Entries tagged with “Strandveld”.


Last week my special friend Stuart Bailey and I ate at Janse & Co, the restaurant on Kloof Street, which Chef Arno Janse van Rensburg opened with his partner Liezl Odendaal two months ago. It reflects perfection in its decor, its service, and its menu, with beautifully presented dishes.  (more…)

As writers we are invited to many events. I have attended the FNB Sauvignon Blanc Top 10 Awards over a number of years, but none have been as much fun as the one I attended at The Franschhoek Cellar on Thursday!  (more…)

imageOn a quick visit to Hermanus last week, I was lucky to meet Chef Warwick Taylor, previously of Creation, where he was extremely popular and created excellent dishes which were paired with the Creation wines. (more…)

imageTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Our economy is struggling, business confidence having fallen to its lowest level in 16 years. The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry Business Confidence Index fell from 88 in July to 84 in August! This scenario may cost the country’s workers 60000 jobs.

*   Given that the 2022 Commonwealth Games will be held in Durban, (more…)

MulderbochMulderbosch Faithful Hound 2013 was named the top Bordeaux-style White blend at the RisCura White Hot Wine Awards, held at Tjing Tjing Torli (in Dear Me) in Cape Town yesterday. The wine was made by Adam Masonimage and scored 94.

Winemag.co.za Business Manager Jacqueline Lahoud welcomed wine makers and writers, and announced that of 30 entries received, twelve scored 90 or more points out of 100. She said that Winemag is a digital platform for news about the wine industry and showcases its achievements. The first RisCura White Hot Wine Awards for Bordeaux Blends were presented in 2013. Earlier this year the first RisCura Red Hot Wine Awards for Bordeaux Blends were held in Stellenbosch. A niche had been identified to recognize Bordeaux Blends, and RisCura agreed to sponsor the awards. RisCura (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines 

*   Entries are open for the Diners Club 2014 Winelist Awards, with a closing date of 29 August.   The main element of judging the winelists is content, followed by a lesser weighting for balance, suitability, and presentation.  Dave Hughes will chair the judging panel. (received via media release from African Sky Media)

*   The Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild is making its wines available for tasting ahead of its prestigious Auction at Spier on 4 October.  The Cape Town showcase will be held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on 21 August, while in Johannesburg it will be held at the Nedbank Head Office The Atrium on 27 August.  All proceeds of the Auction go to the development program of the Cape Winemakers’ Guild. Entrance costs R170.  (received via media release from GC Communications)

*   Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky has been awarded its 6th Gold medal at the 2014 International Wine & Spirits Competition in (more…)

Springfontein Eats interior 2 Whale Cottage PortfolioIt was restaurant reviewer and now Platter’s  South African Wines 2014 publisher JP Rossouw who told me about Springfontein Eats outside Stanford, asking me at the launch of the wine guide whether I had already eaten there.  Having spent the past weekend in Hermanus, I drove to the restaurant on Saturday, finding a culinary oasis, with former 1 star Michelin Chef Jürgen Schneider preparing a lunch feast justSpringfontein Eats Chef Juergen Schneider Whale Cottage Portfolio for me!

I had booked for lunch and was the only patron in the restaurant, despite it being a long weekend.  The restaurant opened two months ago. Springfontein was bought by Jürgen and Susanne Schneider as well as by Johst and Jen Weber in 1994, then a cattle farm. The farm had belonged to David Trafford’s father in law, and it was suggested to them that the abundance of water, the terroir, the limestone soil, the nearby ocean location, the difference in daytime and nighttime temperatures, and the slope on the farm, would be ideal for wine production, which advice they followed and they started planting vines eleven years ago.   They were laughed at initially, being ridiculed for the ‘vinegar’ that they would be producing, but they have proven their critics wrong!   Springfontein is the oldest wine farm in Stanford.  They sold their grapes to Hamilton Russell and to Rupert & Rothschild initially, until they started making their own wines 7 – 8 years ago.

The road to Springfontein is not the easiest to find in Stanford, one driving down Stanford’s main road, and then turning left into Moore Road, and carrying on straight, the road becoming a gravel one and taking one to Springfontein 5 km along.  The road signs are tiny, not brown tourism ones, as I had expected.  Gravel roads are not my favourite, due to a childhood experience of a car accident on such a road, but the condition of the road was reasonable.

Three cottages on the farm have been transformed into guest accommodation, and the Springfontein Winery wine cellar was built.  The old homestead was transformed into Springfontein Eats restaurant, the most recent of the facilities on the wine estate to open.  I asked Chef Jürgen why he would leave a lucrative and successful Michelin star graded restaurant Strahlenberger Hof in Schriesheim they have run for 18 years,  (more…)

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

Not only is the 2011 edition of Platter’s South African Wines grass green in colour, but it also focuses on sustainability in the guide by highlighting the work by organisations and individuals in protecting and restoring  the environment, and in promoting biodiversity.   Each of the invited guests at the launch function received their guide in a lively new multi-coloured carry-bag which Woolworths is selling, to educate wine drinkers about responsible wine production and drinking. 

