Browse Tag


Saam like it hot

[landscape]Saam Mountain 2008 Chenin Blanc Middelburg (Paarl) – Full of the bright, round, yellow fruit that I’ve found is (happily) almost unavoidable in bargain chenins from South Africa. It’s clean, with a bit of spice and barely-fair acidity, though more of the latter would be welcome. Drinkable enough. (10/09)

Joan Wilderer? Joan Wilderer?

Wilderer Pinotage Grappa (Paarl) – Like wines made from the grape, a giant explosion of fruit. Kind of a doofus spirit, or perhaps it could more charitably be termed a beginner’s grappa, and yet it ends up being appealing despite its simplicity. (11/08)

New clothes

Signal Hill 2005 “Vin de l’Empereur” (Paarl) – Sweet muscat d’Alexandrie, and already very dark brown, with moderate floral notes and an exotic, botrytis-laden aroma. However, all the reward’s in the nose, because the hollow and rather light palate doesn’t follow through on any of the former’s promises. Good, but only just. (11/08)

TN: South Africa (BWE notes)

[vineyard]Tasting notes from the Boston Wine Expo. These were difficult tasting conditions, where speed and distraction were the norm rather than the exception. Thus, notes are brief at best, somewhat superficial, and cannot in truth be otherwise.

Louisvale 2006 “Unwooded” Chardonnay (Western Cape) – Clean apple, clementine and tangerine. Decent. (2/07)

Avondale 2006 Chenin Blanc (Paarl) – Concentrated red cherry, blood orange with slightly noticeable residual sugar. Quite intense, with good acidity. Flavorful New World-style chenin. (2/07)

Springfontein 2006 Chenin Blanc (Walker Bay) – Green peach and white linen. Simple and soft. (2/07)

BWC 2006 Sauvignon Blanc (Stellenbosch) – Gooseberry and thyme with a grassy undertone. Simple, fair. (2/07)

Avondale 2006 Rosé (Coastal) – Clean strawberry & raspberry leaves. Simple & fun. (2/07)

Amira 2004 Syrah (Coastal) – Bitter blueberry, dirt, and stems. No good. (2/07)

Vriesenhof 2003 “Enthopio” (Stellenbosch) – Rich, roasted frut and burnt soil with spice and crispness. Mostly pinotage. Both good and interesting. (2/07)

Morgenster 2001 (Stellenbosch) – Chocolate, cappuccino, black cherry, blackberry, and soft greenness. Low-tier potential at best, but it’s probably at its best now. It’s unquestionably better after a few hours of air. (2/07)

[view]Muratie 2003 Shiraz (Stellenbosch) – Cassis, black cherry and strawberry. A big-fruited, simple-minded wine. (2/07)

Springfontein 2005 Pinotage (Walker Bay) – Red cherry and raspberry with pine tar and a great acidic tingle. Ripe and quite good. (2/07)

Springfontein 2005 “Estate Reserve” (Walker Bay) – Herbs (mostly thyme), underripe but boisterous fruit, light tannin, and a soupy texture. Bleah. (2/07)

Springfontein 2005 “Ulumbaza” Shiraz (Walker Bay) – Big blueberry fruit, light spice, mild tannin and good acid. Everything’s front-loaded here, but it’s good in that idiom. (2/07)

Avondale 2006 Cabernet Franc (Paarl) – Rosemary, rough black earth, blueberry and pointy acidity. Eh. (2/07)

Avondale 2006 Pinotage (Paarl) – Soft, with big strawberry, apple, and medium-ripe plum with some tannin on the finish. Moderately OK. (2/07)