Power to Kumala

A delighted Bruce Jack
A delighted Bruce Jack

Kumala, the biggest-selling South African wine brand, has been ranked the 15th most powerful wine brand in the world and is the only South African wine or spirits brand to be ranked on The Power 100 for 2009. Now in its fourth year, The Power 100 index highlights the key issues and trends in the international spirits and wine industry. It also identifies which brands are increasing their equity using a unique measure defined by measuring brand score and volume data.
The Power 100 researches nearly 10 000 brands in the wine and spirits sectors to derive a list of the 100 most powerful of these brands in the world. Power is defined by a brand’s ability to generate value for its owner. Value is classified as by a series of hard measures (share of market, brand growth, price positioning and market scope) as well as soft measures (brand awareness, relevancy, heritage and perception). A panel of eight leading experts in the drinks industry independently ranked each brand out of 10 on these measures. The scores given by each panel member where then aggregated and averaged to reach a score for each brand. A total score was achieved by multiplying a brand’s weighted volume by its brand score within a defined range. This results in a ranking of the world’s most powerful alcoholic drinks brands.
“We are delighted* that Kumala has climbed the ranks with a six percent increase in overall brand score this year,” says co-winemaker Bruce Jack. “It is a strong endorsement of South African winemaking talent, as well as a consolidation of Constellation Wine’s faith in the local industry.” Constellation Wines are the owners of Kumala.
“Interestingly, only one ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ Torres of Spain – of the top 15 wine brands is from the traditional Old World wine country,” says Ben Jordaan, Jack’s co-winemaker. “Seven were American (Gallo, Robert Mondavi ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ owned, by Constellation Brands, Beringer, Sutter Home, Blossom Hill, Kendall Jackson and Inglenook), five Australian (Hardy’s – also owned by Constellation Brands, Yellowtail, Jacobs Creek, Lindemans and Wolf Blass) while Chile has a sole representative.”
Overall, Constellation came in as the seventh biggest brand owner, while South Africa was considered only the 21 most powerful country of origin, making Kumala’s achievement even more remarkable.
Kumala Zenith Chenin Blanc/Chardonnay 2008 and Kumala Zenith Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz 2008 are both available from R25.99 to R29.99 from leading stockists.
*WineGoggle takes no responsibility for the frustration caused by the word “delighte”d. For fuck’s sake, Bruce.

Distell Goes Green(er)

Green fingers - Jacques Rossouw
Green fingers - Jacques Rossouw

In its efforts to minimise its carbon footprint, Distell is prioritising the measurement and management of its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and has appointed Jacques Rossouw as its new environmental manager, says Dr Gert Loubser, the company’s director of quality management and research.?+¦?-¼?+«+ë?+¦???+½?+¦???+¦
Rossouw, who comes with international expertise having worked in the Australian environmental regulatory industry, was previously the manager of the South African wine industry’s environmentally-sustainable Integrated Production of Wine (IPW) programme, considered the most progressive of its kind in the world.
In this role, he worked extensively with Distell on an international project to establish a globally accepted basis for wine producers to calculate their GHG emissions., Called the International Wine Industry Greenhouse Gas Accounting Protocol and Calculator, the system identifies and provides a universally accepted basis for quantifying CO2 emissions throughout the grape growing, wine production, packaging and transportation processes.
He worked with Distell and Winetech as part of the South African team involved in the project., They collaborated with representatives from the wine industries of California, Australia and New Zealand in developing the new system, which has since been tabled with the World Resource Institute, the body that sets GHG protocols for manufacturing industries worldwide, as well as with the Organisation Internationale de la Vigne et du Vin (OIV). The system has also been formally endorsed by the International Federation of Wine and Spirits (FIVS).
“With the methodology for carbon footprint calculation now at our disposal, we can begin to record our emissions and develop strategies to lessen still further our impact on the environment,” says Loubser. “Although intended for wine producers, the protocol and calculator can be modified and applied to measure Distell’s impact on the environment in other areas of production, such as spirits, ciders and ready-to-drinks (RTDs).”
The company has already received international praise for its recycling of CO2 released during the fermentation of its ciders., The gas is captured and then purified for use in carbonating its ciders.?+¦?-¼?+«+ë?+¦???+½?+¦???+¦
Loubser adds that Rossouw’s former role in administering the IPW programme on behalf of the South African wine industry will give further impetus to Distell’s progress in achieving ISO 14001 accreditation for more of its production facilities., “As it is, the IPW programme is based on the principles of the ISO 14001 environmental management system. To date, Nederburg, Bergkelder, Durbanville Hills and Plaisir de Merle are already ISO 14001-certified but our current focus is on achieving accreditation for our Adam Tas and Green Park production and bottling facilities.”
In his new capacity, Rossouw will remain on the steering committee of the recently launched co-operative project between the South African fruit and wine industries which is seeking to develop a comprehensive response to climate change.
Rossouw, previously at the Western Cape Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, believes that for the wine industry, water is the most critical natural resource associated with climate change., “As far as Distell is concerned, the focus on water management will be applied throughout the business., In addition to the recycling of waste water for vineyard irrigation, already underway at Durbanville Hills, Stellenzicht, Neethlingshof and Le Bonheur, Distell is also looking into expanding this practice where possible to its other cellars.”
The company is also working with the University of Stellenbosch and other research bodies to develop strategies to curtail water usage and wastage elsewhere in its wine production operations, as well as in the production of its spirits, ciders and RTDs.
Rossouw says an important feature of Distell’s water management programme includes the removal of water-thieving alien vegetation across its farms., The eradication of invasive vegetation is also a practice closely linked to the local wine industry’s Biodiversity & Wine Initiative (BWI) that is involved in protecting the abundant biodiversity of the Cape Floral Kingdom and setting aside areas where indigenous habitat can be conserved or re-introduced.
Rossouw holds a masters degree in microbiology from the University of Stellenbosch.

