Tim James: La Motte Hanneli R 2012 and the importance of bottle maturation

Let me start with a generalised conclusion – one which shouldn’t need underlining but I’m afraid does. That is: if you’re going to spend a lot of money on a genuinely grand wine and you drink it too young, you’re wasting a lot of your money, and would probably get more sensual pleasure from a […]

September 25, 2017
by Tim James
with 1 Comment

Tim James: Parow brandy reviewed

South African brandy is excellent stuff, but it’s suffering, with steadily declining sales. By 2012, whisky (rising in popularity, like rum at a lower level) was selling greater volumes than brandy, and it still does. Adding to the grapefarmers’ woes, only about 38 million litres of wine made for brandy was produced in 2016, compared […]

September 18, 2017
by Tim James
with 0 Comments

Tim James: SA’s best Syrah – not limited to the Swartland

I started pondering the state of syrah across the Cape regions when I read Christian Eedes’s recent remark that “the Swartland has pretty much taken ownership of top-end Syrah”. Fond and admiring as I am of the Swartland, that didn’t strike me as totally true: I think, rather, of syrah as the variety that perhaps […]

September 11, 2017
by Tim James
with 14 Comments

Tim James: On the Mullineux single terroir wines

The currently available Mullineux 2015 Syrah is surely – and I’m not the only one of this opinion – the best ever of this label. Incidentally, the first Mullineux Syrah (made at Reyneke, where Chris and Andrea were at the time making the wines) was 2008, which means that they could now offer a ten-year […]

September 4, 2017
by Tim James
with 3 Comments

Tim James: Where to for the SA wine industry?

In the context of so much excitement about South African wine – here on Winemag as much as anywhere – it’s sobering, and even surprising for someone like me, with a focus on the top end, to be reminded of the depth of the problems in the wider industry. Or the other wine industry, if […]

August 28, 2017
by Tim James
with 7 Comments

Tim James: On wax capsules

At this time of year (my tasting-for-Platter time, with desk, floorspace and life littered with bottles of wine) I often think about bottle closures – not infrequently with some irritation. I recently revisited in a small way here the screwcap-cork debate, but didn’t mention how, around now, whatever I think of the important arguments, when […]

August 21, 2017
by Tim James
with 6 Comments

Tim James: On Afrikaans wine labels

If one chose to characterise it linguistic-culturally (and why not?), the South African wine industry is overwhelmingly an Afrikaans one, with its roots emphatically Dutch. Most of the grape growers, most of the winemakers, and most of the workers are Afrikaans-speaking. As the industry emerges proudly from  a situation of not entirely unjustified cultural cringe, […]

August 14, 2017
by Tim James
with 5 Comments

Tim James: The great cork-screwcap debate revisited

I don’t think I’ve ever written about the great cork-screwcap debate without dithering somewhat. Probably I could sum up my attitude by saying that if I were buying Sadie or Boekenhoutskloof wines and was offered the choice of the wine under screwcap or (good quality) cork, I’d go for the latter – the natural ones […]

August 7, 2017
by Tim James
with 0 Comments
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  • November 23, 2017FNB Eastern Cape Wine Show
  • November 29, 2017Stellenbosch at Summer Place - presented by Sanlam Private Wealth
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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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