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Past Tastings

2016

Northern Rhônes with Yves Cuilleron

A leader of the new generation of Northern Rhône winemakers, Yves Cuilleron is one of the biggest land owners and most exciting producers. We taste through 4 great appellations, comparing and understanding various recent vintages. Known for his brilliant Condrieus, we will also taste his St Joseph, Cornas and Côte-Rôtie cuvées. Unfortunately this is only in Cape Town.

Northern Rhônes with Yves Cuilleron
 

Spend a Day with Angelo Gaja

Italy’s most influential producer is coming to South Africa. A master of innovation (and no stranger to controversy), Angelo Gaja transformed Piedmont’s reputation in the ‘70s and ‘80s, introducing single-vineyard Barbaresco, French varieties, barrique-ageing and modernised winemaking. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet the man who inspired an entire generation of winemakers and established Piedmont as one of the world’s most important fine wine regions. Angelo will talk us through his incredible journey and Gaja's rise to fame, and we will taste a selection of his top wines, including San Lorenzo, Barbaresco, Rennina and Sugarille. Talk, tasting and 3-course lunch paired with Gaja wines.

Anjelo Gaja
 

The Dom Pérignon Celebration and 2006 Launch

Taste the 2006 alongside the 2005 and 2004 vintages, all served with perfectly paired canapés at one of South Africa’s top venues. Their phenomenal Rosé and the newly released P2 – Dom Pérignon 1998’s ‘Second Plénitude’ – will also be on show to complete this hedonistic and handsome affair. The P2 is the highest-scoring Dom Pérignon ever in the Wine Spectator Magazine.

Dom Pérignon
 

Luxury Reds Taste-Off

Two years ago we hosted a social experiment (see here) to find South Africa’s top luxury red. De Toren’s Book 17 topped the ranking, and you will once again taste it blind against the likes of Delaire Laurence Graff, Sadie Columella, Kanonkop Black label, MR de Compostella and Vilafonté, to name a few. Will power favour elegance? Will oak trump terroir? Which wine is SA’s most luxurious red?  

Luxury Reds Taste-off
 

Young Guns Reloaded – Young Guns & Old Bullets

To celebrate the past and present chapters of South Africa’s wine revolution, Young Guns has 'Reloaded' in 2016. SA’s most daring tasting event will once again showcase the next generation of young winemaking stars, but this time they will be joined on stage by their famous fathers – some of the Cape’s greatest pioneers. This special tasting will evoke stories of fine wine’s beginnings in South Africa and show how the Young Guns are following in their fathers’ footsteps today. The 'Dirty Dozen' will include Jacques and Reenen Borman, Neil and Warren Ellis, Peter and Peter-Allan Finlayson, Etienne and Christo Le Riche, Danie Snr and Danie Jnr Steytler and finally, Braam and David van Velden. Taste wines made by each winemaker, representing each winemaking philosophy, including rare vintage wines. Young Guns has grown up, but we are still pushing the boundaries!  Ticket price includes a light dinner.

Young Guns 2016
 

2015

Burgundy 2013 Reds: An Intriguing and Distinctive Vintage

Perhaps not as stellar as 2005, 2009 or 2010, the best 2013s are sweet, crunchy and refreshing with low to moderate alcohol levels and good ageing potential. This is a classic vintage for Burgundy lovers, offering ‘wonderfully refreshing, energetic and transparent medium-bodied wines that possess solid but not aggressive acidities and firm but not hard tannic spines,’ says Allen Meadows. While 2013s from lesser négociants are variable in quality, we will taste wines from the Côte’s leading producers: Joseph Drouhin, Hudelot-Noëllat and Henri Boillot. Various Villages and Premiers Crus will be in the line-up, as well as a serious Grand Cru.