Cyber Action on the WOSA Front

Primed for the international focus likely to result from next year’s 2010 FIFA World Cup, Wines of South Africa (WOSA) has revamped its website (www.wosa.co.za) with some of its information now provided in as many as ten languages and at least another ten to follow soon., The accent will be on languages spoken by many of the world’s major football enthusiasts.
Streamlined for easier use and simpler navigation, the new-look website offers a selection of world-class, high-resolution, copyright-free photographs of the Winelands, wineries, wines, top tourist spots and people., It features a regular blog and carries video clips, a range of articles and industry statistics, as well as ratings and reviews from internationally respected wine critics from around the world.
“While the website is intended as a resource for local and international members of the wine fraternity, we are doing everything possible to provide a quick-stop wine and wine tourism information destination for foreign journalists preparing to cover the World Cup,” said WOSA CEO Su Birch., “The selection of images, data and general information that even includes Cape cuisine recipes and food pairings, has been based on the range and nature of queries we have been receiving from visitors to the website and will be regularly updated to give an easily accessible overview of South Africa as an exciting, diverse and quality producer.?+¦?-¼?+«+ë?+¦???+½?+¦???+¦
“From transformation in the industry to terroir, ethical trading to eco-sustainable production, history to future plans, the site gives a very comprehensive snapshot of wine in South Africa.
, “Currently we are offering some information in the major European languages, such as Spanish, Portuguese and French that are also spoken in Africa and Latin America, as well as German and Italian but we are also focusing on Filipino, Korean, Russian, Mandarin and Japanese to reach a broad spectrum of international football lovers., Swedish, other Scandinavian languages and additional Asian languages will be included in due course.”
Birch added that the Fundi project was one of the most popular features of the site and was attracting significant interest with journalists the world over tracking the progress of the initiative that aims to train 2 010 wine waiters in time for the influx of visitors for next year’s World Cup. Training is being funded through the sale of Fundi wines.
,”Despite the global credit crunch, we are making good headway with foreign sales., We are now listed on Virgin Online in the UK and have been shipping wine to Sweden, Finland and Canada., We are also hoping to secure orders from Asia., We are heartened by the high level of interest from the media, who are helping to communicate details of the initiative.”
Birch said WOSA was using social networking tools such as Twitter to access an ever-increasing number of visits to the site., “Twitter gives a taste of the type of information new to the site and encourages viewers to sign up for our newsletters, find out more about industry developments, conservation of indigenous habitat in the Winelands, access international commentary and more.”

