One of the best things about winter is the excuse to drink big glasses of bold red wines while gazing longingly into a crackling fire. And even though I am now only sniffing, sipping and spitting my vino while I wait for my baby to arrive, I am still indulging in the entire ambience of red wine weather. Technically we’re on the cusp of spring but it seems like winter isn’t letting up any time soon. So while the rainy days continue, we’ll be enjoying some of our favourites.
Diemersdal Private Collection 2016
This is one of my favourite red wines right now. It’s very nicely priced and absolutely delicious – which is probably why it won the trophy for the Best Bordeaux-Style Blend at this year’s Old Mutual Wine Show. It’s a rich, indulgent wine with notes of dark chocolate, berries and cassis on the nose, and a smooth, jammy palette where you’ll pick up dark fruit, vanilla and just the right amount of oak.
In general Diemersdal sees cool climate weather, which means small berries and intense concentration of flavours. I would enjoy this wine on its own but it will also works very well with a rich beef stew.
Allesverloren Três Vermelhos 2015
Allesverloren is one of the oldest estates in the Swartland region – make sure you visit their tasting room next time you visit the quaint town of Riebeek Kasteel.
They have put together a blend of Portugese grapes to create their flagship Três Vermelhos. It’s a combination of Souzão, Tinta Barocca and Touriga Nacional, delivering hints of sweet red berries, spice and dark chocolate. This wine is fantastic on its own but it also works brilliantly with food. Try it with venison, ostrich or an Indian curry.
Kanonkop Paul Sauer 2015
I recently tried this premium Kanonkop wine for the first time and I was instantly charmed. It’s a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc and 15% Merlot, matured in 100% new French oak barrels, delivering elegant, full and beautifully balanced flavours and a soft, smooth texture.
You’ll catch notes of sweet spices, cedar and tobacco with dark fruit flavours like cassis, plum and cherries. Personally it’s everything I want from a fat Stellenbosch red wine.
We also tried a 2009 version of the Paul Sauer, which made me particularly excited about the ageing potential of this wine. And if you’re paying this price, you’re looking for something that will only get better with time.
Flagstone Dragon Tree 2016 Cape Blend
This popular wine is made up predominantly of Pinotage (37%), Shiraz (35%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (21%). It’s a rich, ruby red wine with notes of dark fruit, spices, cigar box and mint on the nose, and a burst of fresh, fruity flavours on the palette.
This wine is particularly great for your dinner table. The large quantity of Pinotage makes it an easy match for most dishes – I would probably pair it with carpaccio drizzled with balsamic, duck with a plum sauce, or a fruity bobotie. Any meat meets sweet dish really.
Creation Reserve Merlot 2015
We tasted this wine at Creation in the Hemel and Aarde valley on a freezing afternoon, with rain was lashing against the windows. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect pairing.
The wine is smooth and silky, with those indulgent notes of nuts and dark fruit balanced by the brighter hints of cigar box, cloves and cedar wood. If I could afford it, I’d have it every night.