Tim James: Cinsaut and the quest for seriousness

It seems to me there are more and more mutters these days to the effect that we’ve been perhaps a little too generous in our welcome to wines from cinsaut – but as some of the mutters are my own it’s not surprising I’ve heard them. This is not to suggest that cinsaut, the hipsters’ […]

May 1, 2017
by Tim James
with 0 Comments

Tim James: Some thoughts on I Taste Red: The Science of Tasting Wine

To adapt Voltaire: if Jamie Goode didn’t exist, wine nerds would need to invent him. No other wine writer appears to have the scientific background, or the will, or the skill, to bring rigorous scrutiny to this sadly vague field of endeavour (wine appreciation), which even at its most professional doesn’t really know whether it’s […]

April 24, 2017
by Tim James
with 4 Comments

Tim James: A visit to Glenelly

It struck me only after I’d left Glenelly last week – my visit began in broken sunshine and ended in a light drizzle – that winemaker Luke O’Cuinneagain has just completed his tenth harvest there. A decade deserving of congratulation: as the vineyards have matured, he’s done well at this substantial Stellenbosch estate of that […]

April 18, 2017
by Tim James
with 0 Comments

Tim James: Place or producer – which should have primacy?

In old Europe it’s the names of places that are usually the prime definers of wines: the vineyard or village, or perhaps the domaine. That’s true of old South Africa too, from Constantia and Vergelegen onwards, but not of the new South Africa – or, indeed much of the rest of the “New World”. Newer […]

April 10, 2017
by Tim James
with 0 Comments

Tim James: On SA’s oldest red-wine vineyard

Around 120 years ago – let’s say in 1900, to fit with the formal record, though that was made later – a vineyard was planted on the outskirts of Wellington, alongside the dirt road down which ox-wagons laboured into town. The first and unanswerable question is – why? These were bad times in the Cape […]

April 3, 2017
by Tim James
with 1 Comment

Tim James: Thistle & Weed Duwweltjie Chenin Blanc and the issue of packaging

The first and undoubtedly most important thing to be said about the maiden release from Thistle & Weed, a wine called Duwweltjie and from the 2016 vintage, is that it’s very good. It’s yet another instance of the Cape’s great resources, both of chenin blanc and of ardent young winemaker-viticulturist teams ready to make a […]

March 27, 2017
by Tim James
with 6 Comments

Tim James: Wine criticism and conflicts of interest

Like all tasters for the Platter Guide I recently received the customary “Declaration of interest and confidentiality” for signing. As usual (though one year I went to the trouble of trying to fully understand the many clauses), I duly and dully signed and returned it. It’s a necessary and important part of the process, this, […]

March 20, 2017
by Tim James
with 2 Comments

Tim James: On the unusual pleasure of sweet wine

Perhaps strangely, given an admittedly sweet tooth, I seldom drink late harvest wines – and can’t remember when I last bought one. They can be marvellous, of course, but given the choice I would always choose a fortified sweet wine instead. The glass of unfortified that I remember best was my first German riesling Trockenbeerenauslese, […]

March 6, 2017
by Tim James
with 0 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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