Text Size:-+

WBW6 Has Been Announced: South African Reds

The sixth incarnation of Wine Blogging Wednesday has been announced for the date of February 16th. Each month, of course, we choose a theme, and then bring you a variety of bloggers (last month it was over 40) who all taste wines according to that theme and then post their notes online.

For the next version of this global wine tasting event we will be sampling South African Reds, hosted by Jeanne at CookSister. Jeanne originally hails from South Africa and who has provided some background information on the region for those who are interested.

Hope to see what you are drinking on February 16th.

Comments (9)

jacques van wyck wrote:
02.09.05 at 5:34 AM

Finally! South African wines! My all-time favorite is a limited edition estate wine comparable (probably better) than Opus One. 1997 Warwick Femme Bleue.

See you on the 16th

Jacques wrote:
02.09.05 at 5:45 AM


Warwick Femme Bleue 2001 (CWG Auction 2003)
50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Cabernet Franc, 17% Merlot - Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot planted in 1981. 75% matured in new Vicard barrels and 25% in older Nadalie and Mercury barrels. Excellent maturation potential. Tasting note:Heady, sweet, luscious ripe fruit: mulberries, blackcurrants and other red fruits are balanced by fine silky tannins. Incredible texture and mouthfeel, firm consistency and a refreshing citrus peel acidity which balances the generous alcohol and extract. Leathery tar flavours are an influence of heavy char Vicard barrels. Yummy!! Not for the faint hearted.

Jassmond wrote:
02.09.05 at 2:54 PM

Yeah! Overpriced, overdone,
over-underhyped southern
hemisphere wine! Brilliant idea.

Alder wrote:
02.09.05 at 2:59 PM


If you're going to be critical help us all out by being more specific. Are you saying all South African wines are overpriced? Or are you reacting to the wine note which Jacques posted? I also don't know what "overdone" or "over-underhyped" means.

Please clarify !

cavenman wrote:
02.09.05 at 4:14 PM

I love all that rupert and rothschild have done... cab-merlot and chardonnay (cuvťe Nadine) are superlative efforts... New world wines with old world elegance, it makes for a nice change from most of the gooey and oakey new world efforts.

Jassmond wrote:
02.12.05 at 9:53 PM

Okay, a bit reactionary, and I am sorry. But, yes, I think that 90% of SA wines are overpriced, simply because they are industrial swill. They are wines manufactured for scores and exhibit all the varietal correctness you can expect from reverse osmosis.The "over-underhyped" line refers to the fact that for years now we have heard just how under-hyped these wines are. They are the most discovered least discovered wines out there.

Yes, I am being reactionary, and I will admit that I have yet to find a single southern hemisphere wine that I think was worth the petrol that brought it north. Still, it is a bit depressing to think of a realm of intelligent, discerning tasters, forced for a day to drink these wines.

Best Regards,

Jacques Van Wyck wrote:
02.14.05 at 4:01 PM


Don't know where to begin with Jeff's comments. Obviously, Jeff you've never been to Paarl or Stellenbosch to experience the wonderful variety of wines South Africa has to offer.

As far as overpriced and overhyped--this couldn't be further from the truth. Most of the premium KWV wines or Estate wines can't even be found in North America. And if they are, they're probably overpriced. You can blame that on the antiquated distributor model in the U.S.

To truly appreciate South African wines you need to spend a week or two in Cape Town, Johannesberg and Durban and the surrounding wine country to truly appreciate these wines. Furthermore, this is a great way to experience the best food and wine South Africa has to offer at a terrific price. With the cost differential, a premium estate wine priced at R$500 wine is less than 100 bucks.

Jassmond wrote:
02.14.05 at 7:02 PM


Thanks for your comments, I do need to keep a more open mind. Hopefully I'll make it down there someday.


Jeanne wrote:
02.15.05 at 4:42 AM

I have to agree with Jacques. To appreciate the full spectrum of what South Africa produces in terms of wine, it's no good sitting in a foreign country and whining about the "industrial swill" on your supermarket shelves. You do need to spend a couple of weeks in the Cape winelands, visiting the estates and tasting the wines that never make it as far as the border.

Yes, I agree with Jeff insofar as I find SA wines relatively overpriced in supermarkets here in the UK and I'm continually amused by wines like Kumala who bill themselves as SA's best selling wine, when they are in fact export wines and nobody in SA drinks or knows anything about it. But you have to remember that what you see on shelves abroad is in no way representative of the fabulous diversity of our wine industry and it's unfair to judge us on this basis! Also, if you're comparing buying US and SA wines in the US, of course the SA wines will suffer in terms of price - nobody had to haul the US wines halfway across the world, pay import duties etc etc, all of which drives up the price of a mediocre bottle of wine.

To tar all South African wines with the brush of the big companies with big marketing budgets who can market their mass-produced products to a foreign market who have no idea what else exists in the SA wine market is an insult to all the innovative boutique wineries making interesting and world-class wines. How often have you seen Beaumont's Goutte Do'Or dessert wine; Welgemeend's Douelle or Amade (both red blends) or Bouchard Finlayson's Pinot Noir in US stores? And yet, these wines are the antithesis of carelessly made "industrial swill"!

It is a fair comment to say that you don't like SA wines - that they are too big or not complex enough or overhyped or whatever. But to dismiss them all out of hand and insult them as you have is unfair and, frankly, ridiculous.

Comment on this entry

(will not be published)
(optional -- Google will not follow)

Type the characters you see in the picture above.

Buy My Book!

small_final_covershot_dropshadow.jpg A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.

Follow Me On:

Twitter Facebook Pinterest Instagram Delectable Flipboard

Most Recent Entries

Vinography Unboxed: Week of October 5, 2014 Another Idiotic California Law Screws Wineries Vinography Images: Vineyard Reflections The Fake Tongue Illusion and Wine Tasting 2014 Wine & Spirits Top 100 Tasting: October 21, San Francisco Cool Beauty: Tasting the Wines of the Western Sonoma Coast Vinography Images: Shaggy Companions 2014 Pinot on the River Tasting: October 26, Healdsburg Vinography Unboxed: Week of September 21, 2014 The Essence of Wine is Ready to Buy!

Favorite Posts From the Archives

Masuizumi Junmai Daiginjo, Toyama Prefecture Wine.Com Gives Retailers (and Consumers) the Finger 1961 Hospices de Beaune Emile Chandesais, Burgundy Wine Over Time The Better Half of My Palate 1999 Királyudvar "Lapis" Tokaji Furmint, Hungary What's Allowed in Your Wine and Winemaking Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Appreciating Wine in Context The Soul vs. The Market 1989 Fiorano Botte 48 Semillion,Italy

Archives by Month


Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.