burgundy 2013 reds
 

SA White Blends Taste-Off

'South Africa's whites are on a roll….the white Rhône blends are constantly delivering something more esoteric, yet well-crafted and packed full of flavor, especially from Swartland,' affirms Neal Martin. 'Critics are abuzz at what looks set to be "the next big thing" from South Africa: premium white blends to rival the best from Bordeaux, the Rhone and beyond,' says Decanter. We put all the top white (non-Bordeaux) blends together in a blind taste-off. Who will come out on top?

south african white blends tasting
 

Northern Rhône 2013s

A taste of the newly landed 2013 Northern Rhônes and a tour through all the appellations from the Côte-Rôtie down to Cornas. More varied in the south, the north looks to be a top vintage that was harvested late after a long Indian summer. We taste through August Clape, Domaine Jamet, Alain Graillot, Domaine des Lises, André Perret, Yves Cuilleron and more!

northern rhone tasting
 

Top Champagne – R 595 

Treat yourself at the end of the year to a tasting of top Champagnes from leading producers. We explore all the major styles from Ultra-Brut through to Vintage, with fine bubbles from Le Mesnil, Drappier and Jacquesson. The tasting ends with a comparison of Dom Perignon, Krug and Jacquesson Avize Champ Gain. No spittoons at this one!

champagne tasting
 

MR de Compostella 2013 Release

South Africa’s most highly-rated Bordeaux blend, MR de Compostella, has received 95 and 96 points from the Wine Advocate in the last 4 vintages. ‘Bruwer Raats may well be the most exciting and forward-thinking winemaker in Stellenbosch at the moment. No...make that IS the most exciting and forward-thinking winemaker,‘ says Neal Martin of the Wine Advocate. Bruwer will guide you through his Raats Family Wines before showing a vertical of ‘08, ‘09, ‘11, ‘12 and ‘13 MR de Compostella.

compostella
 

Chapoutier Sélections Parcellaires 2012

‘Michel Chapoutier has once again produced one of the reference-point lineups for the entire Rhône Valley... easily some of the finest efforts produced in the vintage, not only with his top cuvees in Hermitage and Côte Rôtie, but also in the up-and-coming appellation of St Joseph,’ says Jeb Dunnuck of the Wine Advocate. A special tasting of 10 of Michel Chapoutier’s Sélections Parcellaires, including his top cuvées from Hermitage, St Joseph and Châteauneuf du Pape. Highlights will include Wine Advocate 100-pointer L’Ermite and the whites of L’Orée and Le Méal. Unmissable for Rhône-lovers.

chapoutier tasting
 

Young Guns 5

Now in its 5th year, Young Guns is a chance to meet the talented young winemakers who are throwing out the textbook and pushing the boundaries of winemaking. Most importantly, you will taste the wines that they want to drink, produced in a style that they choose to make all under their own labels. This informal yet seated tasting will once again be filled with great wine, music and much laughter.

Young Guns 5
 

South African Legends vs. the World: Grand Taste-Off

Just how do our vintage wines compare with great wines from around the world? In the lead-up to the 2015 Nederburg Auction, Wine Cellar will pit South African legends of yesteryear against the greatest fine wines from around the globe. The once-unheralded SA wines will be tasted alongside rare international benchmarks that cost up to R30,000 per bottle! Highlights will include Zonnebloem Pinotage 1974 vs Chateau Montelena Zinfandel 1975, Chateau Libertas 1959 vs Chateau Musar 1959, Latour 1966 vs South Africa’s most highly rated red – GS Cabernet 1966, and KWV Limited Release Port 1948 vs Taylor's Vintage Port 1948. This once-in-a-lifetime tasting will be followed by a 4-course menu by Harald Bresselschmidt. Only 14 seats available. Read the full write-up

Nederburg Grand Taste-Off
 

Biodynamics, Chenin Blanc and the Loire: Lunch in the Vineyard at Reyneke

We celebrate the end of harvest with a lunch in the vineyard catered by Christophe Dehosse, along with some of the greatest biodynamic Chenin Blancs. Leading biodynamic authority Johan Reyneke will explain this unique farming method as we enjoy wines from Coulée de Serrant, Domaine Huet, Thierry Germain and Reyneke. Only 30 seats are available and, yes, it’s a fruit day.

