Thursday, 9 July 2020

Top 10 Wines for turning 30

So I'm turning 30 this year! Actually in 2 weeks time, on the 23rd of July. I was going to travel to France to sip on Champagne & indulge in some foreign wines as a spoil. However, here we sit with the Corona Virus epidemic that has hit the entire world harder than expected & unfortunately, I had to cancel my 30th birthday trip and now I'll be celebrating alone at home. 

So, instead I've decided to share my top 10 favourite wines, that I'll be sipping on over the next month, with you. (This is honestly no easy task to narrow down a list to only 10, so it's taken some real thought & hard decision making.)

So in no particular order...

#WineRoutingWithLloyd Ataraxia

1. Ataraxia - Pinot Noir (Hemel en Aarde)
I remember sharing a glass from the 1st unlabeled bottle of 2017 with winemaker; Kevin Grant on a #WineRoutingWithLloyd trip back in 2018. The wooded red wine seems to reflect the light, whilst the nose promises a blend of ripe cherries, fresh earth & oak. And that's exactly what follows through on the palate with a soft ripe red fruit aftertaste & finish, making it an everyday wine for me. 

2. La Motte - MCC (Franschhoek) 
A beautiful mix of Chardonnay & Pinot Noir culminating in a heavenly fermented glass of fine bubbles. Soft on the palate, with a burst of flavour. Hints of citrus & baking brioche on the nose. Finishing off with a freshness that cleanses the palate to prepare it for the next sip. 

La Motte 2015 MCC

Steenberg Semillon Steenberg Garden Party

3. Steenberg - Semillon (Constantia Valley)
Aromas of honey mixed with white stone fruits hit your nose on the first smell and slowly carry through to the palate with roasted almonds developing alongside soft fruits. At the Steenberg Garden Party, I discovered that the aftertaste is everything, combining citrus & floral spices that linger the perfect amount of time between sips. Definitely a wine that's only going to get better & more complex with time. 

4. Flagstone - Dark Horse Shiraz (Stellenbosch)
Mysterious in every way possible. Like the Dark Horse. A 100% Shiraz that embodies all the best characteristics thereof. As the name suggests, a dark plum colour fills your glass with a complex combination of aromas that fill your nose - dark black fruits & dark chocolate with subtle undertones of spice. All of which follow through on the palate developing from the tip of the tongue right through to the back of the mouth ending in a smooth winning finish. 

#WineRoutingWithLloyd Flagstone Dark Horse Shiraz

Lloyd Loots Gerard Holden Holden Manz Cabernet Franc

5. Holden Manz - Cabernet Franc Reserve (Franschhoek)
A discovery that Gerard Holden introduced me to at the Winter Sculpture Fair is a rich & elegant wine that legitimately hits all the right spots. A Burma ruby has got nothing on the red that fills your glass. Ripe raspberries mixed with tobacco leaves, lavender & fresh black fruits take over as the aromas develop. And on the palate, a smooth wine with balanced savoury flavours mixed with those fresh black fruits. (Not opening my last bottle for another 8 years at least.)

6. De Grendel - Koetshuis Sauvignon Blanc (Durbanville)
Another #WineRoutingWithLloyd first. The first stop on the very first trip back in 2018 too. Pale straw  with glints of green and gold as the light passes through the glass. Something between a mix of ripe pineapple & creamy melon on the nose & the palate, that gives the wine added longevity to age for another 3-5 years whilst the complexity develops too. 

#WineRoutingWithLloyd De Grendel Koetshuis Sauvignon Blanc

#WineRoutingWithLloyd Waterford - Kevin Arnold Shiraz

7. Waterford - Kevin Arnold Shiraz (Stellenbosch)
A firm favourite dating back to 2016 when I met Kevin Arnold at a private tasting with friends. And since then, it's always been on my list. A rather complex wine on both the nose & palate with ripe red & dark fruits, somewhat earthy yet fresh. Touched off with plums & spice it makes for perfect drinking & a velvety smooth finish that's only going to get better with age. 

8. Le Lude - MCC (Franschhoek) 
There really is just something about MCC that comes out of the Franschhoek Valley. The Le Lude Non Vintage MCC I discovered on a tasting with then winemaker - Paul Gerber back in 2012/2013, just when Le Lude came onto the scene. Finer bubbles in a South African MCC I have not experienced. An elegant bubbly with aromas of citrus blossoms & fresh lime. Hints of sweet nougat & roasted almonds. But a fresh taste & feel on the palate developing flavours of grapefruit, lemon & pears. Then the aftertaste not only leaves you with wanting more, but also with honey & vanilla. 

