Friday 30 September 2011

Wine Joke of the Month - September

The regular taster died at a wine merchant and the director started looking for a new one to hire.
A drunkard with a ragged, dirty look came to apply for the position and the director of the warehouse wondered how to send him away. So they tested him by giving him a glass of wine to drink.
He tried it and said, "It's a muscat, three years old, grown on a north
slope, matured in large old barrels. Low grade but acceptable."

"That's correct", said the boss.

Another glass....

"It's a cabernet, eight years old, a south-western slope, new oak barrels,
matured at 8 degrees. Requires three more years for finest results.”


A third glass...

''It's a non-vintage pinot champagne, high grade and exclusive'' calmly said the drunk.

The director was astonished. He winked at his secretary to suggest something.
She left the room and came back in with a glass of urine.

The drunkard tried it.

"It's a blonde, 26 years old, three months pregnant and if you don't give me
the job, I'll name the father."

Courtesy of Alberto Reis 

Thursday 29 September 2011

Uncorked 2, Sabrage and Releasing Gas – Part 2

The Wine School – Uncorked 2: 24 September 2011

At last, the time has come and Janice kindly invites us to her modern, cool and quirky home for Part 2 of the Uncorked 2 course.
We start off with Portugal and Germany to complete the Old World wine portion of the course. We try a Vinho Verde from Portugal which is ‘summery’ and easy drinking and a Riesling from Germany which is honey-like with a kerosene character and slightly sweet which is the norm for a Riesling.

We all receive a slight scare when Cindy pulls out her sabre! J Luckily we are assured it’s only to sabrage the champagne bottle with.

Sabrage is a technique for opening a Champagne bottle with a sabre, used for ceremonial occasions. The saber is slid along the body of the bottle toward the neck. The force of the blade hitting the lip breaks the glass to separate the collar from the neck of the bottle. The cork and collar remain together after separating from the neck.

Watch the video: 

We take a break and head into the garden where Cindy demonstrates her skills and slices the top portion of the champagne bottle off like a hot knife through butter. We all get treated to a glass or 2 of Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Brut Champagne, which is dry, ‘biscuity’ and delicious.

Next we delve into New World wine from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa and discover the contrast compared to that of Old World wine. New World wines differ as follows:  

·        They can be drunk sooner than Old World wines which require ageing in order for them to soften and mature in order to be drinkable.
·        They challenge convention where much science is involved with more influence from the winemaker and a higher level of hygienic measures followed.
·        Machinery is often, but not always, used for harvesting, whereas vineyards are planted in close proximity in the Old World and therefore only handpicking of the grapes is possible.  
·        The wine labels state what varietals are in the bottle as opposed to Old World  wine which merely refer to what region the wine is from.
·        There are more upfront fruit flavours as opposed to ‘earthy’ characteristics.
·         Alcohol percentages are normally higher due to increased sun exposure on the grapevines, thus ensuring higher sugar content of the grapes at harvesting, which means there is more sugar to be converted into alcohol. 

We try a 2003 Penfolds Coonawarra Shiraz from Australia, which is spicy, peppery, smooth and earthy with a cherry characteristic. I do not like the Australians when it comes to sport and cannot wait till South Africa annihilate them in the Rugby World Cup, but man, they sure do make a good Shiraz. 

Finally, after all the hype, the Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc makes an appearance and it seems that the weather even turned cloudy just to ensure a momentous occasion. This is rated by some as the best Sauvignon Blanc in the world and I got to agree with that! It’s grassy, herbaceous with green pepper and although there is a lot happening with a full mouth feel, it’s balanced and the taste lingers smoothly. Sshh... I refilled my glass a couple times J   

Veronica is very intrigued by Janice’s gas powered corkscrew opener, which her husband, Sam, demonstrates the use thereof to us. There are shrieks of laughter as Veronica says “I'm finished, I need to purchase one so that I can also release gas.”  

