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Growing Up ‘n Getting Wiser: South Africa in 2022

South Africa, featured

Neal Martin, Sep 2022

Returning after lockdown, I sought to take the temperature of South Africa’s ever-changing vinous landscape: walking vineyards, meeting winemakers and marvelling at wines that quicken the pulse. What are the roots of its success? Where are the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead? It’s time to find out.

Kanonkop paul sauer 2009

Cellar Favorite: 1997 & 2009 Kanonkop Paul Sauer

South Africa, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Neal Martin, Sep 2022

The secondary market for South Africa’s most desirable top cuvées continues to see increasing numbers of collectors chasing diminishing supply. Buoyant interest in the Cape’s blue chips is a relatively recent phenomenon that has grown organically, pulled by demand rather than forced by supply. One coveted label is Kanonkop’s Paul Sauer.


Cellar Favorite: 2010 & 2011 Porseleinberg

South Africa, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Neal Martin, Sep 2022

Porseleinberg leads an impressive and growing fleet of world-class Syrah/Rhône blends from South Africa.

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Back In Black: Kanonkop Black Label Pinotage 2006-2019

South Africa featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, South Africa, featured

Neal Martin, Aug 2022

A vertical of South African Pinotage might sound like torture to some. When the wine is the Cape’s greatest Pinotage, then you understand why the room was packed for the first ever complete tasting of Kanonkop’s Black Label and why its owners and winemaker flew over for the occasion.

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Cellar Favorite: Klein Constantia Vin de Constance 1991-2019

South Africa, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Neal Martin, Jul 2022

Winemaker Matt Day, together with co-proprietor Hans Astrom, flew from South Africa recently to present a rare vertical tasting of their Vin de Constance that included the forthcoming 2019 vintage.

Taaibosch 2018

Cellar Favorite: 2018 Taaibosch Crescendo

South Africa, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Neal Martin, May 2022

Whilst up to my neck in Bordeaux primeur samples, one sunny evening during a brief return home for Easter, I took a break from Cabernet and cracked open a South African wine that had been sent to my home, the 2018 Taaibosch Crescendo.

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Cellar Favorite: Hamilton Russell Vineyards Pinot Noir 1981-2021

South Africa, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Neal Martin, Mar 2022

Proprietors Anthony and Olive Hamilton Russell recently tutored a special tasting of Hamilton Russell Vineyards’ flagship Pinot Noir to mark 40-years of vintages.

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South Africa: 2021 New Releases from the Cape

South Africa, featured

Neal Martin, Nov 2021

The Cape continues to provide wine-lovers with a bevy of high quality wines that, without wishing to sound like a broken record, represent astonishing value-for-money. If you have not woken up to the quality in South Africa, then now is the time.

2008 compostella

Cellar Favorite: 2008 Mvemve Raats MR de Compostella

South Africa, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Neal Martin, May 2021

On my bucket list of wine-related things to do, apart from tasting the 1947 Romanée-Conti and climbing K2 with Lalou Bize-Leroy in order to overcome my debilitating vertigo, is to conduct an unabridged vertical of Mvemve Raats MR de Compostella.

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Finding Cool Sunshine: South Africa

South Africa, featured

Neal Martin, Apr 2021

Postponed several times due to matters beyond my control, thankfully the intermittently showstopping wines of South Africa were worth the wait, proving that the pandemic has not slowed down the momentum of the Cape.