Le Lude MCC De Hoek Country Lodge

#WineRoutingWithLloyd Leopards Leap Culinaria Chenin Blanc

9. Leopards Leap - Culinaria Chenin Blanc (Franschhoek)
#WineRoutingWithLloyd was started to discover the unique & what I found at the Chef's South African Table with the then head chef - Pieter de Jager gave me some new found respect for Leopards Leap. A Chenin Blanc that is very well defined with aromas of ripe white peaches, melons & hints of spice. A vibrant acidity in the wine complements all the flavours, but best part is the oak on the wine gives it that extra bit of structure that's going to ensure this wine ages real well if you can keep it on the wine rack for long enough.

10. Mullineux Quartz Chenin Blanc (Swartland)
A white wine that has been made to age! An interesting straw colour, with glints of a lemon yellow as you swirl your glass. The quartz ensures the beautiful mineral character hits the nose alongside some ripe citrus. These follow onto the palate with added white peaches & a somewhat creaminess whilst finishing off nice & fresh. 10 to 20 years will only give the wine more opportunity to develop enhancing flavours in the bottle.

#WineRoutingWithLloyd Mullineux Wines Quartz Chenin Blanc

So here's to sipping on some real good South African wine & celebrating 30 years. 

Monday, 29 June 2020

Flagstone - Writer's Block

So, for those of you who didn't know, Pinotage is a Proudly South African product! Pinotage is a red varietal that was cultivated right here in SA, back in 1925, as a cross between Pinot Noir & Cinsault vines. Back then, Cinsault was more commonly called Hermitage. And rightly so, Pinotage was born. 

It's always exciting to see winemakers doing amazing things with this varietal. The team at Flagstone & winemaker; Gerhard Swart has been hard at work perfecting the Writer's Block. The new 2018 vintage is available & we had a taste.

A bit of background; the Writer's Block Pinotage has been crafted from a single vineyard block, that's been planted in an exceptional area. And winemaker Gerhard Swart believes that everything about the site is special. 

A rich ruby red colour fills your glass, whilst ripe dark red fruits initially touch the nose. Blackberries & plums, followed by a bit of dark chocolate & mocha, leaving you with slight herbaceous hints of mint. 

On the lips, a very elegant full bodied wine, that is rich, yet balanced with flavours of almost overripe strawberries & black cherries. Hints of oak soften the wine out beautifully & leave you with some of that dark chocolate & vanilla aftertaste. 

A seriously bold wine that is beautifully easy drinking & that is going to age very well & will go very well with rich red meats & game. 

Check out the Flagstone Writer's Block Pinotage here.

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

De Krans Espresso N/V

A recent achievement for De Krans Wine Esate is that they were awarded the Most Innovative Wine Award for their De Krans Espresso at the Michelangelo International Wine Awards.

And we got to taste some of it! Before we get in on the action of what's in the bottle, lets chat about how it gets to the bottle. 

The De Krans Espresso is made mainly from Portuguese varietals that were planted in Calitzdorp back in the early 1970's. So you know there is some nice age & history in those vineyards. 

Handpicked from selected blocks ensure only the best grapes are used. Skins are pressed to add some beautiful colour & then matured in old 300 litre barrels. Then just before bottling, wine from different vintages are blended in a tank whilst heavy toasted oak blocks are added to give that roasted coffee mocha touch to the wine. 

Coming back to what's in the glass - a dark deep red with an absolutely beautiful initial nose of mocha & dark chocolate whilst subtle hints of violets & ripe red plums come through as the wine airs. On the palate you will naturally get those roasted coffee beans mixed with rich red fruits.

A versatile dessert wine best served chilled. However, I opted in to make a warm Espresso Martini, which in this current weather that we've been having, proved to be the perfect way to end off that Sunday lunch. 

As a Father's Day surprise, we've partnered with De Krans Wine Estate & we have 2 cases of De Krans Espresso N/V to giveaway.

Head on over to our Facebook Page - As Seen By Lloyd here to enter.

Check out De Krans Wines here.

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Janice Honeyman's Cinderella

It feels like only yesterday that I was sitting at Joburg Theatre watching Janice Honeyman's Pantomime - Jack & the Beanstalk last year! But the 2020 Panto is already lined up. With a star studded cast too!