After being around the World, we return back home to South Africa and celebrate by opening (by way of gas release) a 2008 Warwick Three Cape Ladies, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Pinotage, which we pair up with some Springbok and Wildebeest pates and biltong. The wine is local and lekker and stands up to the food with its complexity of pepper, spice, herbaceous and banana sniffs.  

This course has been so interesting and a wealth of information and I would definitely recommend it to anyone interested. For the peeps that know nothing about wine, The Wine School also offers a course called Uncorked 1, which will put you on the right track to not looking like a poephol when purchasing or ordering wine ; )

Wednesday 21 September 2011

The Hangover 3 - The Taste of Joburg turns 'The Wine Oak' into The Wine Whisky Beer Aguardente Gin Jägermeister Oak!

Gray Lounge
You know it’s going to be a good evening when you hit Montecasino. Not only does it have a cool atmosphere which ensures a good night out, but it also doubles up as a great venue for a very well attended event such as The Taste of Joburg. As my buddy and I walk through the Casino towards the Outdoor Event Arena where the event is being held, we jokingly say that tonight is probably going to be The Hangover 3. The night didn’t include either of us getting a tattoo or a finger chopped off and there weren’t any tigers or monkeys, but an awesome night it was indeed.

We start off at the “Gray” lounge, a new Steakhouse of Chef Philippe Wagenführer, formerly of Roots Restaurant, who does things differently and keeps things unique, delicious and interesting. A purist approach to the food has been adopted by Philippe and the majority of ingredients on his menu are hand crafted.
The restaurant manager, West Ngcwabe, presents us with the wines they have on offer on the night, the first being a 2010 Cederberg Sauvignon Blanc and the other a 2008 Cederberg Red blend. Both are really good and West tells us that they will have other wines on their menu, which is made in collaboration with estates in selected regions and deemed to compliment the food on offer. We agree that I must definitely pay Gray Restaurant in Boksburg a visit, in order to try these complimentary wines, sounds good!
The beer, Dog & Fig, is excellent and very different. The intention of the beer is to compliment the food and it comes from a micro brewery in Parys. And I thought beer was just meant for a braai, you will also think differently after you try this stuff.   

Things get interesting and Portuguese-style at the “Wines of the World” stand, where the friendly Marina introduces us to a 2009 Grāo Vasco, a red blend from the Alentejano Region, which is very pleasant and suitable for everyday easy drinking.
Next up, a shot of Aguardente, which means fiery water in English, which the name describes to a tee. Now this drink I know all about, thanks to my Dad who takes great delight in serving it to unsuspecting visitors who do not know that Aguardente is normally added to an espresso and not downed as a shooter. Aguardente is the name of the Portuguese grape brandy. It is distilled from the Vinho Verde grapes and aged in old Port wine casks giving the end product an interesting flavour and smoothness.

Things seem to be happening at the Gordons Gin stand, which pulls us closer like a moth to a flame. I don’t ever drink Gin, but mixed with cranberry juice, it’s quite lekker.  

We try out a few Reds at the Nederburg stand and the 2009 The Winemaster’s Reserve Pinotage definitely stands out especially at the decent price of around R70 a bottle. It has slight Pinot Noir characteristics pulling through.    

One of the Gems of the night, has to be Wedderwill, firstly because I have never heard of the Wine Farm and secondly because their entire range of wines is fantastic. My favourite is definitely the 2004 Wedderwill, a Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc which is damn awesome. Wedderwill’s marketing strategy is eye catching and interesting, with cool labels and their Shiraz in a square shaped bottle which tastes good too (the wine not the bottle). The 2006 Sauvignon Blanc is drinking beautifully, which is proof that some Sauvignon Blancs can be brilliant with some ageing, particularly those from cooler areas. 

