Beyond the periphery of South Africa’s conventional vineyard regions lie great vinous treasures, resigned to anonymity; forgotten, abandoned or just simply undiscovered. It is the mission of Rick, our intrepid Cape Crusader, to seek out and liberate these rare wines, consigning them to the table of the most inquisitive and discerning imbiber. Each episode represents a single discovery; a precious parcel that is both unique and finite.
Rick is the alter ego of Master of Wine, Richard Kelley
Over the past 15 years, Richard has become one of the most respected authorities on South African wine in the UK and beyond. Between 1995 and 2002, he lived and worked in the Cape, witnessing the renaissance of the post-apartheid wine industry. Throughout this fruitful period, he established a healthy rapport with the great and the good of the local wine scene, affording him access to their distinguished cellars.
Some say that The Liberator conjures up images of a disguised, cloaked superhero, charging around the Winelands rescuing bottles in distress. But this is no Superman. He’s just plain Rick; a Cape crusader perhaps, but one where cloaks are exchanged for a rather tatty Harris Tweed jacket and any superhuman powers are substituted by a supposedly blessed palate.
On his regular jaunts around the Cape, Rick is confounded by the number of great wines that are resigned to a tragic fate of being blended away or disposed of in bulk. It might be an occasional experimental batch, or possibly an interesting off-cut from some proud winemaker’s latest premium release. Whatever their provenance, it’s his mission as The Liberator to procure these precious vinous orphans and consign them to a better home.
Inevitably, each wine discovered by The Liberator comes with its own story; a tale of its untimely existence. You’ll find that every release has its testimony recounted, in bottle and on screen, as a unique and evocative Episode.
Expect the unexpected …
The Liberator doesn’t adhere to any standard formula for selecting Episodes. There is no set style or quantity. No fixed price point. Rest assured that whatever the wine it’s received Rick’s own seal of approval.
Who knows where The Liberator might take us next …?