Durbanville Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

This year I’ve decided to put my internationally recognised Level 4 Diploma from the UK’s Wine & Spirit Trust to good use. Among other things, I’m tasting for the annual Platter’s South African Wine Guide, now sponsored by Diners Club (those same wine-loving folk who sponsored my Sunday Times Food Weekly column in 2013).
“Arguably the best overview of a single wine industry in the world” is how UK-based master of wine Tim Atkin describes Platter’s in his comprehensive 2014 Special Report on South Africa (downloadable for R220). “Each year, my conviction grows that South Africa has something unique to offer the world,” he writes. “There’s never been a better time to write about, taste or buy South African wine.”
His words make me doubly excited about rating and contextualising the 300-odd wines that Platter’s editor Philip van Zyl has allocated to me – only after receiving my sworn declaration of interests and confidentiality. Having already worked with Philip for a number of years (writing winery introductions), I doubt there is any other guide run with more integrity, right down to the blind calibration tastings that take place behind the scenes (though tasting the wines sighted remains essential in order to explain how they fit in with the philosophy of each farm – and this is not a competition, after all).
My only wish is that I could more regularly and affordably calibrate my palate internationally again, which is why I’m interested in the Around the World tastings being hosted by Durbanville Hills this winter. Every Wednesday, cellarmaster Martin Moore, red winemaker Wilhelm Coetzee or white winemaker Gunther Kellerman have been introducing some dishes and (where applicable) wines from a different country, with upcoming highlights including Spain on 6 August and the United States on 3 September (full programme here or call 021 558 1300).
Cost of R280pp includes a welcome drink, wine tasting, dinner, coffee and sweet treat, and Durbanville Hills wines such as the soft and fruity Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 (R59) will be available for purchase.