong, as well as Germany, while Neil markets his wines in the UK and Ireland.  They produce about 1,2 million Neil Ellis and 70000 Stark-Condé bottles of wine per year.

The Postcard Café is set alongside the edge of the dam, and its water lilies remind one of Renoir paintings and Japan.  Wooden tables and chairs are set up on the terrace of the restaurant, and a few steps down alongside the poplar tree forest.  A small shop sells wine cooler bags, aprons and Rozendal fynbos vinegar. There is no hostess or manager on duty, and Bella was the first waitress we asked about the table.  She was very abrupt and uncommunicative.  Having booked, our table was in the lower section. A piece of paper with the guest name is on each booked table.  There are no table cloths or placemats, cutlery is ordinary, serviettes are of paper, and a holder contained an unbranded olive oil, salt and pepper grinders, and Il Torrione balsamic vinegar.  The menu is printed on the same yellow paper as the wine price list, and contains only ten options, ranging from R54 – R 82.  There is no distinction between starters and mains. The menu options are ordinary: roasted pepper and baby marrow quiche, bacon and cheddar omelet, and a ham and cheddar toasted sandwich.  I chose the smoked trout salad with cucumber, boiled potato and a most delicious dill cream sauce, served with sourdough rye from De Oude Bank Bakkerij (owner Fritz Schoon was also enjoying lunch there on Friday). My son ordered  a cheese and preserves plate, with Brie, gruyere, blue cheese, and a chevin and dill cream cheese served with fig preserve, gooseberry jam, and sourdough rye, heavily covered with rocket.  One can also order a cold meat plate, with pork terrine, salami and ham, which come from Joostenberg Deli, served with olives and pickles, or a combination cheese and cold meat plate.  The cheeses are supplied by Get Stuffed.  In winter the lamb curry dish must be a winner.  Each of the menu items has wine recommendations.  Wines cost R27 – R35 per glass, commendable low prices, and most of the bottle prices are on a par or even cheaper than those on the tasting room price list, the first time I have seen this at a wine estate restaurant.  Water is served in a wine bottle. Our waitress Zelda looked after us well at the table, but was tardy when it came to preparing the bill.

Desserts are basic rustic apple pie, which had a sugar coasted crust and was served with cream on a Postcard Café branded plate; rustic apricot pie; baked cheesecake; dark chocolate cake; pear and blackberry crumble; chocolate pecan bars; and chilled pears in red wine syrup, most costing a very reasonable R26.  Disappointing is that no cappuccinos are served – only filter coffee is available, at R14.  A ceramic Melitta coffee filter was a plant holder on a table inside, generating a feeling of nostalgia from our family home, which had one too.

Postcard Café has the most amazing location, and its Stark-Condé wines on the estate are exceptional and very affordable. The food choice is disappointingly basic and over-dominated by rocket and greens on top of all dishes, not matching the quality of the wines. Service time between order placed and serving is exceptionally fast, making one suspect that all dishes are pre-prepared.  Most ingredients are bought in, instead of being created on the fertile farm.  The lack of a manager and a hostess to seat arriving guests and to look after the guests is a weakness.

Postcard Café, Stark-Condé, Jonkershoek Valley, Stellenbosch. Tel (021) 887-3665.   www.postcardcafe.co.za.   www.stark-conde.co.za Twitter: @StarkCondeWines Tuesday – Sunday 9h30 – 16h00.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter:@WhaleCottage

After many years of criticism about their quality of wines and terroir, the Franschhoek Vignerons have vindicated themselves, with Chamonix and Boekenhoutskloof named Red Wine of the Year (Cape Chamonix Reserve Pinot Noir 2010) and Winery of the Year, respectively, in the Platter’s South African Wines 2012, at The Vineyard Hotel last night. In addition, Boekenhoutskloof’s The Wolftrap White 2010 was named Superquaffer of the Year.  Badsberg Badslese 2009 was named the White Wine of the Year. Nine of the 45 five-star wines are from Franschhoek this year, the highest number ever.

The Platter’s Guide, with a ‘Karoo sunshine yellow‘ cover, as described by publisher Andrew McDowall, has 620 pages, with 56 more wineries and 1000 more wines evaluated than the 2011 edition.  More than 7000 wines were tasted by 15 judges, which included David Biggs, Christiaan Eedes, Michael Fridjhon, Tim James, Angela Lloyd (her 26th year of judging), Fiona McDonald, Jörg Pfützner, Christine Rudman, and Cathy van Zyl.