We do a whisky tour at the Johnnie Walker stand and we try out the Black, Green and Red Labels (unfortunately there was no Blue). I have a new appreciation for whisky and the different labels all have very different characteristics just as wine would, but the kick is a lot stronger! By the end of the tour, which is very quick, I take the last sip of Red Label, put down the tumbler and as I leave the stand, the music playing sounds sweeter, people look prettier and I realise I'm actually a little pissed. 3 whisky’s in a row definitely has an effect!
We decide to counter the effects of the whisky and head back to the Gray Lounge where I have the steak which is absolutely mouth wateringly (yip it’s a word – well the spell checker didn’t say otherwise) good and I can’t wait till Gray Restaurant and I meet again.

We end off at the Hermanuspietersfontein stand and end our tasting off in style. I have 2 words for you: Die Martha! I don’t care that the show is ending in 20 minutes because my taste buds are at peace and happy. It’s a Rhône-style ‘SMV’ (Shiraz, Mourvèdre, Viognier) blend. I also try the Swartskaap, a straight Cabernet Franc. Cab Franc is usually a blending component in some Bordeaux-style blends and that’s why this is different and enjoyable. “Would you like some more of the 2007 Die Martha” I hear over my shoulder. My answer: “Hell yeah!”

As we head back to the car, we walk through the Casino, having had a cool evening. But wait it gets better... We touch, pause and engage the 1 arm bandit and win 200 bucks! Time to get home to wake up in time, to watch the Bokke play against Fiji at 8am! 

Tuesday 13 September 2011

Old World Romanticism & New World Uncorked – Part 1

The Wine School, Uncorked 2 – 10 September 2011

From left to right: Cindy, Kimce, Veronica (teachers pet), Janice, Mandy, Vernon, Andrew and Kirsty 

The Wine Oak loves winning stuff, especially when the prize is awesome! It’s been a long time since I had my amazing winning streak whilst being a diligent student (haha, if I wrote a blog back then, it would have been called The Captain Morgan Oak) and it’s about time I win something besides getting 3 numbers in the national lottery. Do you feel lucky? Yes I do, so I enter a lucky draw to win an International Wine Course for a couple, on The Only Cin’s Blog. It’s a blog by Cindy Taylor and is mostly about her passion for food, cooking and wine, check it out: 
I had a good feeling about entering the lucky draw because I won! Lets hope this is only the beginning of the next winning streak.

The International Wine Course, known as “Uncorked 2,” is presented by Janice Scheckter of The Wine School, which is located in Illovo, Johannesburg. (
The course is twofold, with part 1 focusing on the Old World including France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Germany while part 2 covers the New World including South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.   

Kimcé and I arrive and a welcoming aroma of strong coffee passes through the air as we meet Cindy and Janice who offers us a cup of the irresistible coffee. As the other attendees arrive, the impressive fish tank is admired by all and the big yellow goldfish really do have a desired calming effect.
We start the course off and taste the first wine at about 09:30, but it is 12pm somewhere in the world and I’m pretty sure an aeroplane did fly over a few minutes earlier J, so all is good. Janice definitely keeps all our attention as the course is somewhat laid back, interactive, interesting and not in the format of a boring lecture, unlike some informatics and business management lectures I attended back in the day at varsity, *yawn*.

Teachers Pet ;)

“Old World wine” refers primarily to wine made in Europe and can include other regions of the Mediterranean basin such as North Africa and the Near East, with long histories of winemaking. The phrase is often used in contrast to “New World wine” which refers primarily to wines from the United States, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa to name a few.
Tradition and the role of the terroir, which refers to the aspects of a wine region such as soil, climate, topography and how well the wine communicates the sense of place where it originated, are central to the winemaking process of Old World wines and wines are labelled with the regions name rather than the grape variety, which we are accustomed to as a New World wine producing country. Old World winemakers will often attempt to downplay the role of the winemaker and avoid techniques that may mask or distort the expression of terroir. On the other side of the coin, the New World places more emphasis on science and the role of the winemaker in the winemaking process with techniques used to bring out the fruit flavours of a wine.           

