1- Strandveld Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Strandveld Estate
100% Sauvignon Blanc
A winery located in the Elim area, the most southerly wine region in South Africa and whose vines are named “cap front”, as they are close to the ocean (at Strandveld the estate’s vines are on average 6 km from the sea). The sea air brings freshness to the wine. I like to dream – it is a very personal opinion – that the air charged with iodine gives a salty taste to the wines, especially the whites.
Tasting: nose of fresh herbs and asparagus characteristic of the SB316 clone, sometimes seen as a defect, but which in reality is a marvel of purity. Beautiful freshness in the mouth and good length. It is flexible and it ends with notes of pear and citrus. It makes you want to eat grilled fish and Greek dishes … A delight!
Winemaker: Conrad Vlok, since 2004.
Cellar price: R98 (about 6.90€)
More information: www.strandveld.co.za
2- Kama Chenin Blanc 2013, from Dorrance Wines
100% Chenin Blanc
A very nice Chenin Blanc originating from the Swartland region, which is known for its more continental climate, offering elegant and fruity wines.
Tasting: nose of exotic fruits (pineapple, passionfruit), very nice, with little notes of white peach and apricot on the finish. Nice palate, ample. Good freshness and length. An elegant bitter finish that supports the wine. Delicious. Why not enjoy a lobster salad or a tuna carpaccio with it ?
Winemaker/Owner: Christophe Durand. His 1st vintage dates from 2004.
Cellar price: R100 (about 7€)
More information: www.vinsdorrance.co.za
3- Morkel Malbec 2010, Bellevue Estate
The estate is located in Bottelary in Stellenbosch – Stellenbosch being generally considered as the most famous wine region of South Africa. Bellevue Estate has beautiful clay and sandstone soils. The uniqueness of the area is to be surrounded by trees, the “Blue Gum” trees, which give to wine scents of blackcurrant.
Tasting: nose of cassis, blueberry and eucalyptus, slightly minty finish. A taste of candy and a very delicate cassis finish. Fine and supple tannins and good length. Would go very well with a rabbit with prunes.
Winemaker/Owner: Dirk Morkel
Cellar price: R95 (about 6.65€)
More information: www.bellevue.co.za
4- Trilogy 2010, Warwick Estate
A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (60%), Cabernet Franc (30%) and Merlot (10%)
Warwick, a “Biodiversity and Wine Initiative Member“, is also located in the Stellenboch region.
Tasting: nose of red fruits (gooseberry) and also blackcurrant. Slightly grassy. Very nice wine with soft and fleshy tannins. Can age very well (up to 10 years). Freshness and balance in mouth. Decant for 2 hours. Nice match with roast beef and mushrooms for example.
Winemaker: Nic Van Aarde ; Owner: Mike Ratcliffe
Cellar price: R275 (about 19.25€)
More information: www.warwickwine.com
5- Integer Syrah 2007, Hoopenburg Wines
Hoopenburg is located on the R101 in Stellenbosch, 30 minutes from Cape Town. It enjoys a temperate microclimate which brings freshness to the wines.
Tasting: nose of flowers (violet) and licorice with subtle spices on the finish. Intense and fresh on the palate. Soft tannins, ample. Fleshy fruit supported by spicy notes (black pepper). Serve with marinated venison stew… sublime!
Winemaker: Helanie Olivier, since August 2013
Cellar price: R110 (about 7.70€)
More information: www.hoopenburgwines.co.za
Well … impossible to limit myself to 5 wines … not after drinking Crystallum Paradisum!
* Crystallum Paradisum 2011, Crystallum Wines
The wine is a blend of Shiraz (50%), Grenache (38%) and Cinsault (12%), produced in the Walker Bay region.
Tasting: aromas of cherries, strawberries, blackberries and a hint of leather, cloves and cardamon to finish. Great intensity of flavour on the palate with well-integrated tannins and a balanced and refreshing finish. Nice depth. Drink within the next 2-3 years.
Owners/Winemakers: Andrew and Peter-Allan Finlayson, sons of the legendary South African winemaker Peter Finlayson, who was the first to plant Pinot Noir in the Hemel-en-Aarde valley.
Average price on internet : about 39€
More information: www.crystallumwines.com