Bordeaux-style blends – really the best?

Some 26 years ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing Paul Pontallier, then Technical Director of Bordeaux First Growth, Chateau Margaux (he very sadly died, far too young, a few weeks ago). At the ti


A matter of opinion

There can be few wineloving South Africans who aren’t aware of the positive and enthusiastic reviews of our wines from the foreign media. Given they are exposed to the whole world of wine on a


Bubbles – a question of taste

A question – do you have le goût anglais or le goût francais? This ‘English taste’ or ‘French taste’ refers, as far as I know, to Champagne but I guess it could


A wander around the Douro

It’s one of life’s little (or perhaps that should be ‘big’) ironies that our fortified wines receive high praise, praise that unfortunately isn’t reflected in sales.


Cape Wine 2015 – some reflections

Last week, thousands of trade and media from all over the world converged on the Cape Town Convention Centre for the three days of the now triennial showcase, Cape Wine. Listening to and reading comme


Soil — where the answer lies

‘Our idea was to make a white a syrah and a sweet wine.’ That was Chris and Andrea Mullineux’s intention when they left what was then Tulbagh Mountain Vineyards (now Fable Mountain

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Beneficial competitions

That title might sound like an oxymoron for whenever a new competition is announced, there’s a collective sigh of despondency among the media. Do we really need another one, inevitably promoted


Platter 2016

That’s it, Platter wrapped for another year, the 30th for me. For a while, there’s a strange void; I keep looking around for a battalion of bottles waiting to be assessed! Working backwa

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Blind & blind tasting

For those who have wondered about my lengthy absence from these pages, my sight has been severely compromised by a cold virus in my eye (the other responding in sympathy). It was like a normal cold af


Red whites addendum

When I was writing the previous article on tannins in white varieties, one aspect I couldn’t track down with any ease is the relative thickness of the skins and the quality of tannin in each va

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