Launching the 31st edition of Platter’s at Capelands in Somerset West yesterday afternoon, publisher Andrew McDowell said that 6500 wines had been evaluated sighted from 800 producers, and the highest number of 5-stars ever was awarded to 58 wines.   The short-list of wines was tasted unsighted, and resulted in the final list of 5-star wines.    The Red Wine of the Year was voted as De Trafford Shiraz 2008, described by the judges as “pure hedonism and promising outstanding development over the next decade”.  White Wine of the Year was Fleur du Cap’s Bergkelder Selection Noble Late Harvest 2009, made from chenin blanc in the main, and was described as “arresting, with astounding balance of ripe fruit and crisp acidity”.   Superquaffer of the Year, offering outstanding value, was Nederburg Lyric 2010, a blend of chenin blanc, sauvignon blanc and chardonnay, described as “a celebration of fruit and a delightful demonstration of how well the three varieties can work together”.

The Platter’s Winery of the Year went to Nederburg, in recognition of a ‘winery (which) stood head and shoulders above the rest’.   The winery won eighteen 5-star ratings in eleven editions, and five 5-star wines in the new edition.  Cellarmaster Razvan Macici was delighted to receive this prestigious honour, particularly as he is celebrating his 10th anniversary at Nederburg.

The 5-star rated wines are the following, by variety (* denotes first-ever 5-star rating):

Cabernet Sauvignon: Boekenhoutskloof 2009, Delaire Graff Reserve 2008*, Kanonkop 2007, Klein Constantia 2008, Kleine Zalze Family Reserve 2007, Le Riche CWG Auction Reserve 2007

Grenache:  Neil Ellis Vineyard Selections 2008

Pinot Noir: Meerlust 2008, Newton Johnson Domaine 2009

Pinotage:  Beyerskloof Diesel 2008

Shiraz:  Boschendal Cecil John Reserve 2008, Eagles’ Nest 2008, Haskell Pillars 2008, Rijk’s Private Cellar 2005, Saxenburg Select Unlimited Release 2006

Merlot:  Shannon Mount Bullet 2008*

Red Blends:  Ernie Els Signature 2007, Graham Beck Ad Honorem 2007, Hartenberg The Mackenzie Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2007, Nederburg Ingenuity Red 2007, Reyneke Reserve Red 2007*, Spier Frans K. Smit 2006, Vergelegen Red 2005

Chardonnay: Groot Constantia Gouverneurs 2009, Julien Schaal 2009*, Mulderbosch 2008, Rustenberg Five Soldiers 2008

Chenin Blanc:  Botanica 2009*, StellenRust ’45’ Barrel Fermented 2009*

Grenache Blanc:  The Foundry 2009

Sauvignon Blanc:   Graham Beck Pheasants’ Run 2010, Klein Constantia Perdeblokke 2009, Kleine Zalze Family Reserve 2009, The Berrio 2009, Zevenwacht 360º 2009*

White Blends:   Cape Point Isliedh 2009, Hermanuspietersfontein Die Bartho 2009*, Lammershoek Roulette Blanc 2009*, Nederburg Ingenuity White 2009, Nederburg Sauvignon Blanc-Chardonnay Private Bin D253 2009, Rall White 2009, Sadie Family Palladius 2009, Steenberg Magna Carta 2009, Steenberg CWG Auction Reserve The Magus 2009, Strandveld Adamastor 2009*, Tokara Director’s Reserve White 2009

Méthode Cap Classique:  Topiary Blanc de Blancs Brut 2008*, Villiera Monro Brut 2005

Dessert Wine, Unfortified:  Fairview Le Beryl Blanc 2009, Klein Constantia Vin de Constance 2006, Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve Noble Late Harvest 2009, Nederburg Private Bin Edelkeur 2009

Port:   Boplaas Cape Vintage Reserve 2008, De Krans Cape Vintage Reserve 2008, De Krans Cape Tawny NV, JP Bredell Cape Vintage Reserve 2007

The Woolworths Biodiversity & Wine Initiative bags depict colourful images of wine glasses, bottles and proteas, and the logo of the World Wildlife Fund’s Biodiversity & Wine Initiative (BWI).  Wording on the bags encourages sustainability: “Support conservation in the Winelands; look out for our wines displaying this label…Get the latest project information by writing www.bwi.co.za”; “Woolworths supports the Biodiversity and Wine Initiative.  The Cape Winelands is home to more plant species than are found in the entire northern hemisphere, with 70 % of these plants found nowhere else in the world.  The Cape Floral Kingdom is recognised as a World Heritage Site”.   Attached to the bag is a BWI brochure, which explains the importance of ‘production integrity and environmental sustainability”, lists the members of the BWI, and salutes the BWI “Champions”: Backsberg, Bartinney, Burgherspost, Cederberg, Cloof, Delheim, Eikenhof, Graham Beck, Hermanuspietersfontein, Klein Constantia, La Motte, Lourensford, Oak Valley, Paul Cluver, Schalkenbosch, Vergelegen, Waterkloof, Waverley Hills, and Wedderwill.   Woolworths encourages wine drinkers to look for wines carrying the BWI logo on the back labels of its wines.

Platter’s South African Wines 2011  is available at R 159,99 from book stores, and can be bought online via www.kalahari.net and www.sawinesonline.co.uk

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