Soaring Words from the Flying Winemaker
Who is the flying winemaker? Eddie McDougall is an award-winning winemaker, wine judge, columnist and host of the TV series The Flying Winemaker on Discovery Network’s TLC. Through his show and through a combination of guerilla wine tasting events, innovative marketing & media promotion, wine education classes and an active wine members club, The Flying Winemaker is changing how wine is perceived in Hong Kong and introducing the younger generation to the idea that wine is not necessarily a high-end restaurant drink.
Every month, Eddie chooses a theme for his Top Twelve tasting. His theme for October is South Africa Uncovered. Wines of South Africa extended the invitation and producers were asked to submit 12 wines for consideration. In the end, 162 wines were sent through to Hong Kong and we all sat with baited breath.
Judging by the photos posted on their facebook page, it was a tough evening of sipping, savouring and assessing. And here is the final list:
- Painted Wolf “Penny” Viognier 2014
- Painted Wolf Pictus II Shiraz 2010
- Neil Ellis Sauvignon Blanc 2014
- Asara Chenin Blanc 2014
- Rupert&Rothschild Baronesse Nadine 2014
- KWV Cathedral Cellar 2013
- Cape Dreams Pinotage 2012
- Lourensford Merlot 2013
- Nelson Estate 2008
- Rainbow’s End 2013
- Oneiric First Quantum Reserve Blend 201
- Ernie Els Proprieters Shiraz 2013
Okay, yeah, we have to say it: we are positively glowing with pride and, we are sorry to say, feeling entirely too smug at being the only producer who had two wines chosen.
Here is what The Flying winemaker had to say about our two wines:
Painted Wolf “Penny” Viognier 2014
“Painted Wolf was only introduced to us weeks before the competition and immediately became the only brand to secure two Top12 winning wines. Beautiful aromatic fruit flavours, predominantly apricot, permeate this magical Viognier. It is soft and silky on the tongue with baked pear and nectarine. Wickedly great refinement all around. Dogs are man’s best friend, but we are choosing to party with wolves because they have a cracking wine cellar! Try it against your favourite Pad Tai and saddle up for a match made in heaven.”
(Note from us: Billy and Penny Hughes were the first people to invest in Painted wolf wines, bringing their amazing organically certified Swartland grapes to us. The block is very small, and we share grapes with Billyand another winemaker. We do not have the opportunity to make this wine every year. We only produced 3300 bottles of the 2014 vintage. If you can get it – buy it and enjoy!)
Painted Wolf Pictus II Shiraz 2010
“If I lived in South Africa, this is the pack I would want to run with. Jeremy and Emma Borg are the Alphas behind this community of growers, workers and conservation savvy individuals. After letting this wine sit for a couple of minutes in the glass, strong fruit aromas hit your nose and shout “why the hell aren’t you drinking me yet”. Upon letting the concentrated fruit and beautiful spiced tannins hit the tongue and edges of your gums you regret not having dived in sooner. Full bodied but also with an earned length from great fruit at this wine’s core. This was the highest rated red in our 2015 tasting. An excellent wine for roasted poultry and mushroom sauce!”
(Notes from us: each Pictus is slightly different, so Pictus III is not the same as Pictus II. Approximately 5500 bottles of this bodacious wine were produced. Swartland Shiraz 2010 Award winner SA Top 100 Wine Awards – April 2012 and SA Top 100 wines 2013).
Thanks Eddie – fantastic to “meet” you too. You are welcome to come and run with our pack any time. Actually, Emma has a really great chance of meeting you in person as she is on a quest to expand our paw print in Asia. In early November, she will be pouring Painted Wolf wines in the South African Pavilion first at the Hong Kong International Wine and Spirits Fair, and second, at ProWine China, in Shanghai.