A
 
Web www.artsmart.co.za
A R T S M A R T
arts news from kwazulu-natal

supper theatre
www.artsmart.co.za
enquiries@artsmart.co.za
 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
 

NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

MICHAEL GREEN’S WINE NOTES (article first published : 2003-07-8)

Makro presents occasional wine tastings at its premises at Springfield, Durban, organised by Faith Armstrong of its liquor department, and these are enjoyable, instructive and ample. At the most recent, about eighty wines were offered for tasting and were also for sale at discounts of up to 15 percent for that particular evening.

With the merry throng, who were there by invitation, I took the opportunity of sipping some wines that do not often come my way. Some were grand and expensive, others were of moderate cost but of good quality.

Here are some of them, with my comments and the normal prices at Makro:

Glen Carlou Chardonnay 2001. This is a magnificent wine, powerful, lemony, full-bodied, made by a young winemaker, David Finlayson, at a cellar near Paarl which is owned by his father Walter and himself and a Swiss company. It costs R69,80 but would be hard to beat for that special occasion.

Delheim Heerenwijn: This gentlemen’s white wine has been around for more than 30 years. A blend of colombard and chardonnay, dry and palatable - R18,60.

Swartland Pinotage 2001: You won’t find too many pinotages at this price, R27. What do you get for it? A somewhat austere dry red with an aura of quality, full-bodied (14 percent alcohol} and would go well with substantial meat dishes.

Middelvlei Pinotage/Merlot: Apparently a very popular wine. Very attractive, fruity - R47,60.

Fat Bastard Chardonnay 2002: Why give a name like that to a nice wine like this? Apparently it is the brainchild, if that’s the right word, of two European wine people, Thierry Boudinaud and Guy Anderson, and the title Thierry and Guy appears on the label though the wine is distributed by the South African firm Vinimark. It’s a very good oak-fermented chardonnay with fresh peach and lemon flavours - Price: R39,60.

Van Loveren Sauvignon Blanc 2002: Dry, grassy, flinty, would go well with fish - R18,60.

To wind up the evening’s tasting I had a drop of Scotch wine, some 18-year-old Chivas Regal whisky, with a little water, not iced, to bring out the smoky bouquet and rich flavours, apples and honey. It was magnificent, with only one disadvantage - it costs R563 a bottle.

It is always rather gratifying to have one’s judgment supported by higher authority, and that’s the way our wine group felt after a recent tasting at the home at Durban North of Dennis Banks and Vanda Davies. They had presented our tasters with blended red wines, half of them carrying the Long Mountain label. The Long Mountain wine company at Stellenbosch is owned by the Pernod-Ricard group, for whom both Vanda and Dennis work (export director and regional sales manager respectively), and in recent years it has established a reputation for good wines at reasonable prices.

We tasted the eight wines blind, and when the smoke of debate and altercation had cleared it emerged that the clear winner, on our scoring, was the Long Mountain Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine is awarded four stars (“Excellent”) in the John Platter wine guide, and Vanda told us that a panel of expert tasters from Sainsbury’s, the biggest wine retailer in Britain, had also placed it top in a wide selection of blended reds. So our tastebuds are holding up. We tasted two vintages of this fine wine, the 2001 and the 2002, and we slightly preferred the 2002. Character: deep ruby colour, plum and berry flavours with a hint of chocolate, 13 percent alcohol. Durban price about R45 a bottle.

Another good scorer in the tasting was a wine with the somewhat unprepossessing name The Wolftrap. This 2002 vintage comes from the Boekenhoutskloof cellar at Franschhoek and it is a blend of cabernet sauvignon, shiraz and cinsaut, which has been matured specifically for early consumption. Spicy, aromatic and attractive - Price about R30. The name comes from a wolf trap installed at Boekenhoutskloof in Franschhoek’s early days. No wolf has ever been seen in the valley.

Another Long Mountain wine also fared well. This was the ruby cabernet, an old favourite of mine, berry flavours with a touch of sweetness and a touch of smokiness. Apparently this wine is being exported in large quantities. Some of it may be available here - Price about R35. – Michael Green




 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
a co-production by caroline smart services and .durbanet. site credits
copyright © subsists in this page. all rights reserved. [ edit ] copyright details  artsmart