Diemersfontein Chenin Blanc 2009
24/12/2012: There’s a strange belief among South African wine lovers that white wines should be drunk when very young and fresh. In some cases this may be true, but age can add a wonderfully pleasing dimension to a well-made white.
This was certainly the case with a bottle of Diemersfontein’s wooded Chenin Blanc 2009 I enjoyed recently.We had brought the bottle with us to a restaurant and I was so pleased with it that I offered a glass to the restaurateur, a man who gets to taste a wide range of wines. He was blown away by it — best he’d tasted in a long while.
The three years of bottle ageing had given the wine a soft, honeyed character that melted well into the subtle vanilla notes from the oak. The fruit and acidity were still there quite boldly, having retreated slightly into the background. The finish was long and lingering, but certainly not cloying.
I enjoyed mine with a big sirloin steak and it created a perfect ensemble. Who says you should drink only red wine with red meat?
Groote Post Sauvignon Blanc 2012
02/12/2012: Every Cape winemaker seems determined to make a Sauvignon Blanc, whether the conditions are right or not.
The result, as members of tasting panels will tell you, is a huge number really terrible Sauvignon Blancs on the wine store shelves.
The main problems seems to be acidity. Why don’t producers allow the grapes to ripen properly?
One winemaker said it was because the grapes ripen unevenly, so there are usually green berries among the ripe ones. The solution for this is to pick in two or three stages — ripe,
more ripe and very ripe. But of course this takes time and expensive labour.
But every now and then a good Sauvignon Blanc comes along, and when this happens the result can be stunning.
One such successful Sauvignon Blanc is Groote Post’s 2012 Sauvignon Blanc, which was voted one of the Cape’s top 10 and also earned a gold medal in the Michelangelo International Wine Competition.
This is what a good Sauvignon Blanc is all about. Groote Post’s Lukas Wentzel got it right. It’s a deliciously juicy wine, packed with ripe tropical fruit flavours — tangy lime,
gooseberries and melon, all held together by a finely balanced but unobtrusive acidity. The finish is long and clean.
A group of 100 women recently tasted a series of wines at the Table Bay Hotel In Cape Town and voted the Groote Post Sauvignon Blanc the ideal wine to drink on a girls’ night out.
Well, I don’t know why it should be served only to the girls. Us boys would enjoy it on any night.
Clos Malverne Pinotage Reserve 2010 Basket Pressed
15/11/2012: Clos Malverne has always been a keen supporter of our flagship grape, Pinotage, both for single cultivar wines and in a “Cape blend.”
The vines from which the Pinotage Reserve grapes were harvested are 35 years old, offering beautifully smooth, dark fruit and spicy flavours.
The grapes were pressed in a basket press in the age-old way and have been matured in new oak barrels to add a layer of subtle vanilla overlay to the already intense mélange of flavours.
First impressions are of ripe red berries, these are followed by layers of spice and black pepper, with the oaky flavours forming a firm stage for the wine to dance upon.
The 2010 is fine to drink now. It’s full-bodied (14,5% alcohol) and the tannins are ripe and soft.
But I’d like to keep a few bottles for another five years at least to see how it develops.
It has the seeds of greatness in it.
Waterkloof’s Peacock Ridge Shiraz 2011
11/10/2012: I was surprised, during a recent visit to the spectacular Waterkloof estate above Sir Lowry’s Pass village, to hear the unmistakable cry of a peacock in the vineyards on the crest of a line of mountain ridges.
“Oh yes,” said winemaker Werner Engelbrecht, when I commented on it, ”They’re always up here.”
And there they were, in all their glory – a flock of wild peacocks scratching busily between the vine rows.
It’s not surprising that the wine from that part of the farm should be labeled Peacock Ridge.
Peacock Ridge Shiraz is a fine example of this always reliable grape. It’s rich and smoky and slightly savoury, with some fine, ripe berry notes coming through. I don’t think the Peacock Ridge range is made for long maturation, but this wine has all the structure to ensure a good long life in the bottle.
I’d like to put away a couple of bottles for another three or four years. I think it has the potential to grow into something quite spectacular.
Just in passing, I am sometimes asked what red wines I like best and my answer is that there are good examples of all our reds, but Shiraz is a safe choice when you’re not sure what to buy.
I have tasted truly horrible Merlots and some very thin and sorry Pinot Noirs, but I’ve very seldom come across a bad Shiraz.
When in doubt, it’s usually a reliable buy.
Two Oceans Quay 5 low alcohol grape beverages
01/10/2012: There have been many attempts over the years, to produce a low alcohol wine that tastes like the “real thing.”
Most of the results have been thin and frankly boring, but dieters and motorists are still hunting for a good one.
Latest on the market is a trio of wines in Distell’s Two Oceans range, under the label Quay 5.
There’s a red, a white and a rosé and all of them contain only 5,5% alcohol. This is unusually low, considering most table wines have an alcohol content of between 13% and 15%.
I notice the labels of all three refrain from describing them as “wine.” They’re described as “Alcoholic Grape Beverages.”
But are they any good?
