Richard Juhlin interview in Bollinger’s ‘Club 1829’

Richard Juhlin got interviewed for Bollinger’s magazine ‘Club 1829’. Read some of his thoughts on Bollinger.

Source: Richard Juhlin interview in Bollinger’s ‘Club 1829’

The next big thing

Out of the Press

If there’s anything that irritates me about South African wine, it’s when people, whether local or foreigners, announce; ‘….. is going to be the next big thing’ (You fill the gap, there’s plenty of choice). It sounds good, it sounds exciting but it’s used rather too frequently and hastily. The only word I can think of which couldn’t fill that gap sufficiently often is ‘Quality’ but that’s another matter.

Nowadays, cinsaut often crops up in this sort of conversation. As Tim James reminds in his Wines of the New South Africa, cinsaut is a variety with a long association at the Cape, being ‘grown here since the middle of the nineteenth century’ and, at one time was ‘South Africa’s most planted variety, occupying nearly a third of the vineyard and used for everything from brandy, through rosé, to sweet, dry, and fortified red wines.’

Three shades of cinsaut Three shades of cinsaut

As the…

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champagne hiking 18.0

Richard Juhlin has taken on his next big project – the book ‘Champagne hiking’.

Source: champagne hiking 18.0

English Fizz – Update

On the 9th July I will be doing going on a short study tour and tasting of presumably and arguably the Top 10 English Fizz producers in the UK. Through friends I have managed to arrange a detailed visit and route which I am looking forward to – to taste and getting an update. Some four years ago I have been to some of these producers and knowing that so much has changed in the time – it is time to catch up with them.

The producers I will visit and report back on will be:

  • Acre Hill Estate – Richard Morris
  • Exton Park Vineyard – Fred Langdale & Corinne Seely
  • Hattingley Valley – Emma Rice
  • Coates & Seely
  • Nyetimber – Cherie Spriggs
  • Wiston – Dermot Surgue
  • Ridgeview – Simon Roberts
  • Breaky Bottom – Peter Hall
  • Rathfinny Estate – Jonathan Medard
  • Gusbourne – Charlie Holland
  • Hush Heath – Victoria

With two Champagne Houses that has recently invested in some vineyards in the UK, these producers are enjoying the benefit of these investments.

Earlier this year Michelin Star UK chef Roger Jones, arranged over 24 local MCC’s and UK Sparkling Wines to be sampled and scored.  Pieter ‘Bubbles’ Ferreira from Graham Beck led the South African team of judges while Richard Morris of Ancre Hill Estate in Wales led the Wales and UK team. This was held at The Vineyard Hotel in Newlands, Cape Town.

‘Bubbles’ Ferreira took the SA team to victory with 8 of the 11 blind tastings going in SA’s favour and also claimed the overall win on the night for his Graham Beck’s Cuveé Clive. Said Roger Jones about the evening, “It was not ultimately about winning. But the idea behind the evening was more to highlight the enormous steps UK sparkling wine has taken in recent years, as well as put more of an international spotlight on South African MCC”.

I cannot wait to give feedback, once I have been there and to meet up with friends on the other side.






The Real Stockholm Marathon – 2004 – 2005 – 2006

Wow comprehensive!! Love to taste them ALL!

the champagne blog by the champagnesommelier

Or The Richard Juhlin Stockholm Tasting 2016 as it is called. Richard Juhlin gathered his tasting gruop Teh Richard Juhlin Champagne Club to go trough the 150 best champagnes of the vintages 2004, 2005 & 2006.

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Clos Lanson – one of the most exciting new wines of the entire Champagne region

the champagne blog by the champagnesommelier

The unique baby taken care of by the super talented Hervé Dantan is one of the most exciting new wines of the entire Champagne region.

