Notes from a brown bag tasting dinner:

2013 Boekenhoutskloof Semillon – I have been a long time admirer of this winery’s syrah, but hadn’t tasted the Semillon before. Some colour, a very Burgundian sulphur nose but with some oak and possibly very slight oxidative notes, and some melted butter. In the mouth, rich and full, with a lengthy finish. Excellent.

2010 Domaine de la Taille aux Loups Montlouis-sur-Loire Remus Plus – my wine. Lovely floral nose with waxy pear notes, smooth and long on palate, well balanced. Very good chenin. Drink up, but enjoy.

2009 Chereau-Gunther Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine Comte de St. Hubert Château du Coing de St. Fiacre – light colour with green hints, a slight pettilance in the mouth, clean, pleasant wine, perhaps on the old side.

1981 Château Canon-la-Gaffelière – medium colour, a notably cab franc nose, classic fully mature claret still in good shape with medium length finish. Don’t taste many 1981s any more, but this one was a good one.

1991 Henschke Keyneton Estate – cab, shiraz and malbec in this fully mature Aussie wine. Sweet oak and primarily cab and shiraz notes in the nose, which was slightly warm black currant and vanilla. Soft and rounded in the mouth,. Drink up and be happy!

1997 Fox Creek Shiraz Reserve – I worked my way through a half case of this and in many cases preferred it to the 1998. It is still dark and well balanced and featured ripe blackberry in the nose with hints of white pepper. In the mouth it was full and long, perhaps just a tad roasty, but very enjoyable.

2012 Boekenhoutskloof Syrah – fairly dark colour, and a sweet leather and currant nose, with some blood/iron notes, and in the mouth smooth, resolved and with good length. Good showing.

2006 Le Vieux Donjon Châteauneuf-du-Pape – in newer style than the older vintages, this presented with very good colour, dark plum and spice on palate and medium long finish. Very good but not great Vieux Donjon.

2016 Pinot Noir, Tesselaarsdal, Hemel-en-Aarde – a Cape pinot that was astoundingly bad. Sulfur overpowered the nose, and acidity did the same to the palate. There may have been something virtuous about this wine but we were unable to detect it. Hope it was just a bad bottle and that the winemaker didn’t intend it to be that way. Expensive.

2015 Dr. H Thanisch Berncasteler Doctor Riesling Spätlese – nice to finish with a Riesling. Petrol and mineral nose with sweet fruit, it had impeccable balance and good length – everything you look for in a Spatlese. Very good.