‘Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the whole bottle.’
With spring in the air and lockdown easing, South Africans are out and about. This selection of wines is perfect for any occasion or to enjoy with a meal or during a celebration.
Bonnievale Limited Release Chardonnay
Bonnievale Wines developed around the Breede River, the life source of the area. The winery is based on a culture of innovation and collaboration that enables the cultivation and selection of the very best fruit to craft consistent, vibrant wines for confident enjoyment.
The Limited Release Chardonnay 2019 displays an aroma of a lot of citrus flavours, especially lime and grapefruit, that carry through to the palate. On the palate, the wine is crisp and fresh with a distinct flinty finish.
The French oak used to mature the wine for seven months is well integrated and supports the fruit, but also delivers a smooth rounded mouthfeel. RRP R95
Christina brut rosÉ
Van Loveren Family Vineyards is one of South Africa’s leading family-owned wineries. They are known for their range of excellent wines and a welcoming, family-friendly wine farm experience.
This is a stylish Méthode Cap Classique brut rosé sparkling wine made from Pinot Noir with elegant red berry nuances. Enjoy as an aperitif or with creamy seafood, sushi and chicken dishes. RRP R160
Rhino run cenin blanc
This lightly wooded, medium-bodied Chenin Blanc, also from Van Loveren Family Vineyards, was created to honour the white rhino. The wine has aromas of peaches and floral notes that linger gently on the palate.
The fresh and fruity Chenin Blanc goes perfectly with vegetable dishes, salads, fish and cream-based chicken entrées. RRP R75
Cape of good hope altima savignon blanc
Altima is situated in Elandskloof, an isolated valley north of Villiersdorp, which is 5 kilometres wide and is surrounded by a steep mountain range that rises 1 kilometre from the valley floor. This unique terroir produces wines with a high natural acidity and upfront aromas. The vineyards produce an intense Sauvignon Blanc with a fresh expression of passion fruit, gooseberry, citrus and freshly cut grass.
Appealing aromas of granadilla and grapefruit zest with a tinge of peach blossom too. RRP R140
Vriesenhof Unwooded Chardonnay
This is a wine style that highlights the playfulness of Chardonnay. The wine is light and refreshing and bursting with fruit − a delicate wine and a true expression of its place.
Two main types of Chardonnay are produced − an unoaked version, which is lighter, more citrusy and crisper than a Chardonnay that is matured in oak barrels − and an oaked Chardonnay, which tends to have nutty, buttery flavours on the mid-palate.
If you drink a glass of locally made Chardonnay, consider that Vriesenhof’s founder, Jan Boland Coetzee, helped to make this happen. Not only has he made some of South Africa’s greatest wines and influenced other winemakers, but he played a major role in introducing the Chardonnay grape to South Africa in 1980, while working in France.
His passion for the potential of the green-skinned grape was laid bare in a 1986 newspaper headline that read: ‘Boland Coetzee het druif gesmokkel’. At the time, the South African wine industry mostly consisted of plantings of just two other white varieties, and Coetzee and other Chardonnay-loving winemakers realised that if they waited for the establishment of a new grape variety through normal processes, the country would lag behind the rest of the world, both as producer and exporter. RRP R90
Middelvlei Unoaked Chardonnay
The urban sprawl of Stellenbosch comes to an abrupt halt in its southwestern suburb of Onderpapegaai when you enter the gates of Middelvlei. Suddenly before you lies a beautiful vineyard-strewn amphitheater overlooking the Bottelary Hills and the upper reaches of Devon Valley. This is the home of the Momberg family, who have been wine farmers since 1919.
Grapes for this wine were derived from a 10-hectare vineyard planted in 2010 on the cooler west-facing slope at an altitude of 160 metres above sea level.
The nose shows hints of lemon and peach with a touch of spice. A very refreshing mouth feel with a lingering aftertaste; a crisp wine with an appealing freshness. RRP 135