Old World wine regions have developed viticultural techniques and practices adapted around their unique climates and landscapes, which are enshrined in local wine laws and regulations such as the French Appellation d’origine controlee (AOC).
Generally Old World vineyards were planted many years ago in close proximity which is only sufficient for manual pruning and harvesting, unlike Australia for instance where vineyards are planted further apart to adopt the use of mechanical agriculture. 
“There is definitely a sense of romanticism associated with Old World winemaking, which you can not help but admire.”
The result is more tannic and austere wines with more layers of complexity and earthy characteristics that require longer periods of bottle ageing in order to mature. In contrast, New World wines are generally softer and mature earlier with upfront fruit characteristics.

Janice explains the wine laws and different wine regions of France, Italy and Spain and its apparent that the New World follows a much simpler approach by planting varietals as and where they see fit as apposed to the Old World where certain varietals are only allowed to be planted in certain regions.

We try 5 wines and they are different to the New World style which I have become accustomed to, but they are all very good. They are somewhat of an acquired taste which makes it very exciting for me as I get to try something new, different and look forward to learn to appreciate, just like when I initially started drinking wine, whoop whoop! 

Part 2 of the course takes place on the 24th September and I can not wait!...

Wednesday 7 September 2011

Have You Got Something Sweet?

Soweto Wine Festival – 2 September 2011
As I drive through the very busy streets of Soweto, the white man paranoia sets in – are my doors locked? But then I realise I’m being a dumb ass, as this place has a cool vibe and everyone is only too pleased because it’s… the… weekeeeend baby! I pull into the University of Joburg and there are friendly people enjoying the hundreds of wines available at the festival which is sponsored by Tops Spar and well attended.

I meet up with Wino Andy and Wino Doug from Real Time Wine and we start off our tasting. The champagne stall is busy and so are all the stands with sweet wine! The Four Cousins stand is COOKING, especially because one of the cousins, Hennie is there and a paparazzi of fans are taking photos with him. We had a good chat with Hennie and he is a friendly guy. Our favourite line of the night is:
“Have you got something sweet?”
Four Cousins Stand Cooking
Andy with the Cousin

It’s apparent that the Soweto market is not familiar with dry wine and the majority generally prefer champagne or the sweet tasting stuff, which regular wine drinkers may not necessarily enjoy, as they have been exposed to other styles of wine and acquired a liking to such, as it requires an acquired taste after all. It’s great to see that events and initiatives like this take place, which introduces consumers to wine, who under normal circumstances wouldn’t opt for it as their choice of beverage. I hope you are reading this wine marketers, there is a huge untapped market here guys, Soweto is keen on the fermented grape we know as wine, but probably end up sticking to what they know. Hell, I didn’t enjoy wine the first time I tried it, but I learned to appreciate and love it, especially after the more I learnt about it. So perhaps some tutored tastings will be an excellent start in this market? Profit is where the numbers are! Use it, don’t use it, but that’s my 2 cents worth.

Back to the event! We tried many wines but the most memorable was the Café Culture Pinotage which Andy was quite eager and persistent about J It tastes like cold coffee with a couple shots of wine! I gave it a 3/10 and Andy gave it 2/10, say no more.

I decided that when I attend wine festivals and try many wines, I won’t concentrate on scoring wines and prices etc, but rather on the enjoyment and drinking part. I mean, all work and no play, makes The Wine Oak grumpy!
So for the evening, these are some of the wines which stood out for me from a positive point of view:

2009 Meerlust Cabernet Sauvignon (unreleased) – Young for a Cab but its going to be a winner. First time in 4 years Meerlust has released a single varietal Cab Sav. Warning, it is pricey at about R220 per bottle.