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Graham Beck Bubbly Harvest 2016 – Episode I

Happy New Year to everyone and may 2016 surprise us all and be a fantastic vintage! The Graham Beck cellar team was back from holidays and started on the 5th of January. I was still ‘literally’ trying to get rid of my sun tan lotion from New Year but we immediately prepared for the harvest! Our harvest at Graham Beck in Robertson started on the 8th January. It is the exact day as last year. As per usual our first load of grapes is paraded to the cellar where our farm manager, Pieter Fouche hands over the first load in a bit of fanfare. The vineyard team arranges beautiful and colourful banners that is paraded from the vineyard to the cellar and arrives with the first load of grapes.

Harvest kicked off with a serious bang this year… Extraordinary weather with lots of heatwaves before the New Year has set the tone for a challenging vintage of 2016. We tell ourselves, actually in Robertson by now; know that this is the effect of El Niño and global warming. “Remember in Robertson we know have to work with sunshine, after all there is only one ‘son and that is Robertson!

Early to really predict on quality but our Chardonnay and Pinot Noir destined for Cap Classique is healthy and all has smaller berries…. Never a bad thing – promises concentrated flavours. On the blocks of Chardonnay we have completed the crop estimation, for now, is running on the expected yields but the Pinot Noir is about 10% lighter on the estimated yields.

It has been a very dry start for us all in the Western Cape this year and we do not really welcome the hot days and lots of sunshine…. However (at Graham Beck) we really struggled at the start of harvest at the cellar as we had a few unforeseen breakdowns occurring! Having a great support team here and Robertson, we have managed to bring all the problems to a ‘ready-steady-go’ phase. We see this as just another part of our challenges in our constant strive for the perfect bubble.

Here are some notes on the latest conditions and the effect of the weather from Pieter Fouche—Farm Manager: “Disease pressure has been low due to the very dry conditions but the demand on water has been extraordinary. In these conditions we need to pulse the vineyard blocks all the time, as the last thing we need is for the vineyards to stress as this will cause (what we call) “bevange” or pseudo ripeness. I don’t think the winemakers will mind if we get a good down pour as long as things dry up quickly! The morale in the vineyard team remains high! Current weather stations are indicating moderate sunshine over the weekend…. Bring is on, please!

We now on day five of the harvest and we have received 530 Tons of grapes. We have harvested Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Robertson, Darling, Paarl, Stellenbosch and Durbanville.


Cape Winemakers Guild launches CWG VinPro Viticulture Protégé Programme

Committed to driving transformation in the South African wine industry, the Cape Winemakers Guild (CWG) in association with VinPro has expanded its highly successful Oenology Protégé Programme with the launch of a similar internship scheme to develop young viticulturists.

The new CWG VinPro Viticulture Protégé Programme, an initiative of the Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Development Trust, gives promising individuals the opportunity to realise their dreams of becoming fully fledged viticulturists after a two-year internship.

“The Protégé Programme is a major priority for all of our members. Thanks to a generous contribution from the VinPro Foundation, we are now able to branch out into niche areas of the wine industry which will broaden the reach of our transformation efforts significantly,” says Louis Strydom, Chairman of the Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Development Trust.

“We will start by taking in one Viticulture Protégé in 2015 and hope to see it grow and be just as successful as the existing Oenology Protégé Programme,” says Strydom.

Since its inception in 2006, the CWG Oenology Protégé Programme has seen the appointment of five graduates in full time winemaking positions.

“Although it is great to invest in initiatives that show positive short term results, we prefer to take a longer term view of the industry and focus our involvement on projects that will make a critical contribution towards the sustainability of the industry and its people over the years to come,” says VinPro Transformation and Development Manager Johan Giliomee, an advisory service that renders professional and need-driven consultation services in viticulture, oenology, soil science, agro-economy and general management to wine producers.

“We regard the Cape Winemakers Guild, with their innovative approach to training as
one such organisation that can make a difference,” adds Giliomee.

Established in 2013, the VinPro Foundation serves as a vehicle for funding key initiatives that can make a difference to the wellbeing of all participants in the South African wine industry.

