This month I have found a couple of gems to share with you from bright and breezy white wines to a decadent red all the way from the Orange River, and a delicious Stellenbosch bubbly. I even threw in a very yummy wooded Chenin, which is quickly becoming one of my favourite types of wine.
Take a look
Stellar Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2015
I was introduced to Stellar Organic Winery last year and so far I’ve enjoyed everything that I’ve tasted. Their grapes come from the cool climate vineyards of Koekenaap, close to South Africa’s West Coast. Their wines are organic and vegan-friendly, and they produce a range of no-added sulphur wines as well (you’ll thank me the next day).
This Sauvignon Blanc Semillon blend has been one of my favourites for the warm summer months. I found it had a nice blend of tropical and fresh notes, which included green apple, gooseberries, limes and pineapple, and a crisp finish that lured me to take another sip.
If you are looking for a nice wine for a hot day, this one will work a treat.
Doolhof Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2015
I should perhaps start by saying that I prefer a Sauvignon Blanc that is dominated by green-fruit flavours (if I say that at a table of wine lovers I tend to get a few odd glances). I get that a tropical Sauvignon Blanc is all the rage right now but I like notes of green pepper, asparagus and freshly cut grass in my glass. It makes me think of summer next to our icy oceans.
For this reason I instantly loved this Sauvignon Blanc from Doolhof. It has a delicate green straw colour, and lures you in with tropical and green fig aromas on the nose. But then you get a crisp minerality and flavours of green pepper and asparagus, with a fresh and lingering finish. Delicious.
Fleur du Cap Unfiltered Chenin Blanc 2014
Fleur du Cap secured two old, gnarled, dryland bush vines for this wine, which delivers a low yield with concentrated and rich flavours. Grapes from Paarl were barrel fermented while those from Darling were fermented in a stainless steel tanks, after which both were aged in wood for eight months.
A wooded Chenin is a nice change from Chardonnay and delivers an interesting blend of flavours. I thought it was a beautiful fruity wine with a creamy mouthfeel, good structure and minerality, and a nice long linger. You’ll get plenty of stone fruit, especially dried apricots an peaches, with a slight marmalade/dark caramel-bitterness and a touch of spice.
Lowerland Tolbos Tannat 2015
Lowerland in the Northern Cape is in the process of converting their vineyards to certified organic, taking a natural and hands-off approach. Their desert climate and cool breezes from the Orange River deliver compact berries with deep, complex flavours and a fresh, natural acidity.
The grapes are transported overnight from Prieska to Stellenbosch where Lukas van Loggerenberg of Van Loggerenberg Wines takes it to the next phase. Their grapes are whole-bunch fermented and stomped twice a day, and after fermentation they are aged in French oak barrels for 14 months.
I found this wine absolutely delicious. I got prominent aromas of leather and tabacco on the nose, which instantly made me think of an old thatched-roof farmhouse. On the palette we tasted a pomegranate-type zestiness alongside hints of dates, dark fruit, cassis and comforting spices like cinnamon and cloves, all coming together in a nutty linger. It was elegant and interesting, and I definitely want more of it.
Lanzerac Blanc de Blancs Brut
This Stellenbosch MCC is made using the traditional Champagne method using grapes from the slightly cooler Jonkershoek valley. The fruit is pressed as whole bunches, allowing for a more delicate extraction of flavour without the harsher taste components, and it is then left of the lees (dead yeast cells) for 18 months.
We opened this MCC over the Christmas season and I loved it. You get a fresh, aromatic nose dominated by citrus and green apple, and then beautiful creamy, biscuity notes on the palette. Keep it in mind for all the upcoming romantic celebrations.
Have you tasted any delicious, interesting wines lately? Pop your recommendations in the comments section below, I would love to hear from you.