The Quay 5 Rosé was the first of the trio I tasted, and I must say it was a pleasant surprise, crisp and fruity with a nice dry finish. At a suggested retail price of R28 a bottle, I think I may stock up with some to enjoy on warm summer days. It’s a pleasantly refreshing little sip.
The red version is an oddball wine and I can see why it’s called a grape beverage. It tastes like a sweetish raspberry cordial, but with a pleasantly dry finish.
If you taste it without expecting the full dark flavours of a Cabernet or Shiraz, you might enjoy it. Frankly, I found it a trifle too “cooldrinky” for my palate.
I think it was designed for the young, party-and-picnic set and it could well find a niche in the market.
The white version comes closer in character to a conventional Sauvignon Blanc or Chenin. It has a tropical fruit salad aroma, a clean, citrus flavour with hints of pineapple and guava. The finish is short, but clean and refreshing.
Served chilled, this one could be a happy summer lunch-time sipper.
I think they’ll be quite popular.
Winter’s Drift Rosé 2011
08/09/2012: Summer can’t be far off, surely! Please!
And when summer comes it’s time to enjoy our delightful rosés. Each year sees more of these attractive dry wines on the market.
Winter’s Drift, in the Elgin area, makes a pleasing dry rosé from Merlot. It’s light (12% alcohol) and crisply dry with a sweet berry aroma and a little plummy fruit on the palate. It has a nice complexity that prevents it being too simple.
It’s the sort of wine I’d enjoy on the patio with a summer lunch of chicken and salad, or simply on its own as a poolside cooler.
Groote Post Reserve Pinot Noir 2009
28/08/2012: Winemakers will tell you Pinot Noir is not an easy grape to work with. Some get it right, while there are many mediocre examples of the wine around.
The Pinot Noir vineyards at Groote Post are now 18 years old and have had time to establish a good reputation for quality grapes. Yielding only three to four tons of grapes a hectare, they produce grapes with very concentrated flavours and rich fruit without losing the savoury, forest floor character that sets Pinot apart from the rest. Interestingly, while all that flavour is there, the wine leaves the impression of delicate elegance and subtle charm, rather than pushy assertiveness.
Winemaker Lukas Wentzel says the 2009 vintage was particular good, and the wine has been matured in older oak barrels so the fruit doesn’t become overwhelmed by oak flavours.
This wine has quite a delicate flavour, but its elegant and understated style is part of its charm. It’s certainly not insipid.
I’m not surprised it scored a good four stars in the latest Platter’s Guide.
I’d like to try this with roast pork or crispy roast duck. It sells for R135 at the farm.
Constantia Glen Three 2008
19/08/2012: Named after the three classical Bordeaux grape varieties in the blend – Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, Constantia Glen’s Three is a wonderful interpretation of the French style. It’s packed with ripe, sweet blackberry and dark cherry flavours with spicy undertones of cedar wood from 16 months in oak barrels.
This is a big, hearty wine while avoiding chunkiness or heaviness. It retains its elegance and is likely to grow even smoother with a few more years. At four years old it’s really developing beautifully.
It’s the sort of with I’d like to team up with a hearty winter venison pie.It’s available from the cellar at R150 a bottle.
Groote Post Unwooded Chardonnay 2011
13/08/2012: I find Chardonnays come is two basic styles (obviously with an infinite variety in each of them). One is the toasty, butterscotch version with all its biscuity flavours from oak barrels and lees contact. The other is the more lemony-lime style, with distinctive citrus flavours and sometimes a hint of lime marmalade.
Both have their fans.
But I think it was the rather clumsy early attempts at making wooded Chardonnays that put a whole lot of people off the variety altogether. Those heavily wooded, toffee-flavoured wines were fine for a few sips, but nobody could enjoy more than a glass.
They gave rise to the group called the “ABC brigade” for “Anything But Chardonnay”.
Thank goodness there are very few of those big toffee character Chardonnays around now, as winemakers realise you can make a charming wines from Chardonnay without having to drown its character in oak vanilla.<
One of the more delightful unwooded Chardonnays I’ve tasted recently is Groote Post’s version.
Their Groote Post Unwooded Chardonnay 2011 has just been released and is rapidly finding friends.
While being crisp and fresh in style, it’s full of character, with lovely layers of lemon and lime, ginger and marmalade unfolding on the tongue. Behind all that tangy fruit is a nice soft creaminess that lingers after each swallow.
Rhebokskloof 2010 Black Marble Hill Syrah
05/08/2012: One of the most dramatic examples of packaging I’ve seen in recent years is that of Rhebokskloof’s 2010 Black Marble Hill Syrah.
The heavy black bottle is deeply etched with Rhebokskloof “R” cypher and seems, at first glance, to have no label at all.
On the back, however, the “back label” carries all the information you need about the wine. It’s understated, gold lettering on black, but it’s all there for those who want to read it.
The contents are a delight too. Dominating the wine is a melange of dark fruit flavours, interwoven with hints of cloves and cinnamon and a subtle bed of soft, understated tannins.
All the flavour components are elegantly balanced and rather restrained, making for a wine that slips down easily and leaves you looking forward to the next sip.
Serve it at an elegant red-meat dinner, shared with friends.
