Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Bryn is off to get his hands dirty...

Bryn Stephens is one of our specialist wine advisors here at Averys, and is approaching his last month with the company. He is off to get his hands dirty, experiencing the mayhem and carnage that is harvest time on wineries! Whilst travelling to places like Bordeaux and South Africa, he will be updating us on the ins and outs of how the wonder that is wine, is made. But for his last few weeks he will be counting down his top 6 wines from the last two years.

I have long been a fan of South African wines, indeed it was a trip to South Africa in 2003 to see my brother that I think kick started my love affair with the vine! And I’m tolerably certain that it was a bottle of 2001 reserve Cabernet from Rhebokskloof that did it… or it could have been the Baksberg Elbar….. or possibly the Kanonkop Pinotage… maybe even the friendly waitress Truschen, at Vrede en Lust (I always wonder whether she did follow her dream and open up a café in London?), but whichever experience it was out of the several hundred I had that fortnight, I was hooked. It was then a delight to find some utterly spell-binding South African wines back here in the UK.

FW de Klerk Shiraz 2004
FW de Klerk will be a name familiar to many of you. He is the man who negotiated the end of apartheid with Nelson Mandela. After he retired, he decided to make a world class wine. All in a days work eh? His small estate has only produced four vintages (of which we have three). The estate Wildepaardejacht is situated on the north-western slopes of the Drakenstein mountains. It is an utterly breathtaking part of the world, and this is a wine to match that big country!

Brooding and dark, with a great concentration of flavour and viscosity. Having said that it is very well balanced, stewed black berry fruits abound on the nose, with hints of liquorice, prune and plenty of spice. This is not a nose for the faint of heart! The palate is rich, dark and deep, with a chocolatey feel and a flavour that really coats the whole mouth. The finish is nicely balanced with a small acidic lift. Its, powerful, concentrated and hearty. It would go with a number of different things, but for me this has to be drunk with a massive slice of cow served very rare, maybe with a bit of char grilling. I’m giving this 9.5 noms out of a possible 10… nom nom nom….


  1. I should also mention that this wine is available through us at £15.99. Give one of the wine advisors a call on 01275 812230!

    Cheers all

  2. Bryn: a truly spectacular Wine Advisor who is unbelievably passionate about wine. All of the Wine Advisor Team wish him well in his wine travels and will be following him avidly through his blog.

    Bryn's top customer service and wine recommendations have always been well received by his customers and I'm sure there will be many that will miss him.

    Almost gone but not forgotten.
    All the best,
    Fiona Bailey
    Head of Wine Sales