A brief introduction to my favourite winemaker, El Bandito.

It was a total pleasure to meet the winemaker behind my favorite wine at my local, The Cellar in Clapham North, last night.

I love to drink it but I also love to just look at…  one look at his colourful, cool and creative brand identity and you can see why.

IMG_3048.JPGI bought a few bottles of Testalonga El Bandito ‘Cortez’ 2012 last year.

I gave some as gifts (very bloody generous on reflection… I must have been tipsy) and have one left which I’m saving for my 40th Birthday, next month.   The label is seriously sexy and a bit of a show stopper at dinner parties, as you can imagine, so I’m looking forward to diving in.  Hope she doesn’t mind.

Naked lady.JPG

Craig told me that the labels are his personal designs or photos that he’s taken and they usually have a story or a meaning… although that’s something that can be difficult to convey on a label sized canvas.

I’m kicking myself as he told me a little about the real meaning of the ‘naked lady label’ but I don’t remember the story.  I’ll do some research on this for sure. #BRB

The bottle below is the this years version of the above – ‘Cortez’.  This label is a photo of mouse that Craig managed to snap presumably around his vineyard….  he must have the reflexes of a wildcat!?

IMG_3052.JPG

I also learned a little more about wine in general as I’ve never really understood what an ‘Orange wine’ is.   Greg (the Australian ‘Wine Maester’ and Gaffer of both The Cellar and my second home, D’Vine Cellars) tells me that  Orange wines are those where the wine has been left in contact with the skins for a period of time – this becomes  ‘macerated’.

It’s certainly more interesting and to a degree, challenging, to drink.  Its pretty to look at too with a more opaque, orange look and feel .  Craig, at Testalonga in Swartland, S.A. makes several of these. The one below is a Chenin Blanc. It is utterly wonderful.

Macerated
The glass on the right is a Macerated or ‘Orange’ wine.

Anyway, I can wholeheartedly recommend that you buy and try for your yourself.

  • There’s a great interview with him, here… fascinating stuff!
  • For a behind the scenes look,  just follow him @ https://twitter.com/madefromgrapes

Also, if you’re lucky enough to live in the Clapham / Brixton area then please do pop in to either The Cellar or D’Vine Cellars and say G’day to Greg the Gaffer.

D'Vine

 

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