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December in the press

December in the press

Here’s a quick round up of some of the press reviews and awards our wines have received this month:


Decanter have named Kanonkop’s 2017 Paul Sauer as one of their Wines of the Year 2020, an incredible achievement for this wine that continues to impress with every vintage.

2017 Paul Sauer, Kanonkop, Stellenbosch, South Africa
Deep, brooding, intense wine with a lot more to give for a few years in bottle. Very appealing nose with dark cherry and currant fruits and a hint of creamy vanilla oak. Precision and class here.

In the December edition, Chris Wilson included Escarpment’s Noir and Kanonkop’s Kadette Pinotage in his ‘Red wine for Christmas under £15’ review.

2018 Noir, Escarpment, Martinborough, New Zealand
Juicy, fruit-driven, light on its feet – just what you expect in a New Zealand Pinot. This Martinborough wine shows bright cherry and raspberry fruit and a delicious herby/black pepper backbone which add texture and bite. Perfect for roasts turkey and game birds. 91 pts.

2018 Kadette Pinotage, Kanonkop, Stellenbosch, South Africa
From the decomposed granite and Hutton soils of Stellenbosch comes this savoury and deeply hued Pinotage. Stewed plums and blackberries are the primary fruit notes, but more interesting are the tertiary coffee and roasted hazelnut characters which add complexity and body. A blockbuster red.

In the ‘under £20’ category, Ines Salpico chose Kliprug Chenin from Kaapzicht:

2019 Kliprug Chenin, Kaapzicht, Stellenbosch, South Africa
A classic South African style, from unirrigated 38-year-old vines planted in rocky soils. Part-fermented and matured in oak casks, it has intense quince and peach aromas, quite rich and creamy but with refinement. A good alternative to Chardonnay for those looking to try something new.


Matthew Jukes also reviewed Noir, including it in The Daily Mail’s Top 60 Annual Wine Awards.

We’ve found a £12 pinot that is utterly mind-blowing, the winner in our Pinot Noir and Gamay category, the lightest of all red wine classes. Escarpment is a first-class New Zealand estate and I cannot underline just how beautiful this wine is. Made by master craftsmen Larry McKenna and Tim Bourne, this is the definition of the pinot noir grape and a wine of this calibre, at this price, rarely comes along so do not miss out.


Tim named Maestro White Blend from DeMorgenzon his ‘wine of the week’ earlier this month.

2017 Maestro White Blend, DeMorgenzon, Stellenbosch, South Africa
South Africa’s white blends are some of its most distinctive wines, even if they remain comparatively difficult to sell, given most consumers’ preference for varietal Chardonnays, Chenins and Sauvignon Blancs. More’s the pity! This is a superb five-way blend from one of the best white wine producers in Stellenbosch, dominated by almost equal parts Roussanne, Chenin Blanc and Grenache Blanc, with lesser amounts of Viognier and Chardonnay. Mixing oak and concrete egg-fermented portions, it’s creamy, herbal and citrus-driven, with subtle wood, honeysuckle and baking spice aromas and flavours of peach, pear and quince.


Have released their Top 20 wines in South Africa report for 2020, including Reserve Chenin Blanc from DeMorgenzon.

2018 Reserve Chenin Blanc, DeMorgenzon, Stellenbosch, South Africa
Grapes from a 1972 vineyard. Spontaneously fermented and matured for 10 months in French oak, 20% new. A hint of reduction before citrus and stone fruit, some yeasty complexity plus hints of vanilla and spice. The palate is rich and creamy yet also possessing vibrant acidity, the finish is long and savoury. 95/100


In the Drinks Business Global Syrah Masters 2020, the following Bird in Hand and Kalfu wines were awarded silver, gold and master medals:

2017 Kalfu Sumpai Syrah – Silver
2018 Bird in Hand Shiraz – Silver
2018 Bird in Hand Two in the Bush Shiraz – Gold
2018 Bird in Hand Syrah – Gold
2014 Bird in Hand Nest Egg Shiraz – Gold
2015 Bird in Hand Nest Egg Shiraz – Gold
2013 Bird in Hand MAC Shiraz – Master

While their Global Sauvignon Blanc Masters 2020 awarded a gold medal to Greystone’s 2019 Barrel Fermented Sauvignon Blanc.


And last, but by no means least, 2017 Major Series Cabernet Sauvignon, Ernie Els has received a double gold in South Africa’s Veritas awards.