Hamba Kahle, Simon Hoggart


The Spectator’s wine guru, Simon Hoggart, has adjourned to the great cellar in the sky. Gone at only 67, we’ll miss his sniping at Swartland pyrotechnics like his opinion of Adi Badenhorst’s Secateurs. “Take this scrumptious Secateurs 2010, a Chenin Blanc from A.A. ­Badenhorst of Swartland, who is one of the most exciting young winemakers in South Africa. Chenin Blanc is the grape in Vouvray, but you would be hard put to find a French wine as rich, succulent and velvety, and at the crazy price of £8.95. I served this to a wine-loving American friend, and half the bottle had disappeared down her throat before she managed to exclaim, ‘that was delicious!’ My only complaint is the ghastly label. Labels matter. Rolling countryside or ancient Dutch farmhouse a.s.a.p., please.

si Hamba Kahle, Simon Hoggart

Si also took exception to the spelling of Niel Joubert’s name. “Finally, our star red is Niel Joubert’s Cabernet Sauvignon from the Paarl region of South Africa. Mr Joubert may not know how to spell his first name, but he can make a tremendous wine. This is not for the faint-hearted. It is a very, very fullflavoured wine, those flavours including liquorice, chocolate, plums, cinnamon and — not that any wine-writer would descend to say this — even grapes. It’s an in-yourface, knock-your-socks-off wine which reminds me of Château Musar, popularised by the late Auberon Waugh, and now costing almost twice the laughable price Quantock Abbey is asking for this.

Well Niel spells his name with an i before e as its short for Daniel, something I’m sure he’s explaining to Si as they have their first tasting upstairs together with Bron.