Lopez heredia tasting
 

Jamet Côte Rôtie Vertical Dinner with Jean Paul Jamet

Côte Rôtie’s legendary winemaker, Jean Paul Jamet, is in South Africa! This is probably the Wine Cellar team’s most loved wine and it sells out every year on allocation. Taste 8 vintages of the Côte Rôtie along with food by Harald Bresselschmidt at Auslese, for one of the most exciting events of the year. Jamet wines are produced in a very traditional style that hasn’t changed over the last 2 decades. Experience how these gems blossom with age as we taste back to the late ‘90s.

Lopez heredia tasting
 

10-Year Luddite Vertical with Niels Verburg

For the first time in history, Niels will show 10 years of the iconic Luddite Shiraz as we launch the new 2009. A brilliant Bot River vintage, this could be his finest yet! We also taste his new 2013 Chenin Blanc at what will no doubt be a fun and interesting evening with one of the industry’s biggest characters.

Lopez heredia tasting
 


2014

López Heredia Historic Dinner

Treat yourself at the end of the year and experience the world’s most traditional estate. ‘Lopez de Heredia is the apotheosis of traditional, classic wines: taut, fresh, bucolic, utterly charming and amazingly long-lived,’ says Neal Martin. We will taste through the range of long-ageing Crianzas, Reservas and Gran Reservas paired with fine cuisine. The evening’s Gran Reservas will be the 1994 white and red as well as the 1981 red, direct from their cellars.

Lopez heredia tasting
 

Bordeaux 2000

We end the year with a review of a great Bordeaux vintage that is now reaching maturity. When released, 2000 was the vintage of a lifetime and still competes with 2005, 2009 and 2010 as one of the finest ever. Taste 10 wines that include Grand Puy Lacoste, Domaine de Chevalier, Montrose and Vieux Château Certan. No spittoons for this one.

Bordeaux 2000 tasting
 

Hannes Storm of Hamilton Russell

After 13 vintages at Hamilton Russell, Hannes is releasing his maiden Pinot Noirs: two single vineyards from Upper Hemel-en-Aarde and Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. These were standout wines earlier this year at the Hemel-en-Aarde Pinot Noir Celebration. The Storm wines will be tasted alongside current Hamilton Russell and Ashbourne vintages. Ernst Storm, Hannes’ brother, is a cult producer in Santa Barbara and his Pinots will also be in the line-up.

Hannes Storm tasting
 

How Do Fine Wines Age?

A fun tasting designed to answer the inevitable question, 'How will this wine age?' We compare top reds from around the world with current releases versus their mature counterparts. The line-up includes Ghislaine Barthod Chambolle Musigny 1er Chatelots 2001 and 2011, Yalumba Signature 1991 and 2009, Chapoutier Crois du Bois Châteauneuf-du-Pape 1999 and 2011, de Toren Fusion 1999 and 2011, Kanonkop Pinotage 1995 and 2012 and finally Château Cos d’Estournel 1996 and 2008.

Chapoutier Yalumba tasting
 

SA’s Ultra-Premium Wines: Luxurious or Expensive?

SA’s most expensive wines may seem hefty in Rands, but in fact they are among the cheapest premium reds of any wine-producing country. Here an opportunity to sample most of the SA reds that sell for over R500 in a blind taste-off. Who is the king of the luxury wine game and which style is most successful at this level? Wines included De Toren’s Book XVII and Black Lion, Rust en Vrede 1694, Kanonkop Black Label, Dalla Cia Teano, Mullineux Schist, Sadie Columella and more…

 

Sadie Family wines and Old Vine Series

A true visionary, Eben Sadie has identified the very best old vines across the Cape, revived them with natural farming and captured their essence using simple, traditional winemaking. Along with the new Columella and Palladius, we taste all the 2013 old vine series. Unfortunately most will be sold out before the tasting, the tasting includes the Kokerboom and unreleased Mrs Kirsten. We will also show back vintages of the Palladius and Columella!