This year, you can expect to see Cinderella on the stage of The Mandela at Joburg Theatre from October through to December. This is THE panto & is known at the fairy godmother of all pantomimes!

We all know the original story of Cinderella... But with Janice Honeyman at the helm, you know you are in for a treat with an abundance of comedy, incredible sets & hundreds of stunning costumes! The most anticipated moment in this show, is when Cinderella is transformed from rags to riches & whisked off to the ball. 

Desmond Dube is back again & alongside Ben Voss they will be starring at the two Ugly Sisters. Connie Chiume, making her panto debut as the Fairy Godmother. Kiruna-Lind Devar returns to the panto, fresh from the international stage, that saw her as Meg in The Phantom of the Opera. Kyle Grant is bound to charm audiences as Prince Charming. And what is the panto, without a bit of Graham Hopkins right?

And you can already get your tickets through! Best you do that ASAP, as a few of the 72 performances are already sold out!

Friday, 10 January 2020

KISS - End of the Road Tour

World famous Rock n Roll Legends KISS are heading to SA later this year, as a part of their final tour! After a rather epic 45-year career, the End of the Road is set to be 21 July 2021.

Selling out shows across the globe during 2019 & with huge fan demand, KISS announced further dates in June & July of 2020. With a stop in South Africa being one of them!

Known for their trademark larger-than-life performances, KISS will be performing at the TicketPro Dome on 25 July for their South Africa KISS Army fans. 

Selling over 100 million albums worldwide, is proof enough that these Rock & Roll Hall of Famers are going to bring the heat & give ups one of the most iconic live rock n roll shows. 

From the lips of KISS - "This will be the ultimate celebration for those who've seen us & a last chance for those who haven't. KISS Army, we're saying goodbye on our final tour with our biggest show yet & we'll go out the same way we came in... Unapologetic & Unstoppable!"

Tickets for the one night only rock n roll show are available from Computicket

Sunday, 17 November 2019

#OneForMeOneForYou - Nomination Italy

It's no easy feat to be in the country for less than 2 days & open the first ever Nomination Mono Brand store in South Africa & to launch the new Nomination Italy brand Campaign - #OneForMeOneForYou! And do it with style & flair to say the least. But in true Italian style, Alessandro Gensini always just seems to hit the nail on the head.

Nomination Italy, Lloyd Loots, Alessandro Gensini, Lee-Roy Wright

I got to sit down with Marketing Director & Co-Owner, Alessandro Gensini, who is the son of Paolo Gensini - the founder & Owner of Nomination Italy, to chat around the brand & find out what's the story behind the new brand campaign.

A bit around the brand. Started over 30 years ago, where Paolo Gensini once sold ice cream on the Ponte Vecchio in Florence. The Nomination brand was founded and has since then grown into a major international name that now stretches over 40 countries & 113 stores across the world. Being in South Africa for just over 10 years, they deemed it appropriate to open the first ever Nomination store on the African continent, right here in the brand new Fourways Mall.

A perfectly suited location & great brand alignment in my opinion. I do hope & wish the brand all the success in their new home here.

The new #OneForMeOneForYou campaign is more than just meets the eye. With a target market of pretty much every person that has ever been loved, been in love or felt love. It is about breaching the barriers of society that have been put in place by gender, colour, orientation & even religion. "A new generation for Nomination." - Alessandro Gensini. All human beings are the same, there are no differences when it comes to love & sharing of love. One way to share your love with Nomination is through the Composable Bracelets, and this is their new message. Check it out here.

Visiting a Nomination store is more than just shopping. It is an experience! From the customer service to choosing your own composable link that has a unique story that resonates with you. Or tells a story about an experience with a special someone, making the composable bracelet the best seller. (I think I've just some great ideas for Christmas gifts!)

The new composable link, is to dedicate to your loved one. 

Check out #NominationSAOfficial, #NominationItaly & #OneForMeOneForYou online & add your story to ours. 

Thursday, 31 October 2019

#DisneyOnIce back in 2020

Disney on Ice, is skating in to SA once again next year! And for the 1st time, we welcome: Mickey and Friends!

#DisneyOnIce Lloyd Loots

Paying tribute to Walt Disney & the True Original icon - Mickey Mouse! This Disney on Ice show is taking you back to where it all started - Steamboat Willie! Minnie, Donald & Goofy join Mickey in this modern take of the old classic & venture through meaningful Disney moments, spanning generations, to decide on their all time favourite memory!

