Kanonkop line up2 copy

Back In Black: Kanonkop Black Label Pinotage 2006-2019

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

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

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, South Africa

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

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, South Africa

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.

Hamilton russell pn line up

Cellar Favorite: Hamilton Russell Vineyards Pinot Noir 1981-2021

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, South Africa

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.

South africa 2021 cover3

South Africa: 2021 New Releases from the Cape

featured, South Africa

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

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, South Africa

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.

Alheit bottles.jpg cover

Finding Cool Sunshine: South Africa

featured, South Africa

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.

Stars in the dark 2019

Cellar Favorite: 2019 Minimalist Wines Stars In The Dark

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, South Africa

Neal Martin, Mar 2021

“It smells and tastes of the sea,” my wife remarks after handing her a glass of wine, completely blind. She had no clue that the Syrah vines that contributed fruit to the 2019 Stars In The Dark are rooted on the wild and windswept Agulhas coast at the very southern tip of the African continent. That’s translating terroir straight into a glass of wine in all its unfettered glory.

Iona line up

South Africa – A Delayed Primer

featured, South Africa

Neal Martin, Feb 2021

It was early March 2020, and I was meeting dear friends for our annual lunch at Limewood in the New Forest, where we put the world to rights and gossip like there’s no tomorrow. And in a sense, there was no tomorrow. This turned out to be the last time any of us enjoyed a day trip, mingling with others without fear of falling ill. But the normal world was slipping away, as evidenced by the manner in which the receptionist kept her distance, the novelty of widely spaced tables and, on the train journey home, news that my daughter’s exchange trip to Germany was canceled. I remember the wine that day, a delicious bottle of 2017 Chardonnay from Ataraxia, prompting thoughts of visiting the Cape in the late summer, when surely the pandemic would be in the rearview mirror.

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Cellar Favorite: 2019 Paulus Wine Co. Chenin Blanc Bosberaad

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, South Africa

Neal Martin, Dec 2020

I thoroughly enjoyed Joaquin Hildago’s recent article on collectible Argentinean wines, and it got me thinking about parallels with South Africa’s own collectibles. It’s not just Bordeaux and Burgundy.