In its motivation for choosing Boekenhoutskloof as the Winery of the Year, Platter’s Guide wrote as follows: “For their remarkable 14 five star ratings stretching back to our 2000 edition – which featured the Syrah 1997, a stylistic window opener for the local industry and one of the most important wines of the modern South African era – and for their understated but highly influential role in placing South Africa in the international fine-fine (sic) map, we name Boekenhoutskloof our 2012 Winery of the Year.  Whilst some top achievers shy away from the entry level, Boekenhoutskloof co-founder and cellarmaster Marc Kent and his partners almost from the outset embraced the popular palate, first with their Porcupine Ridge label and latterly with another exceptionally drinkable and well-priced range, The Wolftrap. The White version of this budget offering is this edition’s Superquaffer of the Year – yet another reason for us to honour and congratulate this consistently exceptional Franschhoek team”. Both Boekenhoutskloof’s Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah 2009 were awarded five stars in the latest Platter’s.

Badsberg is based in Rawsonville and its Badslese 2009, presented in a beautiful bottle, is described by Platter’s as ‘…outstanding elegantly presented Natural Sweet dessert from chenin. 09 great concentration & spread of flavour, from floral to spicy, huge sweetness concludes on a tangy savoury/leafy note, which is uncloying & decidely moreish. With 10% hanepoot, unwooded’. The Chamonix Pinot Noir Reserve 2010 was described as follows: “…shows savoury cedar whiffs, with bright cherry & strawberry aromas powering through tealeaf cigarbox spice. Plush tannins, sweet berry notes. Integrated 80% new French oak, natural ferment. Even more vibrant & detailed than finely managed ’09”. Gottfried Mocke is the winemaker and cellarmaster at Chamonix in Franschhoek.

Forty-five wines were selected as 5 star wines, in a blind tasting of all 5-star candidates, a methodology following continued criticism of Platter’s sighted wine evaluation from wine writers such as Neil Pendock.  The full list of 2012 5-star wines, with three each for Boekenhoutskloof, Nederburg, and Mullineux Family, is as follows:

Cabernet Franc

• Warwick 2008

Cabernet Sauvignon
• Boekenhoutskloof 2009
• Graham Beck Chalkboard #3 2007
• Stark-Condé Three Pines 2009

Pinot Noir
• Cape Chamonix Reserve 2010
Newton Johnson Domaine 2010
• Oak Valley 2009

Shiraz/Syrah
• Boekenhoutskloof Syrah 2009
• Fairview The Beacon 2008
• Mont Destin Destiny 2007
• Mullineux Family Syrah 2009
• Saxenburg Select 2007

Red Blends
• Bouchard Finlayson Hannibal 2010
• De Toren Fusion V 2009
• Glenelly Lady May 2009
La Motte Pierneef Shiraz-Viognier 2009
• Meerlust Rubicon 2007
• Miles Mossop Max 2008
• Sadie Family Columella 2009

Chardonnay
• De Wetshof The Site 2009
• Jordan CWG Auction Reserve 2010

Chenin Blanc
• Beaumont Hope Marguerite 2010
• Diemersfontein Carpe Diem 2010
• Vins d’Orrance Kama 2010

Grenache Blanc
KWV Mentors 2010

Sauvignon Blanc
• Graham Beck Pheasants’ Run 2011
• Hermanuspietersfontein No 5 2010
Kleine Zalze Family Reserve 2010
• Steenberg CWG Auction Reserve The Magus 2010
• Strandveld 2010

White Blends
• Fable Jackal Bird 2010
Flagstone CWG Auction Reserve Happy Hour 2009
• Mullineux White Blend 2010
• Nederburg Ingenuity 2010
• Tokara Director’s Reserve 2010

Méthode Cap Classique Sparkling
• Colmant Brut Chardonnay NV
• Topiary Blanc de Blancs Brut 2009

Natural Sweet
Badsberg Badslese 2009

Dessert Wine Unfortified

• Boekenhoutskloof Noble Late Harvest 2008
• Fleur du Cap Noble Late Harvest 2010
• Mullineux Family Straw Wine 2010
• Nederburg Edelkeur 2010
Nederburg Eminence 2010

Port

• Boplaas Family Cape Vintage Reserve 2009
• De Krans Cape Vintage Reserve 2009

The 95 wines that did not make the 5-star rating after the blind-tasting were designated ‘Highly Recommended’, and include Shannon Mount Bullet 2009, Hartenberg Gravel Hill 2007, Hamilton Russell Chardonnay 2010, Sadie Family Palladius 2010, Steenberg Magna Carta 2010, and Ken Forrester ‘T’ Noble Late Harvest 2009.