Eikendal’s 9th House


Eikendal with its prominent vaulted cellar on the foot the Helderberg in the Cape Winelands, has released their first white wine for 2009, the silky, rich Semillon 2008.
“Each year we have a ceremonial blessing where we baptise our first wine for that specific year with a suitable name. Our Semillon 2008 was christened ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+ë9th House’ by radio personality John Maytham, owing to its ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+ëout of this world’ elegance and finesse. In Astrology the ninth house is the house that is all about travel, culture and intellectual and spiritual refinement. These features are all present in this ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+ëstellar’ wine,” explains Eikendal cellarmaster Henry Kotz+¬.
A galaxy of layered fruit aromas and well-balanced acidity was achieved through careful fermentation in small oak barrels, revealing a radiating, classic dry white wine with a luring satin texture sure to spin the senses out of orbit. More graceful than its expressive predecessor, the Eikendal Semillon 2008 has a sunrise golden glow whilst beeswax and notes of grapefruit dominate softer caramel and toffee kisses on the nose.
The wine spent six months on the lees, displaying perfect synergy between tropical freshness and maturation. Earthy minerality is a key taste element of this powerful yet lively structured wine with its lemon-honey viscosity, lashed with creamy richness, imparting an impressive mouth feel that lingers to a clean, peachy finish.
The Eikendal Semillon 2008 should be drunk young to best enjoy its fresh and luscious fruity flavours although this wine has the potential to upstage some heavyweight whites when it comes to longevity. Try this golden delight with aromatic chicken and pork dishes or with your favourite Thai cuisine. The wine also pairs well with salads and seafood and is a divine match with creamy pasta sauces.
Eikendal Semillon 2008 retails from R66 per bottle and is available at leading wine outlets countrywide or directly from the Eikendal cellar, situated on the R44 between Somerset West and Stellenbosch.
For more information or to order your Eikendal Semillon 2008 contact Tel: ,(+… or send an email to orders@eikendal.co.za.

Eikendal “delights”


Eikendal, situated on the slopes of the Helderberg in an area renowned for its acclaimed red wines, excelled at the Berlin Wine Trophy 2009 with its Bordeaux-style blend, Classique, taking the highest honours at this closely contested international challenge.

The latest 2005 vintage of this elegant blend which proudly wears the crown as the estate’s flagship red wine, clinched a prestigious Premium Berlin Gold medal at this year’s judging. The Cabernet driven Classique is one of only five South African wines to be awarded this sought after, Premium Gold medal this year.

In addition, Eikendal also scooped a silver medal for its Sauvignon Blanc 2008 at this annual contest ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ one of the largest international competitions under the patronage of International Organisation of Vine and Wine (IOV) ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ held in the capital city of Berlin.

“I’m so delighted to see that our flagship is making waves beyond our borders. The results also show that we as a country unashamedly can compete against the best international standards,” says Eikendal Cellarmaster Henry Kotz+¬.

Described by the winemaker as a ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+ëwine that personifies what Eikendal is all about’ the Classique 2005 is a sensual yet substantial wine that unfolds a layered berry bouquet harmoniously backed by an integrated oak character. Juicy ripe black fruit, infused with spicy, peppery flavours coat the palate with hints of truffle and earthy herbaceous influences pointing to a strong Cabernet Sauvignon presence.

With Cabernet Sauvignon stealing the spotlight (73%), the wine also introduces the classical touch of Cabernet franc (27%) which adds gentle fruit layers and finesse to this oak-matured cellar masterpiece.

“Owing to our favourable terroir, fanned by cooling maritime breezes and ideal soil compositions, both red varieties deliver a strong sense of varietal integrity and quality, expressed wonderfully in this full-flavoured wine,” adds Henry.

Both wines spent 18 months in new French oak barrels before they were blended together, after which further maturation continued in older barrels over a six month period. The wine was bottle aged for a year prior to its release.

Alluring with a dark brick red hue, it is a full-bodied, well-structured wine with a long elegant finish lingering on the aftertaste. Fine, silky tannins grip the pallet and provide great potential for further ageing.

Eikendal Classique 2005 is an excellent choice with robust beef, venison and ostrich carpaccio, whilst vegetarians can enjoy this red wine with roasted or grilled vegetables infused with olive oil, garlic and herbs or with a gourmet cheese platter.

The wine is available from R120 per bottle, directly from the cellar or at selected fine wine outlets and restaurants countrywide.

