The Don

The Don

Thursday 6th May 2021
by Mark Dearing

The Don

Despite Cape Town being 6,000 miles from London (plus another 300 miles from Edinburgh!), and travel between the two cities clearly being a challenge for a little while yet, we were nevertheless graced by the presence of Donovan Rall in our living rooms just a few weeks ago.

Through the auspices of Zoom technology (once again) we were thrilled to host forty-five on and off-trade clients spanning the length and breadth of the UK, and encompassing all sorts of hotels, restaurants and retailers, not to mention a few of the world’s most famous fine dining establishments, for a Rall Wines masterclass in advance of the trade’s emergence from what has been a thoroughly miserable third lockdown since December. With things looking up, and spring supposedly just around the corner, we relished the opportunity to taste the lighter, fresher wines in the Rall portfolio, and bring together (virtually) a cohort of people who might enjoy them. So it was, that the fine-boned, vibrant Grenache Blanc and juicy, attractive Cinsault made many new friends, whilst the ever-impressive Rall White and Red strutted their confident stuff. Donovan’s dulcet Afrikaner tones provided invaluable insight into the origins and philosophy behind each wine.

My Wines of 2020

My Wines of 2020

Thursday 24th December 2020
by Mark Dearing

My Wines of 2020

In the absence of most things this year, wine has played a rather more important role than one might expect. At its most fundamental, it has helped to blot the tedium of everyday life, providing both intellectual stimulation and invigorating refreshment – allowing one to momentarily whisk off to far flung corners of the world. And while I certainly missed the luxury of drinking mature wine in convivial settings, I have at least been reminded not only of wine’s restorative power, but also how thrilling a new vintage can be, even when experienced from afar.

Places Endure – An ode to Cain

Places Endure – An ode to Cain

Thursday 29th October 2020
by Mark Dearing

Places Endure - An ode to Cain 

It was with particular poignancy that we drank a recent bottle of Cain. At home, in a convivial setting, we were reminded of just how confidently the Cain wines celebrate originality. In fact, this estate is known - feted even - by the more thoughtful of tasters, for producing a slightly wilder style of wine. These are Bordeaux blends layered with intricate fruits, earthy herbs, and spicy ferric notes – not your average Napa. In youth, what some commentators might describe as “strident” tannins in the Californian context, we view as classicism – true ripeness allied to freshness – an approach that yields sophisticated wines of presence, with nimble, wind-swept acidities and smooth, engaging fruit flavours. 

Going down a Storm

Going down a Storm

Friday 11th September 2020
by Mark Dearing

Justerini & Brooks forms new partnership with South African producer Storm Wines

We are delighted to be the newly appointed agents for Storm Wines, from South Africa’s Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. For a number of years we have been buying and drinking these wines but it was not until we visited their small, family estate on home turf that we appreciated the attention to detail and passion that goes in to producing their seemingly effortless Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

2020 Vision: Harvest in the Swartland

2020 Vision: Harvest in the Swartland

Friday 17th April 2020
by Mark Dearing

2020 Vision: Harvest in the Swartland 

Despite a nationwide lockdown in South Africa that initially prohibited all wine producing and exporting activities, the government has since made concessions to allow growers to finish harvesting and production, and businesses to resume exports - news to which the South African wine industry breathed a collective sigh of relief this week. 

(Updated 21st April: the South African government has re-instated a total prohibition on export sales. For more information see here).

Older Posts >