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July 24, 2004


enoch choi

plums from the "2002 Touraine Sauvignon, Domaine des Corbillieres" ??!?!? i can't imagine... maybe in a merlot, but a sauv blanc?

Derrick Schneider

Incidentally, South Africa wine zealots point out that if you go buy time, SA has fair claim to part of the Old World category; they've been growing wine there for something like 400 years.


enoch, there's red and there's white plums. I was refering to the white ones clearly. On the other hand the strict red fruit-red wine, white fruits-white wine separation is quite artificial, cherries can sometimes be smelled in whites, and it is induced by our psichological approach to wine. BTW this is not my idea, it has been scientificaly proved a few years ago.

derrick my old world/new world reference was intended with a bit of irony, because if one would really want to look back old world would only be asia minor, since that's where vines come from. I was actually almost hoping you'd give me a few tips on some good californian Chardonnay, after the mean things I've said about them ;-)).

Derrick Schneider

You won't find any good advice on California Chardonnay, except to stay away from them!

(Actually, I like the Il Cuore and the one from Tablas Creek; that's all I've found in our morass of wretched manifestations of this grape).


Honestly, I don't feel the mass-market exported wines from Australia to the US and Europe really exemplify the standard we're drinking here. It's very easy to find good quality, everyday drinking wine (especially red)in Australian shops. But all too frequently I've heard of friends overseas feeling excited about their Australian bottle of mediocre-somthing-or-other for which they just paid an extortinate amount of money. (exchange rates also come into this, I acknowledge)
Most recently I heard of a firend in the UK in raptures of the expensive bottle of Jacob's Creek chardonnay he took to a party in London. In Australia Jacob's Creek is the wine you hide under your arm as you rush to hide it amongst the other bottles in the laundry at the back of the house, denying all knowledge of its ownership later in the evening. ;-)


Niki, nice to know that what we get here from down under is considered mediocre in Australia. Pity though that either these wines or the very top ones, priced accordingly :-(, are the ones to make it to Europe. I wouldn't mind the chance of tasting some of these good quality everyday wines you talk of.


Hi Alberto

I'm so thrilled that you have discovered one of my favourite South African estates! I have often visited the estate and fell completely, head-over-heels in love with their Methode Ancienne Chardonnay back in 1999. My husband and I have quite a few of their Chardonnays and Cabernets in storage in South Africa (that's one way to ensure you don't deplete your cellar - keep it on another continent!!). For your next SA surprise, try some Graham Beck sparkling wines!

I was also amused by Niki's comment re. Australian export wines. When I see which SA products make it onto the shelves of UK supermarkets, and are regarded by the UK public as representative of our wines, I have to laugh. I mean, Kumala are widely touted here as "SA's best-selling wines". Erm, nobody I know in SA drinks them! I mean, there's nothing wrong with them - they are middle-of-the-road, standard wines made purely for the export market. But they do not give you any indication of the variety and complexity of South African wine production. And the good stuff (like Springfield, Hamilton Russel, Beaumont, Graham beck, etc etc...) never makes it anywhere near here, except in expensive specialist shops. I imagine the Germans must feel the same when confronted with UK supermarket wine selections - shelf upon shelf of Black Tower, Blue Nun and Piesporter, but not an elegant off-dry riesling in sight...

Thanks for sharing your SA wine experiences with us!


Jeanne, thanks for the interesting and informative comment. I was planning to order a few more bottles of these wines from my wine "dealer" ;-), and, after your enthusiastic comment, I think I'll pop one or two bottles of the Methode Ancienne in the order. I haven't seen any Graham Beck wines around but I'll keep my eyes open. What you and Niki say about wines in the UK fits the Italian wines too. Unless you go to specialist shops you'll only find very cheap and poor stuff plus loads of wines no one in Italy has ever heard of.
I think I should consider the wine cellar in another continent solution too :-))).

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