Off on a high-seas adventure with Moana.
Into the crowd favourite wintry world of Arendelle with Anna & Elsa.
Get Emotional with Emotions from Inside Out.
Just keep swimming with Dory as she takes on the sea to find her family. 

#DisneyOnIce Lloyd Loots
Credit: Pixar

Adding an interactive element to the show, fans will have the opportunity to vote & pick outfits for Mickey & Minnie to wear during the final celebration!

Opening at the Ticketpro Dome in Joburg - Friday, 19 June to 28 June.
Then to GrandWest in Cape Town - Wednesday 1 July to 5 July.
And back to Sun Arena at Time Square in Pretoria - Thursday 9 July - 12 July.

Tickets go on sale - 4 November at 9:00 only at Computicket! (There is an added 15% on all full price tickets, if you buy between 4 & 30 November.)

#DisneyOnIce Lloyd Loots
Credit: Disney

"Each section of the show was carefully selected to immerse families in an array of beloved stories that they have grown to know & love."
This is going to be another spectacular run of one of my favourite shows! You don't want to miss out on the fun.

#DisneyOnIce Lloyd Loots
Credit: Disney

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

#TeamHeineken Experience

The #TeamHeineken Experience - an interactive set to thrill rugby fans during the Rugby World Cup 2019.

The Rosebank Mall activation demonstrates that everyone can enjoy the spirit of the #RWC2019, whether they know the rules or not!

Heineken has always aimed to create memorable experiences & bring enjoyment through all of their sponsorship platforms, & well, the #RWC2019 is no different. Heineken invites South Africans to celebrate the tournament with them. 

This experience blends Heineken's premium beer with cutting-edge technology, including a virtual reality kicking game! Naturally there are many opportunities to win Heineken & #RWC2019 merchandise. 

Get a taste of the 'alcohol-free Heineken 0.0 straight fro the revolutionary Heineken Blade draught system & stand a chance to receive a limited-edition personalised Heineken #RWC2019 bottle.

Best of all, is that the #HeinekenExperience is free of charge to anyone of legal drinking age in SA.
Doors open 10am to 6pm daily.

Along with this activation, Heineken will bring a Japanese stadium experience to SA through a final match viewing, where they will have some of SA's biggest acts performing prior to kick-off. 

Follow the hype online:
Facebook: Heineken SA
Twitter: @Heineken_SA

Monday, 21 October 2019

#SundaySociety at The Maslow

We all love a good glass of bubbly right? Well now is your chance to joing The Maslow Sandton for their Summer Social Sundays picnic. 

Languish on the lush lawns of The Maslow, under the trees whilst tucking into some indulgent treats under the summer sun. A picnic of the most lavish kind, on Sunday - 27 October 2019.

Picnic Veuve Clicquot

Partnering with Veuve Clicquot to create a sumptuous summer picnic experience. With the garden oasis backdrop, you'll be sipping on Champagne & enjoying the live band. Now that's one way to end off the weekend on a high note don't you think?

Picnic Veuve Clicquot

Included in your gourmet picnic basket is a Cape cheeseboard with fig preserve, a roast chicken & butternut salad, cheeseburger sliders, mini wors rolls & crispy jalapeƱo arancini. But that's not all. There is dessert too - strawberry & marshmallow skewers dipped in chocolate & blueberry cheesecake jars. So i can guarantee you won't be leaving hungry! For only R690 per couple, you get all of that & 2 glasses of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label. 

For bookings contact The Maslow Sandton - 010 226 4600

Summer Picnic

SA Fashion Week - #AW20

It's that time of the year again. 

South African Fashion Week kicks off this Wednesday on the rooftop of the iconic Sandton City Mall in Johannesburg. 

With 30 of SA's luxury label designers set to show us what they've got, this season is bound to be one for the books. Get ready to see what some of the biggest names in SA fashion have got coming down the runway. I'm really excited to see what Gert Johan Coetzee, De Mil, Lunar & Ephymol have in store for us. 

And the opening show on Wednesday is the New Talent Search 2019, which I think is always an exciting one. With a briefing along the lines of: Shaping the Future of Sustainable Fashion, entrants had to consider 2020 world trends to submit a 7-look portfolio combining contemporary shapes, style & construction with their creative inspiration. 

Get your tickets here

If you can't be there, get in on the online action & follow the conversations.
#SAFWLuxuryCollections #SAFWLuxury