Pink from Nederburg


Nederburg has released its first Cabernet Sauvignon Ros+¬, a fresh, elegant and easy-drinking offering with a crisp, dry character, produced from cool-climate grapes grown in the Darling area., Launched under the Winemaster’s Reserve label, the debut 2008 vintage is being sold locally and in key international markets to slake the ever-growing thirst for blush wines.
Decanter reported recently that ros+¬ wines are predicted to grow by as much as 50% over the next three years in the UK, according to the findings of research released at the beginning of the year by the International Wine & Spirit Record (IWSR)., Meanwhile in the US, IWSR researchers are reportedly anticipating consumption of ros+¬ wines to rise to 620 million bottles within the next five years.
No longer burdened with a perceived gender bias, ros+¬ is enjoyed equally by men and women across the world and even in France, where it represents as much as 20% of all wine sales.
Nederburg’s new ros+¬ has been made under Razvan Macici’s guidance by Tariro Masayiti, who has been earning increasing acclaim for Nederburg’s white wines, including its Sauvignon blancs, all of which exhibit thirst-quenching, zippy fruit.
“Our Cabernet ros+¬, vinified as you would a white wine, has a gentle blush colour, a wonderful concentration of black currant and cherry aromas and flavours, and a racy acidity with a dry-seeming palate., Its refreshingly clean taste and 12,5% alcohol make it a versatile sipping, lunch or dinner wine., Don’t think of it as exclusively a summer drink., It has sufficient character and body to pair with not only seafoods but risottos, quail and other poultry, as well as mild, creamy cheeses, especially chevin,” says Masayiti.
Made exclusively from Cabernet Sauvignon harvested at 21?+¦?????+¦???-¬ Balling to ensure a zesty acidity, it was kept on the skins for just a few hours to impart its subtle hue. After fermentation at low temperatures, the wine was taken off the lees to retain its invigorating freshness, says Masayiti.
“The new wine is internationally styled and complements our traditional fruitier ros+¬ made in the typically South African style., It certainly does not replace it., There is a growing appetite for both options.”
The Winemaster’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Ros+¬ is expected to retail for around R41.

Grape Experts give Paul Cluver the Thumbs-Up


Melvyn Minnaar
Melvyn Minnaar

Just when press-releases pertaining to wine appear to have descended into an abyss of tedium, vinous communication has taken a new turn by perking-up statements using quotes by famous wine writers. Paul Cluver Wines from Elgin sparked the innovation with a media release on its recent Sauvignon Blanc tasting.
,In a vertical tasting of six proven Paul Cluver Sauvignon Blanc vintages from 2003 to 2008 for the trade and media in Johannesburg and Cape Town, the uncontested favourite, says respected wine writer Angela Lloyd, was the 2007 vintage.?+¦?-¼?+«+ë?+¦???+½?+¦???+¦
,”It fully lives up to this heralded white wine vintage in its refinement and complexity. It seriously advises ‘don’t drink me now if you’d prefer something more interesting in a year or three’ – or more, I’d imagine,” she continues.
“The same and even more so, applies to the 2008, although inherently it shows richer expression and more flesh (as with the 2007 vintage, there’s a 4% Semillon addition), but still needs to shed the gawkiness of youth.”
,The second esteemed wine writer gracing the media statement is Melvyn Minnaar, who confesses to being critical about Sauvignon blanc wines, he having become disaffected by the high, rough,acidity of local wines and their simplicity.
,”Local producers have so much more to learn than to play for popularity (the grassy notes, mostly, and high acid)., Taking a cue from the best producers in the world whom I met at an international conference in Grax, Austria, recently, I hope for more complexity and body and style which only improves with some age.?+¦?-¼?+«+ë?+¦???+½?+¦???+¦
,”There are very few such wines in South Africa, and I admire Cluver winemaker Andries Burger’s restraint in his.?+¦?-¼?+«+ë?+¦???+½?+¦???+¦
,”There seemed to me to be a consistency in the Cluver wines, nicely,shown in the variances offered by vintage. In other words, there is a thread running though it (Elgin Sauvignon blanc, I suppose one can call it, characterised by a ‘mountain fynbos herbiness’), but expression of vintage is allowed.
,”I was intrigued by the 2003’s gewurz-rose petal aromatics. A second bottle was better than the somewhat harsh acidity of the first. Nicely drinkable. I enjoyed the 2006 as the most drinkable with good freshness, with the 2007 as the best wine of all, showing more structure, thanks to the dash of semillon. The 2008 may also get there, but seemed a little lean for me.”
,Angela Lloyd believes that “tastings such as these give invaluable insights; it would be good to think that, even vicariously, these notes will encourage wine lovers to appreciate sauvignons older than the current vintage and not demand wines, deserving time, almost as soon as the grapes have been snipped off the vine.”
Grapes for the six vintages range from plantings from 1999 to 2004, harvested in February and March. The wines all reflect complexity from various clones ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ the tropical fruits of the 316 and 317 and the French clones 159 and 242 and green fig coming from clone 11 with clone 215 offering a combination of all flavours.?+¦?-¼?+«+ë?+¦???+½?+¦???+¦
,”The 2009 vintage, only started at the end of February, is looking very promising, says Paul Cluver.

