Tim James: A gift of Cab-Cinsaut

Wine journalists obviously – or should – draw a line between gifts and necessary samples. A clear, strong line, but even if you accept that it’s there and should be, not always easy to discern, and perhaps too often blurred by the receiver. Or the sender: A few months back I was irritated to receive […]

July 6, 2015
by Tim James
with 0 Comments

Tim James: Young guns, old hands and Uva Mira

I daresay I’m as much to blame as anyone for encouraging skewed perspectives, but I hope I show, in my more sober moments, that I realise that the new and path-breaking achievements are not the only valuable developments in Cape wine. If you don’t realise this, if you continually search for “young guns” to shoot […]

June 29, 2015
by Tim James
with 1 Comment

Tim James: Blending – when more is more

Thoughts about wine blends have been sloshing around my head just recently, as I’ve been thinking about a tasting of them (a wide variety of local red examples) that I’m presenting this Wednesday at the Hermanus Fyn Arts festival. I suspect, first of all, that South African winemakers show an interest in blending different varieties […]

June 8, 2015
by Tim James
with 1 Comment

Tim James: Thinking about Cabernet and Cinsaut

I had an interesting discussion at the Neil Ellis winery last Friday, waiting for the start of a tasting (including a new, fine and expensive wine called Webb Ellis 2010 – of which more some other time). In the first place, the chat involved me being a little more gung-ho about Stellenbosch wine in general […]

June 1, 2015
by Tim James
with 3 Comments

Tim James: Describing character trumps scoring

Seems to be wine competition season again – which I’m not involved in, beyond curmudgeonly comment from the sidelines – but also looming is the task of tasting for the 2016 Platter’s Guide, in which I am involved. That’s a rather different process, but sharing the tricky job of rating wines. The 100-point system is […]

May 18, 2015
by Tim James
with 1 Comment

Tim James: The grapes of southern Italy

I wouldn’t be overly distressed to know that I’d never again drink wines made from, or heavily dependent on, roussanne and marsanne – those important white grapes of the northern Rhône valley (along with less widespread viognier and clairette, and I’m not much committed to them either). The opposite would be true of a pair […]

May 11, 2015
by Tim James
with 2 Comments

Tim James: How long to mature modern SA wine?

A recent tasting of local 2005s was well covered by its organiser, Angela Lloyd (here), and Christian Eedes (here). So I won’t talk about the wines, except to say that I expected more of them to show well than did; I want, rather, to point out how much “experts” (including winemakers) still have to learn […]

May 4, 2015
by Tim James
with 3 Comments

Tim James: The Swartland Independent Wyn, Kos en Kultuur Skou 2015 reviewed

The Swartland Independent Producers were strutting their stuff in Riebeek-Kasteel last Saturday – and a great show it was. They drifted into Afrikaans and called it the “Wyn, kos en kultuur skou”. As to the elements in the name, apart from the almost universally excellent wine, the food seemed to be a monopoly of extremely […]

April 27, 2015
by Tim James
with 5 Comments
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Wine magazine was published from October 1993 until September 2011 & now lives on in digital form as Winemag.co.za. We cover everything to do with SA fine wine.

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