Keep on Punching: The Rise of Testalonga Wines

January 15, 2018

Our first batch of 2017s have arrived and the Testalonga wines have gone to another level. Craig Hawkins is in a good place. He and Carla are now ensconced in Bandits Kloof in Piketberg, the northern reaches of the Swartland; He finally has a dedicated winery with plenty of space and a steady supply of […]

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Wine is Politics: Part Two

January 11, 2018

Continued from Part One… DOC, heal thyself – globalisation versus the grower   In France and Italy the official structures (appellations, interprofessional bodies, bureaucratic involvement) have been seen to militate against perceived innovation while proscription is used as a tool to throttle the freedom of the grower. This politicised some growers who were compelled to […]

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Doug Decants: Filippi Wines

January 8, 2018

Soave is normally not sophisticated. At worst it may be a sulphurous travesty and even the better examples tend to be neutrality personified with all the fruit of the thinnest nib of a blanched almond. Filippi’s estate and vineyards are located in Castelcerino, in the highest part of the Soave DOC. The property was owned […]

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2017: The Year of Treading Softly

January 5, 2018

A Swift Retrospective It was not the best of times, it was not nearly the worst of times, despite the fact that a sociopathic orange person was wreaking daily fresh hell in the White House and Brexit shenanigans continued to entertain and appal in equal measure. It was the year of some pretty tragic vintages […]

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In 2018 I predict…a quiet riot

January 2, 2018

There is a saying that even a stopped clock tells the right time twice a day. Trends, by definition, are rootless and transient, yet wine commentators are often falling over themselves to identify the latest one. Hence Riesling may be the new Viognier which was the new Sauvignon which was the new Chardonnay. Wine as […]

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The Cavistes’ Wines of the Year

December 28, 2017

In no particular order we bring you some of the personal highlights from our team of passionate and hard-working Cavistes, who were asked to nominate their favourite wines of 2017 with a reason for their choices appended. The choices ranged across grape varieties and blends, regions and countries and styles, but were united by their […]

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Wine is Politics: Part One

December 22, 2017

I am at a natural wine fair in Vienna. Growers and visitors come together. They drink wine, they talk, they learn about each other. The fair is about sharing wine and ideas and making friends. Wine, fermented grape juice, is just a drink. Or is it? Of course, politics will seep into every aspect of […]

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A Price Too Far?

December 16, 2017

Of mark-ups and wine accountancy The one benefit of a recession, said a wine merchant to me way-back-when in 1991, is that good businesses emerge from it stronger, pared down and more efficient. Failure, he expounded further, is nature’s way of culling mediocrity. The amateurs, the transients, the get-rich-quick merchants are most likely to be […]

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Sir Wregg’s Wines of the Year

December 12, 2017

I don’t append scores to wines, or have an inner wine-orgasmatron that registers the veritable height of aesthetic and subjective waves of pleasure, but here are my uneven eleven best wines of the year, the cream of the crust of the cassoulet (with some other delights oozing to the surface). One thing I have noticed […]

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Doug Decants: Georgas Retsina, Greece

December 12, 2017

Buy me brandy, A snifter of wine. Who am I kidding? I’ll drink turpentine. Barney Gumble, ‘A Boozehound Named Barney’, The Simpson’s (a parody of ‘Feed The Birds’ from The Sound of Music) Resin not the need, this Savatiano is top of the terps! Dimitris Georgas is a 4th generation vine grower and winemaker. He […]

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