2009 Fleur du Cap Unfiltered Merlot – Different, about R110 a bottle

2009 Raka Barrel Select Merlot – I like, R95 a bottle

1999 Fleur du Cap Cabernet Sauvignon – Available from Vinotèque at R60 a bottle! Bargain, although its over its peak and may be starting to turn, so drink right now!

2008 Leopards Leap Family Collection, Shiraz/ Mourvèdre / Viognier Blend – Decent and good buy at R55

2009 Asara Merlot – Difficult to find a decent Merlot with good Merlot characteristics in SA, this is good at a reasonable price of approximately R80 a bottle.  

2007 Ormonde Vernon Basson Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc – A blend  and its good, although it is about R195 a bottle.

Monday 5 September 2011

To Screw, Or To Cork & Chenin Blanc Versatility

Chenin Blanc Association Lunch - 26 August 2011

Spring is a week early as I enter Thomas Maxwell Kitchen in Parkmore and the weather is perfect for sipping on a range of quality Chenin Blancs. The room is a buzz with conversations of social media and Chenin Blanc by Andy Hadfield, creator of Real Time Wine and a few true industry leaders of the Chenin Blanc Association whom are hosting the lunch.

I was invited along with Andy as a guest from Real Time Wine, to hear about new developments in South Africa’s great white varietal and to talk a bit about social media and Real Time Wine’s funky, versatile and “Top Gear” approach to 140 character wine reviews.

From the get-go, the hospitable Jeff Grier of Villiera, places a glass in my paw and fills it up with a cool refreshing Chenin Blanc, which is very much appreciated after the dreaded bumper to bumper trip on the N1 from Pretoria. Jeff, introduces me to Zakkie Bester of Riebeek Cellars, Richard Kershaw of Mulderbosch and Ken Forrester of Ken Forrester Wines. Luckily all the testosterone in the house is dissected as the cheerful Jenny Ratcliffe-Wright, Editor of Winestyle Magazine arrives, followed by Lyn Woodward, a Cape Wine Master, Kim Hoepfl from Woman and Home Magazine and Katy Chance from Business Day.

We are presented with an interesting and delicious menu, with various diverse options to pair with and try the great versatility of Chenin Blanc. I start off with a bowl of fresh mussels, simmering in a white sauce, lemon, garlic and parsley cream, followed by Free Range – pan fried duck breast served on a cauliflower pomme puree and finished off with a champagne Beurre Blanc. Compliments to the chef!   

As I devour my duck, feathers are stirred by a highly contentious topic, “Screw Cap Versus Cork” and the legendary Ken Forrester firmly stands his ground favouring screw cap as a superior form of closure for wine bottles. It seems the general consensus is confirmed around the table, although comments are made by some that there is a time and place for cork. Ken points out that it is a misconception that cork is involved in the ageing process of wine and says its sole and only purpose is for use as a closure, full stop. It’s actually the oxygen trapped within the bottle that causes the ageing effect on a wine, as a good quality cork is not meant to be porous. There is a less possibility of a wine being contaminated by a screw cap and being “corked.” Additionally, screw caps allow wines to be stored vertically as it is not necessary for the wine to be in contact with the screw cap, as is the case with a cork, in order for it to remain moist to prevent it from contracting and allowing excessive oxygen contact with the wine. Richard explains to us that constant temperature regulation, which is ideally around 13 degrees Celsius, has a stronger influence on the ageing effect of a wine.

It is agreed that cork definitely has an influence on the purchasing characteristics of consumers, as a wine is perceived to be more premium and expensive, so to say, if its closed with such.
The quick thinking Andy quickly posts on Facebook and tweets a poll to the Real Time Wine Followers:

“Would you buy a premium wine with a screw cap? Yes or No.”
The response is somewhat surprising. Screw cap wins 14 - 3!

