Posts Tagged ‘Blends’

Breaking old rules, to creative new wines ...

Breaking old rules, to creative new wines …


As I mentioned here once before, the fad in California wines for more than a decade now has been the heavy emphasis on what I call MSG wines. 


No, that’s not a designation of something to order in your favorite Chinese restaurant; rather, it refers to Rhone-style blends featuring Mourvedre-Syrah-Grenache.   Many of these blends are knockouts, and adjusting the blend allows winemakers to bob and weave depending on the weather and harvest to deliver a very consistent wine. 


A number of French winemakers have come to the central coast of California because they can experiment here, whereas in France the wine bureaucracy prevents wine makers from innovating.  While I like many of these efforts, I still prefer old-fashioned straight-up classic varietals, like Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, and Syrah.  (I’m having a 100% Syrah tonight with my grilled pork roast.)


Read on …

Adi Badenhorst.

Adi Badenhorst.

One of South Africa’s biggest wine personalities, Adi Badenhorst lives in the Swartland with his wife and two children, a dog as big as a bear, peacocks and chickens. He specializes in Rhône blends made from gnarly old vines.

What do you see when you look in the mirror?

I turned 40 on the 18th of September – so I was born in 1972 – and I had a bit of a party a few weeks before that. And when I looked in the mirror, I said: ‘F***, you are looking good, man – damn fine!’

Where did you grow up?

I haven’t thrown up in a long time. Not since I was 14.

What drew you to wine?

I was born into wine. My grandfather and my father were both viticulturists, so I grew up on wine farms and started making wine when I was at school. Made some really dodgy wines – a bit of pinot grigio and a bit of cab.

Then, I went to Stellenbosch University to study something. Three gloriously blurry years went by before I went to agricultural college – a pseudo-academic institution where you do bucket chemistry and a bit of winemaking – and then I could get a semi-proper job. I never got a degree; I’m a bit of a cerebral dwarf when it comes to that sort of stuff.

What’s your view of scoring wines by points?

I don’t know. I’m no good at maths so it doesn’t work for me. If it’s more than 10, I get a bit nervous!

Who are your heroes?
Read on …