Posted: July 27, 2010 By James Molesworth
There are plenty of rock-star winemakers—cool guys and girls with cultivated hipster images making cool wines. And then there’s Adi Badenhorst, of South Africa's A.A. Badenhorst family, who sat down with me here in my office today.
There’s nothing cultivated about his image: He’s a wooly bear, with a pony tail that looks like it’s been wrestled into submission, pork-chop sideburns and a former rugby player’s body. Talkative, loud, engaging and fully immersed in making wine, Badenhorst is currently carving out his own little corner of the Swartland in South Africa, working on the northern side of the Voor-Paardeberg ward, neighboring his good friend and fellow winemaker, Eben Sadie.
Posted: June 10, 2010 By James Molesworth
It was a busy week for winemakers stopping by my office this week. I had sit-downs with Miles Mossop of South Africa's Tokara as well as Chile's Marcelo Retamal (De Martino) and Sven Bruchfeld (Polkura). Mossop is the winemaker at South Africa’s ambitious Tokara winery. Owned by former banker G.T. Ferriera, Tokara is a well-financed project, replete with all the bells and whistles in the winery, though its initial set of releases from the 2003 and 2004 vintages failed to take off here in the U.S.
Posted: June 4, 2010 By Robert Taylor
Posted: June 4, 2010 By James Molesworth
Posted: May 25, 2010 By James Molesworth
Since I began covering South Africa in 2000, I haven’t exactly been the biggest fan of Pinotage, the country’s former signature grape. There are, however, exceptions. And though the grape has receded from the top lineup of varieties now pacing the South African category here in the U.S. market, there are still a few wineries that manage to make very good to outstanding versions, and Kanonkop's is a cellar-worthy treasure for its price. Here are my notes on a nine-vintage vertical tasting.
Posted: May 19, 2010
Posted: April 30, 2010
Posted: April 30, 2010
Posted: April 30, 2010 By James Molesworth
Posted: April 12, 2010 By James Molesworth
When Adam Mason took over the winemaking at South Africa’s Klein Constantia, it was his first full-time winemaking job. “I was filling big shoes at the time,” says Mason 36. Mason has filled those shoes admirably while cutting his own path along the way. In particular, he’s taken the winery’s flagship dessert wine, Vin de Constance, to new levels in the ’04 and ’05 vintages. A recent vertical tasting showed that Mason has made changes and improved a wine that is arguably the country’s top sweet wine.
Posted: February 26, 2010 By James Molesworth
Posted: December 18, 2009 By Laurie Woolever
Posted: December 10, 2009 By James Molesworth
Back in 2004, former Château Pichon-Longueville-Lalande owner May de Lencquesaing purchased a 310-hectare estate in South Africa’s Stellenbosch district, just around the corner from the famed Rustenberg estate. Now, with 60 hectares under vine (two-thirds of them in production) de Lencquesaing’s Glenelly estate has its first few wines in release.
Posted: November 11, 2009 By James Molesworth
Posted: October 20, 2009 By James Molesworth
James Molesworth sat down with Mason here at my office yesterday to get caught up on his recent efforts at South Africa's Klein Constantia winery. Klein Constantia is best known for its Vin de Constance bottling, a dessert wine made from naturally shriveled Muscat de Frontignan grapes. The 2004 vintage was the best yet for this wine, earning a stellar 94-point review.
Posted: October 5, 2009 By James Molesworth
The 2009 Cape Winemakers Guild Auction easily buffeted the current economic situation, setting a new record as buyers spent a surprising 5.2 million rand (about $690,000) at the event, held this past Saturday in Cape Town.
Posted: September 30, 2009 By James Molesworth
Emil den Dulk, owner of South Africa’s De Toren winery stopped by for a sit down today. Like most quality-conscious vintners, den Dulk isn’t standing pat, despite the very solid track record his Cabernet Sauvignon-based Fusion V blend has established. And as you might expect, most of den Dulk’s focus is on aspects that won’t affect what the consumer sees until a few years down the road. And, as you might expect, that focus is on dirt.
Posted: September 25, 2009 By James Molesworth
Posted: September 15, 2009 By James Molesworth
There’s a theory that the best wines are made on the extreme boundaries of a growing region. Push the limits of where a certain variety can ripen, and you’ll make the best wine – the Mourvèdre grown by Beaucastel at the northern edge of the southern Rhône for example, or Cabernet Sauvignon grown on California’s Santa Cruz or Dunn mountains. South Africa's Constantia Glen winery is going to put that theory to the test.
Posted: August 5, 2009 By James Molesworth
Mike Dobrovic, who helped found Mulderbosch in 1989, is leaving the winery. The longtime winemaker and co-owner oversaw nearly a generation's worth of vintages at Mulderbosch, steering the winery to the forefront of the South African industry. For many American consumers, Mulderbosch is arguably the most recognizable winery from this still emerging wine region.
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