We continue to discuss the versatility of Chenin Blanc and the various styles from Fresh and Fruity, Rich and Ripe to Sweet and even Sparkling. Chenin Blanc is South Africa’s champion wine and the most recognised white wine varietal globally and at home in SA. It is the largest cultivar in production in South Africa, accounting for almost 30% of all white wine production and 20% of overall production (SAWIS). Distracted by all the conversation, I don’t even realise I’m on my fourth Chenin Blanc as it complements the food so well. Let me trace back a few steps…

Andy, Ken and I scored one of the Chenins:

2009 Villiera Traditional Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc.
I said: Its Austin Powers: its nutty. Its also creamy but goes down under, like Australia… Rich but easy. 8/10

Andy said: Smells like nutty sour yeast. Thick with a slightly sweet aftertaste. Subtle, not powerful. 7/10

Ken said: Expecting: Traditional. Smell: Bakery vanilla waft. Honey/ koeksister taste. Main course wine. 8/10

Other Chenins we tried:

2010 Mulderbosch Chenin Blanc Steen Op Hout – I think its well balanced with a lime characteristic and easy drinking.

2010 Kasteelberg Chenin Blanc (Riebeek Cellars) – I find it smoky, buttery and full bodied.

2009 The FMC (Forrester Meinert Chenin) – Its rich, elegant, complex and a special occasion wine.

We end off with dessert and I opt for a crème Brule to accompany the 2009 “T” Noble Late Harvest. A sweet tooth I don’t have, but what a good decision, yum!    

Saturday 3 September 2011

Hello World!

Allow myself to introduce…. Myself. Welcome to my down to earth blog and the interesting road ahead! My mission is it to keep it interesting, entertaining and light hearted, so do come back again!

By day I’m a Professional Associated Valuer, involved in commercial property valuations and by night I enjoy, make and drink wine, which I have a passion for, hence the allurement to begin this blog.

I am a Wino (Wine Reviewer) at Real Time Wine, a member of Cellar Rats Wine Tasting Club and I attend wine tasting festivals and taste on panels whenever I can. I am in the process of completing the Certificate Wine Course at the Cape Wine Academy with the intention of qualifying as a Cape Wine Master – let’s see what happens! I have had a dab at making my own Shiraz with a Du Toit Wine-making kit, of which I am the distributor up here in Gauteng. It was a good learning experience and I understand the wine-making process a little better now. Was the wine drinkable you ask? Well, it was my first attempt and I will do things differently the next time around. Some bottles were not bad at all and they are all finished, the other bottles, uhm… lets just call them school fees J

I thought, let me hit the ground running with this blog and hence I have compiled a list of most of the reviews I have posted on Real Time Wine (so far).
The Real Time Wine "movement" is based on a simple premise - you shouldn't have to do a course or learn a new language to enjoy wine. It's a refreshing, humorous and sometimes risqué look at drinking wine - all reviews are 140 characters or less.

The Wine Oak

So until next time, here goes:

2008 Allesverloren Shiraz. Hey man, so much of spice I feel like I'm in Durban! Very steaky, bit overpowering, needs some time. 7/10

2005 Arumdale Shiraz As smooth as a baby's bottom. Caution, it's so smooth, u won't even realize u consuming it. Toasty, mocha, spicy. SCORE 9/10

2008 Asara Cabernet Sauvignon. Like licking a sexy classy French lady, smoking a cherry cigar & fusion style dark chocolate & peppers for dessert. 9/10 Cellaring=awesome

2009 Asara Ebony. Like u sharpened a pencil & then stabbed a green pepper & a plum. Rich but drinkable. 7/10

2008 Backsberg Tread Lightly Merlot On hike, it bounced. Still able to enjoy the fruity, cinnamon freshness which lingers oak cherry. Hilarious if u throw the bottle to someone! SCORE 7/10

2009 Backsberg Merlot. Non "hikeable" version. The same, but easier drinking. Plastic bottle better buy then @ R50! R60 7/10