South African wine trumps new world reds in Decanter magazine


Adama 2007, a Shiraz-based blend from Bosman Family Vineyards has been rated by UK Master of Wine Steven Spurrier as the Best New World Red in the February issue of Decanter magazine.
Spurrier, who described the wine as “fleshy yet grippy” and “explosive”, has placed the Adama alongside the likes of Chateau De L’Engarran’s Coteaux Du Languedoc (Best Old World Red), and Frederic Magnien’s Les Larrets (Best Old World White).
The Bosman’s flagship blend, Adama derives its name from Adam Appollis; one of the first workers on the Lelienfontein farm when the Bosmans acquired it in 1798. Many of the current workers are the direct descendants of Adam, or Adama as he was known; and are members of the Adama Trust, the Bosman’s empowerment partners.
Adama 2007 is an unusual blend of 85% Shiraz with Mourv?+¦???+¦?+¦-+?+¦+ëdre, Primitivo and Viognier., Additional awards won by this maiden vintage wine include a gold medal and third place overall in the 2008 Juliet Cullinan Wine Connoisseur’s Awards.
Adama 2007 can be purchased directly from Bosman Family Vineyards, visit www.bosmanwines.com.
Issued by:
On behalf of:
Pulse PR
Bosman Family Vineyards
Contact: Michelle Barnard
Contact: Carla Bosman
Tel: ,02…
Cell: ,083,965,3755,
Email: michelle@pulsepr.co.za
Tel: ,021,873,3170,
Cell: ,084,316,8867,
Email: carla@bosmanwines.com
About Adama 2007
Exotic, juicy flavours of black plums and red berries are synonymous with the 2007 Adama. This red blend with 85% Shiraz, 10% Mourv?+¦???+¦?+¦-+?+¦+ëdre, 3% Primitivo and 2% Viognier is a blending sensation with notes of vanilla and spice carrying through to an exciting palate with elegant and delicate tannins.

Fleur du Cap and the Orchid


Fleur du Cap Unfiltered Merlot, the flagship of Fleur du Cap’s award winning wines respected for their affinity with nature, has had a new Orchid named after it.

Paphiopedilum Fleur du Cap “Merlot” is an outstanding orchid of excellent breeding that has the same deep plum hues as the alluring Merlot that inspired its name. Living up to the fine reputation of its award winning namesake, Paphiopedilum Fleur du Cap “Merlot” is already making strides in the plant kingdom, with an Award of Merit from the South African Orchid Council.

“Fleur du Cap literally means flower of the Cap in French and with our slogan ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+ëWines inspired by Nature’, it is very inspirational to have a spectacular orchid named Fleur du Cap. We are very proud to be associated with this orchid and look forward to more orchids in this group of hybrids that carries the Fleur du Cap name,” said brand manager Anabelle Poggenpoel.

Many personalities or institutions have had roses named after them, but roses can be mass produced whereas no one has been able to clone Paphiopedilum orchids, which makes each plant unique. Just as each barrel of wine from the same vines may differ; when Paphiopedilum Fleur du Cap is recreated using the same parents the offspring will be distinctive in their own right.

“We needed to name the plant. Normally the colour and shape plays a big role in the naming of a plant. The colour reminded us of a good Merlot. We then thought of the similarities between growing an award winning orchid and that of growing and producing an award winning wine,” said Tinus Oberholzer of Plantae Orchids.,

Breeding of these dark coloured varieties started in the early 80’s in the United States. The term ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+ëVinicolour’ has been coined by Harold Koopowitz renowned orchid grower and hybridizer for these beauties. Vinicolour referring to the wine coloured flowers.

For the last 150 years orchids have been widely crossed in cultivation to produce over 110,000 hybrids (called grexes). Orchid hybrids can involve up to 20 distinct species from up to nine distinct natural genera. The first hybrid was made in 1854 and detailed records have been maintained since that time unlike other plant groups. When a rose gets named, it will be for a specific cultivar and many of the siblings in a cross can be given different names. With orchids all plants of the same cross (grex) will have the same name.

When you first plant the vines a lot of care and attention has to be given when selecting the variety. The choice of variety will depend on the environmental conditions of the farm, terroir and personal choice also plays a role. These plants have to be irrigated, fertilized, pruned and nurtured for a couple of years before they are ready for production. It is a game of patience. In similar vain, growing of quality orchids is a combination of hard work, perseverance and lots of loving care. One has to choose plants that will work in your growing conditions and then select a species or hybrid (grex) that in your mind might be of good quality. With some orchids, years of nurturing will go into a plant to get them from seedling to flowering size.

“It definitely turned out to be worth the effort with Paphiopedilum Fleur du Cap. This truly is a winner,” added Oberholzer.

For more information contact Plantae Orchids at plantae@webmail.co.za.