The CWG VinPro Viticulture Protégé Programme aims to cultivate, nurture and empower promising individuals to become viticulturists of excellence. Mentored by members of the Cape Winemakers Guild, interns receive hands-on training with regards to the intricacies of cultivation practices to ensure top quality grapes for the production of diverse wine types and styles. Successful candidates admitted to this cutting edge programme receive a salary, coaching and life skills mentorship, attendance of selected Cape Winemakers Guild functions and wine tastings, industry networking opportunities and a certificate of completion at the end of the two-year internship.

Students interested in applying for the Oenology Protégé Programme or the CWG VinPro Viticulture Protégé Programme can visit, call Tel: 021 852 0408 or send an email to

Another Gold for Graham Beck Blanc de Blancs 2009

Results are just out from the International Wine & Spirit Competition 2014

IWSC 2014

Graham Beck Blanc de Blancs 2009

Producer Name: Graham Beck Wines

Award: Gold

Tasting Category: Bottle Fermented Sparkling – Blanc de Blancs – Districts of Breede River Valley WO – Vintage 2009-2008

Origin of Entry: South Africa

Judges Tasting Notes:

Bright, pale gold. Finest of energetic bead giving firm, long lasting, crown. Bakery aromas mingled with hints of fynbos

and light hint of oak. Big, creamy mousse with bread and doughy flavours backed by fresh lemon and some pear.

Lively flow across the palate yet as smooth as can be. Delightful and refreshing. Lovely and gorgeous to enjoy now yet

will develop in the bottle with interest.


Results of The Chamapagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships

The Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships received over 650 entries from 16 different countries in the first year of judging, with 185 wines winning Gold and Silver medals – all listed below in alphabetical order.

World Champion and Best in Class trophy results will be announced in September in World of Fine Wine magazine and FINE Champagne magazine.

Competition Founder, Tom Stevenson, comments: “We are extremely proud of the quality of our Gold and Silver medal winning wines, which are listed below in strict alphabetical order, but it is clear that we did not get the message across to everyone in the first year of our competition. There were certain categories that we did not promote sufficiently, leaving them wide open for entrants to make their mark next year. For more details, see my summary on”

Some of the results:

SUPREME WORLD CHAMPION – Champagne Louis Roederer 2002 Cristal Rosé 12%, 9g (60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay)


Blue Pyrenees Estate 2010 Midnight Cuvée –  12.5%, 7g (100% Chardonnay)

Bründlmayer 2008 Brut (magnum) –  12.5%, 8.7g (40% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir, 10% Pinot Gris, 10% Pinot Blanc, 10% Grüner Veltliner)

Roederer Estate NV Brut Sparkling Wine – 
12%, 12g (60% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir)

Graham Beck Wines 2009 Blanc de Blancs – 
12%, 6g (100% Chardonnay)

Gramona 2000 Enoteca Brut Nature – 
12.5%, 2.5g (75% Xarel-lo, 25% Macabeo)

Champagne Louis Roederer 2002 Cristal Rosé – 
12%, 9g (60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay)

Miguel Torres Chile NV Cordillera Brut – 
12%, 8.6g (100% Pinot Noir)

Digby Fine English 2009 Reserve Brut – 
12%, 8g (65% Chardonnay, 17.5% Pinot Noir, 17.5% Meunier)

Il Mosnel 2008 Rosé Pas Dosé Parosé- 
12.5%, 2.5g (70% Pinot Noir, 30 % Chardonnay)

Ferrari 2007 Perlé –
12.5%, 6g (100% Chardonnay)

Akarua 2010 Vintage Brut – 
13%, 6g (49% Chardonnay, 51% Pinot Noir)

Nino Franco 2013 Valdobbiadene Primo Franco – 
10.5%, 27g (100% Glera)

Ferrari 2007 Perlé – 
12.5%, 6g (100% Chardonnay)

Ferrari 2007 Perlé – 
12.5%, 6g (100% Chardonnay)