2010 Beyerskloof Pinotage. Good old faithful! Good enough for any occasion. Delicate berry and cinnamon flavours. 7/10

2007 Blaauwklippen Shiraz. A spicy biker chick wearing a leather jacket, takes u on a wild ride, then soothes u in an oak cabin after 8/10

2009 Boschendal 1685 Shiraz. Awesome bottle, beautiful plum colour. Excellent composure as spicy leather and earth meet fruit. 7/10

2009 Diemersfontein Pinotage. A dark chocolate bar in a bottle! Very rich. 9/10

Drostdy-Hof Extra Light White. Met eish(ys) ja! Careful, I almost downed a 2l doos wyn! Light &great when it's bright. R49 6/10 (due 2 ease)

2009 Hill&Dale Pinotage. Smell strawberry, taste strawberry which lasts 2 the bitter Nice, besides the 7/10

2006 Just matured Cabernet Sauvignon. Tastes like u chewing a piece of wood. It's smooth but something is... eish.. 4/10

2009 Kanonkop Kadette. So much like a Pinot Noir! Red Berries, berries & more berries and then some strawberry. Delicate 7/10

2010 La Capra by Fairview Merlot. "Sweets for my sweet, sugar for my honey." A little sweet for my liking, otherwise ok. R45 7/10

2010 Longridge Rose. Guavas on the sniff &strawberries 2taste. Fresh &Springy, makes me want 2take my Jeeps roof off ASAP! 7/10

2008 MB Cabernet Sauvignon. From FRANCE & 50 bucks?! Restrained & classy French wine BUT fruity too 8/10

2004 Meerendal Shiraz Like Queen Latifah, a LOT of body and strong. 7/10

2005 Neetlingshof Shiraz. It's dry but u can drink it. Cute wine, not a lot of sex appeal 7/10

2010 Orange River Cellars Shiraz. For R29, it has a cork & smells nice. Great with coke (extra point for the cork) 3/10

2010 Place in the Sun Merlot.Toffee in my nose,fruitcake in my mouth,is Christmas around the corner? Warm from alcohol R40 6/10

2009 Quoin Rock The Centaur Reserve Syrah. Delicate spice makes this nice, because of red berry, I want more very! Will age well 9/10

2011 Saxenburg Sauv Blanc n Engel het op my tong gepiepie! So much of crisp & fruity/grassy freshness. Drink in 1yr 8/10

2007 Saxenburg Cabernet Sauvignon Amazing balance, like a tight rope walker. Green peas, oak smokiness & berries, delicious! & can age. SCORE 9/10

2006 Saxenburg Shiraz. Chocolate, pepper, spice and all things nice! Wow! 9/10

2005 Saxenburg Shiraz Select. I'm lost for words... Silky smooth lingerie comes to mind. It's so good & could possibly score a TEN! 9/10

2007 Stellenbosch Hills Shiraz,Like touching a 9V battery 2 your tongue-u want to, but know u shouldn't. Nice Shiraz smell,but ends sour 6/10

2007 Stellenzicht Shiraz. Smoky spice and bitter chocolate. Sort of like Angelina Jolie & Margaret Thatcher in a glass, BUT it works! 8/10

2004 Vergenoegd Cab Sav. Big & bold,it has a hold. Can entice & full of spice. Extremely characterful & so a Mike Tyson of Cab Sav 9/10

2003 Vergenoegd Estate Blend. Parlez-vous français? says the tour guide. Feel like I'm in Bordeaux, France, but its a ZA wine! Classic! 9/10

2008 Warwick CabS, The 1st Lady,She calms me. I Really like this, feels like I'm being healthy eating fruit, it's good 4u. 8/10

2007 Zandvliet Shiraz. Smell: sprinkled pepper & chocolate on red berry in a smoky room(nice smoky) Taste: ditto! +dry 7/10, R80

2009 Zonnebloem Merlot. U confident & then It has a right hook u didn't see coming. Sharp & not characterful of a merlot. 6/10