Posts Tagged ‘French oak’

The Bilton: over-oaked monster or intriguing concept wine?

April 21, 2011 6 comments

The Bilton, the offending wine that has caused such a storm in a wineglass.

Flamboyant wine producer Mark Bilton seems to have created a minor storm in a wineglass with the release of the eponymous The Bilton last month.

Watching the toing and froing between the wine hacks who were invited, and those who were not, has been hilarious, quite frankly.

The Bilton is a 2006 vintage Cabernet Sauvignon, which was subjected to a 500% oaking regime over four years. As if that isn’t enough to set the tongues of the wine writing cognoscenti wagging, the price tag of R3 000 a bottle most certainly is.

Accused of “aspirational pricing” in the most tawdry sense, grandstanding, and little short of being too big for his boots, Mark Bilton has it seems, refrained from weighing in on the increasingly acrimonious debate, and for this he is to be commended.

The most hilarious contribution around makes the pertinent point, that if one has not tasted the wine, one is hardly qualified to comment on it, despite the stature of ones palate or self-perceived place in the wine writing diaspora. Read more…


First Sighting 2009 Anders Sparrman Pinot Noir – a tribute to our history

October 11, 2010 1 comment


The starkly beautiful cellar at Strandveld Vineyards, the southern most vineyard on the African continent


When Bartholomew Dias’ expedition rounded the Cape of Good Hope in January 1488, he was completely unaware of it. Adverse winds had pushed his three tiny ships far south, and after sailing east for some time without sighting land, he realised that he had probably rounded the southern tip of the Prasum Promontorium (Green Promontory) postulated centuries before by the Egyptian geographer, Ptolemy.

He then sailed north for a few days, until the featureless tip of the continent, where Africa tumbles into the South Atlantic was sighted, and he named it Cape Agulhas (the Cape of the Needles).

Legend has it that on or about May 16, 1488, Bartholomew Dias set foot on shore at Cape Agulhas. He climbed the low hill, all of 260m high, behind and between what is today L’Agulhas and Arniston, and looking down towards the sea, his eye would have fallen for the first time, on the land which is today the home of Strandveld Vineyards, and more specifically, the vineyard blocks from which comes the First Sighting “Anders Sparrman” 2009 Pinot Noir. Read more…