View our tasting write-up

sadie family wines
 

Young Guns 4

Now into its fourth year, we have seen former Young Guns such as Alheit, Finlayson, David Sadie and Hawkins grow into superstars. And now we have unearthed a new wave of Young Guns who are pushing the boundaries. Young Guns 4 aims to highlight a few more ‘mature’ winemakers who have refocused their energy and are producing cutting-edge wines. A tasting unlike anything you can imagine, with food, music, fun and more.

View our tasting write-up

young guns 4
 

The Butch and Fin Show

No longer Young Guns, friends Chris Alheit (Butch) and Peter Allan Finlayson (Fin) are now making some of SA’s most sought-after gems. We will taste the new Cartology and Magnetic North Mountain Makstok, as well as the Crystallum single vineyards of Bona Fide, Clay Shales, Cuvée Cinema and more. Butch and Fin have been making wine together for a number of years and this has led to the modern wine version of the ‘Laurel and Hardy Show’.

View our tasting write-up

butch and fin show
 


2013

Three Decades of South Africa's Iconic Wine: Vin de Constance

Wine Cellar and Klein Constantia sampled nine vintages of Vin de Constance from the ‘80s, ‘90s and ‘00s. Highlights included the famous 1991, 1997, 2007 and the new, highly anticipated 2008. Along with this once-in-a-lifetime-tasting, a three-course dinner was paired with standout wines from Klein Constantia and their sister property, Anwilka.

View our tasting write-up

vin de constance
 

Six Decades of Mouton Rothschild

This was a once in a lifetime experience in tasting some of the greatest Bordeaux wines made in the last 60 years. We unearthed a private cellar of 35 vintages of Mouton Rothschild, which gave us the opportunity to share a part of this Bordeaux First Growth's history. With the pre-1973 vintages, we also tasted the wines that allowed for the only change to the original 1855 Classification. The pre-dinner tasting of 15 vintages included the perfect? 1959, 1982 and 1986, as well as a selection of great vintages from the '50s through to the '00s. A five-course dinner followed, along with vintage Moutons from the same collection. A stay-over including breakfast at the luxurious Orient Hotel was included in this limited 12 seat exclusive tasting.

View our tasting write-up

mouton rothschild tasting
 

New Mullineux Single-Terroir Wines, Plus the Launch of Schist Chenin

This was a taste up of the latest releases from one of South Africa's leading producers. Chris Mullineux lead the tastings (along with Andrea in Cape Town) and compared new and previous releases of the highly anticipated 2011 Schist and Granite Syrah, as well their Syrah and White. Joining the terroir-specific line-up for the first time was the Schist Chenin Blanc. A blend of two vineyards on different sides of the Kasteelberg Mountain, with an average age of 36 years. 

mullineux single vineyard tasting
 

Young Guns III

This was the third annual tasting that introduced ?Young Gun? winemakers who are known to be pushing the boundaries. In one short year, we have already seen the likes of Chris and Susie Alheit get five stars in Platter and 96 points in the Wine Advocate. Every year we have a few new faces in an evening that is be filled with music, fun and cutting-edge wines.