The Platter’s launches, of which I have only attended the last two, could do with more ‘5-star quality’, both the Vineyard Hotel and Capelands not being ideal venues, both in respect of acoustics and snacks!  It was noticeable how many of the 2012 top 5-star winemakers, including Eben Sadie (Sadie Family Wines), Hein Koegelenberg (La Motte), and Bartho Eksteen (Hermanuspietersfontein) did not attend the function last night.

Platter’s South African Wines 2012, R159,95.  www.kalahari.com and www.sawinesonline.co.ukwww.wineonaplatter.com Tel (028) 316-3210. iPhone application available.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage

Three wine brands are the star wines this year, having each achieved three sought-after 5-stars in the 2012 Platter’s South African Wine Guide, announced yesterday.  Only 45 wines were awarded 5-stars, down from the record list of 58 last year, out of a record total of 7000 wines evaluated.

Nederburg, the 2011 Platter’s Winery of the Year, was awarded 5 stars for its Edelkeur 2010, Eminence 2010, and Ingenuity White 2010. Boekenhoutskloof won 5-stars for its Syrah 2009, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, and Noble Late Harvest 2008.  Mullineux Family Wines was awarded 5-stars for its Syrah 2009, White Blend 2010, and Straw Wine 2010.   The highest ever number of Franschhoek five-stars (9) went to Boekenhoutskloof (as above), Colmant Brut Chardonnay NV, Topiary Blanc de Blancs Brut 2009, La Motte Pierneef Shiraz-Viognier 2009, Graham Beck Pheasant’s Run 2011 and Graham Beck Chalkboard #3 2007, and Chamonix Reserve Pinot Noir 2010.  First time 5-star winners include Mont Destin, Colmant, Fable, Glenelly Cellars, Badsberg, Miles Mossop Wines, and Oak Valley Wines.

The full list of 2012 5-star Platter’s wines follows, according to Food24:

Cabernet Franc

• Warwick 2008

Cabernet Sauvignon
• Boekenhoutskloof 2009
• Graham Beck Chalkboard #3 2007
• Stark-Condé Three Pines 2009

Pinot Noir
• Cape Chamonix Reserve 2010
Newton Johnson Domaine 2010
• Oak Valley 2009

Shiraz/Syrah
• Boekenhoutskloof Syrah 2009
• Fairview The Beacon 2008
• Mont Destin Destiny 2007
• Mullineux Family Syrah 2009
• Saxenburg Select 2007

Red Blends
• Bouchard Finlayson Hannibal 2010
• De Toren Fusion V 2009
• Glenelly Lady May 2009
La Motte Pierneef Shiraz-Viognier 2009
• Meerlust Rubicon 2007
• Miles Mossop Max 2008
• Sadie Family Columella 2009

Chardonnay
• De Wetshof The Site 2009
• Jordan CWG Auction Reserve 2010

Chenin Blanc
• Beaumont Hope Marguerite 2010
• Diemersfontein Carpe Diem 2010
• Vins d’Orrance Kama 2010

Grenache Blanc
KWV Mentors 2010

Sauvignon Blanc
• Graham Beck Pheasants’ Run 2011
• Hermanuspietersfontein No 5 2010
Kleine Zalze Family Reserve 2010
• Steenberg CWG Auction Reserve The Magus 2010
• Strandveld 2010

White Blends
• Fable Jackal Bird 2010
Flagstone CWG Auction Reserve Happy Hour 2009
• Mullineux White Blend 2010
• Nederburg Ingenuity 2010
• Tokara Director’s Reserve 2010

Méthode Cap Classique Sparkling
• Colmant Brut Chardonnay NV
• Topiary Blanc de Blancs Brut 2009

Natural Sweet
Badsberg Badslese 2009

Dessert Wine Unfortified

• Boekenhoutskloof Noble Late Harvest 2008
• Fleur du Cap Noble Late Harvest 2010
• Mullineux Family Straw Wine 2010
• Nederburg Edelkeur 2010
Nederburg Eminence 2010

Port

• Boplaas Family Cape Vintage Reserve 2009
• De Krans Cape Vintage Reserve 2009

Platter’s South African Wine Guide: www.wineonaplatter.com

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage