Browse Tag


Secateurs, Georgia

Badenhorst “Secateurs” 2010 Red (Coastal Region) – Thudding fruit with bitter vinyl that I cannot believe isn’t pinotage-derived (it isn’t: the wine’s blended from cabernet sauvignon, carignan, cinsault, and grenache). Maybe it’s the cinsault…which is, after all, one of pinotage’s absentee parents. A chore to drink. (6/12)

Putting the baden before the horst

Badenhorst “Secateurs” 2011 Chenin Blanc (Swartland) – 13.5%. Hybrid Rainier cherry and quinine with a bit of hay, atop a bed of gravel. The finish is a little scrape-y, and there’s very little acidity. Short. Kinda eh. (7/12)

Neudorf on neugolf

Neudorf 2008 Sauvignon Blanc (Nelson) – A somewhat metallic side of sauvignon blanc, ripe and a bit showy but still avoiding tropicality. Also a touch reductive, which may be the closure. (6/12)

Cott in the crossfire

Brancott 2011 Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough) – Neither the pyrazine fest it once was (granted, I’m sure what’s going into this wine now bears less than no relation to what went into it in previous decades) nor the sweet, soft fruit of the double-oughts’ overreaction, instead this is straightforward and varietally correct, but sanded down (and some of the sandpaper remains, texturally) and pretty dull. It’ll do in a pinch, but I’d like that pinch to be a bucket of ice on a Marlborough Sounds beach somewhere, with maybe a cube of that ice in the paper cup from which I’m swigging this. (6/12)

When Vogelsang, I hear violins

Heidi Schröck 2007 Ried Vogelsang (Austria) – 25% each welschriesling, weissburgunder, grauburgunder, and furmint. Overly-sweet for what else is provided, and pretty insipid. Just kinda sits there, limp..(6/12)

My bell

Meinklang 2011 Traminer (Burgenland) – Spiced pear, green rose, a bit of vinyl. Sappy, but also short, which somewhat mars the effect. It’s pleasant, though. (6/12)

Street splitter

Donaldson Family “Main Divide” 2005 Riesling (Waipara Valley) – Vivacious, and I mean that in more than one sense: there’s a ton of spritz here, which really livens up an otherwise directly, icily fruity wine full of green-toned sorbets. Developing nicely, with just a hint of petrol, and really fun. (6/12)


Ken Forrester 2010 Chenin Blanc “Reserve” (Stellenbosch) – Burnished lemon, nectarine, peach, and even a bit of ripe papaya. This is the goofy fruitiness for which South African chenin is both praised and derided. But hold up. There’s wax and minerality, there’s good acidity, and I have precedent to assure the doubtful that, with some age, this turns into the waxed honeysuckle, pollen, and quinine that chenin shows at its best. No, I don’t think it will age like Vouvray, or Montlouis, or even a quarter as long as the better examples of either. But the easy appeal of the fruit hides a much more interesting wine, and in contrast to the grape’s banks-of-the-Loire profundity, this will reach its more mature realms much, much more quickly. (5/12)

Badstube the good toe

Dr. H. Thanisch 2007 Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Kabinett 15 08 (Mosel) – Iron-jacketed lime, iron hammers on steel. Ultimately, though, kinda boring. No, not kinda…a lot boring.  A stage? One hopes. (5/12)