Find out more

young guns 3
 

Top Piedmont

Piedmontese wines are often put into the same class as Bordeaux and Burgundy, with their fine delicacy, power and elegance. We introduced a top new producer in Robert Voerzio with his cult Barolos and fabulous entry-level wines. Along with our other leading producers, Angelo Gaja, Giovanni Corino and Marco Marengo, this was one of the finest Italian line-ups ever at Wine Cellar.

top piedmont tasting
 

1982 Bordeaux Dinner

This magical vintage, which was so generous whilst young, has blossomed into one of the finest ever in Bordeaux. It is also the vintage that turned Robert Parker into the world’s most powerful critic. At 30-years old, these rare beauties are at the peak of their maturity and offered a thrilling experience. The highlights included Branaire Ducru, Lagrange as well as Pichon Baron and Chateau Margaux. With magnums of Malescot St Exupery 1982 for the three-course dinner, as well as d’Yquem 1982 for the dessert course, this was a once in a lifetime tasting.

bordeaux 1982


2012

Château d’Yquem Vertical and Lunch

The greatest sweet wine in the world usually requires at least a decade of maturation to show its best. We tasted through eight highly rated vintages in search of the sweet spot, with vintage Yquems direct from the château; 2008 (RP96), 2006 (96-98), 2005 (95-98), 2003 (RP95), 1998 (RP91), 1989 (RP97), 1986 (RP98), 1982 (RP92). These golden gems were paired with savoury and sweet dishes, and other wines included Yquem’s dry wine, Ygrec. Hosted at the incomparable and award-winning Restaurant Mosaic! *RP – Robert Parker

Read our tasting write-up

 

Comparative Tasting: SA Shiraz vs. Rest of the World

Taste the best of South Africa versus some of the best of France, Australia and Chile? Amongst the wines were the newly released Porseleinberg Syrah 2010 – the meticulously hand-crafted brainchild of Marc Kent (Boukenhoutskloof) made by Callie Louw in the Swartland, as well as Eben Sadie’s iconic Columella 2010 – a Shiraz-driven blend. From France we tasted Hermitage Le Pavillon from Chapoutier as well as Jamet’s Côte Rôtie and from Australia, iconic Henschke.

 

Comparative Tasting: Local versus international Pinot Noir

A taste-off to discover where South Africa really sits in terms of great Pinot Noir. From New Zealand we sampled the ground-breaking and biodynamic Burn Cottage (Decanter 19.5/20), the Felton Road and Craggy Range and from Oregon, Domaine Drouhin’s Pinot Noir. The best of South Africa along with entry-level and Grand Cru Burgundy were also in the mix...

 

Burgundy 2010 Red – The Great Vintage

Like the white harvest, the Pinot Noirs have excellent concentration, freshness and depth. Time will tell if the 2010 vintage can match the perfection of 2005, but it is a stunning terroir-driven, long-ageing vintage. We tasted through the important villages with wines from: Liger-Belair, Taupenot-Merme, Hudelot Noellat, Domaine des Lambrays and Henri Boillot. A great line-up indeed.

 

Bordeaux 2008 First Growths

This was an opportunity to taste through the most spoken-about wines on the planet. These First growths dance the fine line between blue-chip investments and luxury drinks. And 2008 offers just enough accessibility to taste at this embryonic stage whilst still showing off each wine’s unique terroir. Wines that were tasted: Lafite Rothschild (RP98), Mouton Rothschild (RP94+), Latour (RP95+), Margaux (RP94), Haut Brion (RP96), Cheval Blanc (RP93), Petrus (RP97), La Mission Haut Brion (RP94). A superb three-course dinner followed, along with mature fine Bordeaux and Yquem (RP96) to finish.

View our Cape Town or Joburg tasting schedule.

Wine Cellar offers the greatest wine region in the world en-primeur (as futures). 2016 will be our 16th Bordeaux campaign and will be offered from April 2017 onwards for delivery in 2019.
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Wine cellar imports fine wine from Europe, offers antipodean wines, fine local wines as well as brokers your fine wine. We also focus on selling wines en-primeur (as futures) from Bordeaux, Burgundy and the Rhône.
We offer tastings in Johannesburg and Cape Town; from comparative tastings for private and corporate groups to tastings of our latest imports for the public. We also offer luxury dinners paired with rare wines.
Professional cellaring of single bottles for private clients through to pallet loads for trade clients. Wines are stored at 14 degrees in our secure underground cellars in Observatory, Cape Town.
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