Australian Blanc de Blancs – Blue Pyrenees Estate 2010 Midnight Cuvée

Australian Blend – House of Arras NV Brut Elite C601

Australian Non-Dosage – Este 2007 De Bortoli Wines

Australian Rosé – Dominique Portet NV Brut Rosé

Australian Sparkling Red – Grant Burge NV Shiraz Cabernet

Australian Vintage Rosé – House of Arras 2005 Rosé

Austrian Vintage Blend – Bründlmayer 2008 Brut (magnum)

Austrian Vintage Magnum – Bründlmayer 2008 Brut (magnum)

California Blend – Roederer Estate NV Brut Sparkling Wine

California Rosé – Caraccioli Cellars 2006 Brut Rosé

Cap Classique Blanc de Blancs – Graham Beck Wines 2009 Blanc de Blancs

Cava Traditional Varieties – Gramona 2000 Enoteca Brut Nature

Cava Mixed Varieties (Traditional & International) – Freixenet NV Elyssia Gran Cuvée

Cava Rosé – Freixenet 2012 Cuvée de Prestige Trepat

Champagne NV Blend – Champagne Pommery NV Brut Royal (magnum)

Champagne NV Blanc de Blancs – Champagne Ruinart NV Blanc de Blancs

Champagne NV Magnum – Champagne Pommery NV Brut Royal (magnum)

Champagne NV Rosé – Champagne Charles Heidsieck NV Rosé Réserve

Champagne Vintage Blend – Champagne Les Pionniers 2004 Brut

Champagne Vintage Blanc de Blancs – Champagne De Castelnau 2002 Blanc de Blancs

Champagne Vintage Rosé – Champagne Charles Heidsieck 1999 Rosé Millésime

Champagne Deluxe Blend – Champagne Dom Pérignon 1996 Oenothèque

Champagne Deluxe Blanc de Blancs – Champagne Dom Ruinart 2002 Blanc de Blancs

Champagne Deluxe Magnum – Champagne Laurent-Perrier NV Grand Siècle (magnum)

Champagne Deluxe Rosé – Champagne Louis Roederer 2002 Cristal Rosé

Chilean Blanc de Noirs – Miguel Torres Chile NV Cordillera Brut

English NV Blanc de Blancs – Wiston Estate NV Blanc de Blancs

English Vintage Blanc de Blancs – Nyetimber 2003 Blanc de Blancs (magnum)

English Vintage Magnum – Nyetimber 2003 Blanc de Blancs (magnum)

English Vintage – Digby Fine English 2009 Réserve Brut

English Vintage Rosé – Hattingley Valley 2011 Rosé

Franciacorta NV Blend – Il Mosnel NV Brut

Franciacorta Non Dosage – Il Mosnel 2008 Rosé Pas Dosé Parosé

Franciacorta Vintage Rosé – Il Mosnel 2008 Rosé Pas Dosé Parosé

Franciacorta Vintage Blend – Ca’ del Bosco 2005 Cuvée Annamaria Clementi (magnum)

Franciacorta Magnum – Ca’ del Bosco 2005 Cuvée Annamaria Clementi (magnum)

New Zealand Blend – Akarua 2010 Vintage Brut

Other Italian – Tenuta Scarpa Colombi NV Roberto Colombi Blanc de Blancs Brut

Prosecco Brut – Bisol NV Crede (magnum)

Prosecco Dry – Nino Franco 2013 Valdobbiadene Primo Franco

Prosecco Extra Dry – Tenuta Ca’ Bolani NV Prosecco

Prosecco Magnum – Bisol NV Crede (magnum)

Southeastern Europe – Aleksandrovic 2009 Trijumf Chardonnay

Trentodoc Vintage Blanc de Blancs – Ferrari 2007 Perlé

Trentodoc Vintage Rosé – Rotari 2010 Alperegis Rosé Millesimato

Judges: Tom Stevenson, Essi Avellan MW & Dr Tony Jordan.
Associate Judge: George Markus.
Competition Steward: Amanda Regan.

Courtesey of