Knorhoek Pinotage 2009
Tierhoek Chenin Blanc 2007
10/07/2012: I enjoyed two wines this week and, interestingly, both of them carried a picture of a leopard on the label.
The leopard on the Knorhoek Pinotage 2009 guards a complex Pinotage with a dark, savoury aroma like smoked beef, followed by plenty of fresh red berry flavours much more frivolous and light than the nose leads you to expect. It’s rather a charming wine that will provide the perfect accompaniment to a succulent roast shoulder of lamb, or for those with more modest pockets, spicy meatballs in a rich gravy.
The second leopard is on the Tierhoek Chenin Blanc 2007. This is one for those who don’t believe our white wines can age well.
This Chenin is smooth and gentle on the tongue, with layers of exciting juicy fruit backed by a firm tangy acidity that keeps it from being too flippant. Five years of bottle maturation have added a slightly honeyed note. A wine of this standard deserves to be sipped and enjoyed thoughtfully to appreciate its subtle complexity.
I’d like to serve it with a crisply roasted duck with a cranberry sauce.
Or drink it on its own, with a friend who appreciates good things. Badsberg Red Muscadel 2011
22/06/2012: This is the perfect time of year to open a warming bottle of Muscadel and sip it by the fireside. Ideally a Muscadel should be enjoyed at home, because these fortified delights have a slightly higher alcohol content than most table wines, and could land you in trouble if you decided to drive home after a couple of glasses. The Badsberg Red Muscadel 2011, actually has an alcohol level of 15,5%, which is not all that high. But still. This is a wine to bring sunshine into a chilly day. It is honey-sweet and as smooth as silk, with a suggestion of rose water on the nose. The flavour just goes on and on and fades away leaving the palate almost dry. It will last for many years in the bottle, but certainly not for long in my cupboard. If you can limit yourself to just one glass of this copper-red nectar you’re a stronger person than I am. And don’t bother with titchy little sherry glasses. This deserves a proper wine glass.
16/06/2012: If you are not familiar with the wines from Leeuwenkuil Family Vineyards you’re not alone. Until very recently this farm in the Paarl region has been supplying huge quantities of bulk wine to big cellars. They have only recently decided to produce wines under their own label – and very exciting they are, too. They do not offer tasting facilities, so you’ll have to search your wine supplyiers’ shelves to find them
I have tasted three of their wines and was enchanted by each of them.
Here are my notes.
Leeuwenkuil Chenin Blanc 2011
Grapes from a 28-year-old vineyard are used to make this fresh and crisp wine, full of summer fruit without being too “cool-drinky.” Some lovely green apple flavours, with undertones of guava and passion-fruit. Long lees contact has added a serious note of butter biscuits to the harmony. Very more-ish and perfect for a patio lunch of cold meats and salads.
Leeuwenkuil Shiraz 2011
An unwooded Shiraz with a decidedly smoky nose, rich full flavours of baked apple with cloves, ripe black cherries and soft, elegant tannins.I’d like to drink this super wine with a succulent spingbok pie or a sticky rack of spare ribs.
Leeuwenkuil Family Reserve White 2011
Here’s a wine that has the whole lot – it’s a blend of no fewer than five varieties, some of which have been given some time in oak barrels.
The result is a drink simply bursting with flavour and intensity – buttery vanilla on the nose, with a suggestion of dried peaches and fynbos herbs. Huge ripe melon and peach fruit dance on the palate and the aftertaste lingers on and on, deliciously juicy and complex. I think this is a wine that will last for quite a few years, but why wait? It’s truly superb right now.I’d like to drink it with Chinese or Indian food – maybe a subtle lamb korma or crispy duck.
For those who like statistics, the blend is made up of: 50% Chenin Blanc, 20% Roussanne, %16 Grenache Blanc, 10% Clairette Blanche and 4% Verdelho
Balance Muscat d’ Alexandrie 2011
12/06/2012: Sometimes a little sweetness is called for, specially on a chilly winter’s day when your internal furnace needs all the fuel it can get.
I was enchanted with the Balance Muscat d’ Alexandrie 2011 from Overhex Wines.
The name, Muscat d’ Alexandrie, is of course just a swanky way of saying Hanepoot, which I consider a friendly, home-town sort of name for a grape. This one has a deliciously fragrant scent of lemon drops and honey and a suggestion of litchi on the tongue, along with the honey notes one expects from a good Hanepoot. It’s not a fortified wine like many Hanepoot variations. This one, in fact has a particularly low alcohol content of only 12% by volume, so it’s the sort of drink you could enjoy at lunch time and still drive home safely afterwards.
It’s a wine that would team up wonderfully with a mild Indian curry.
Glenelly Glass Collection Shiraz 2009
08/06/2012: Named after the Glenelly winery’s collection of rare antique glassware, the 2009 Glass Collection Shiraz is all I expect to find in a good Shiraz – and I do expect a lot from Shiraz. It’s my favourite red wine. This one has a smoky, toasty aroma that remind me of cosy evenings by a crackling wood fire. The flavours that unfold as you sip it are also warm and comfortable –smoky, spicy and savoury.
This is definitely a wine to enjoy in winter, with a hearty mutton stew or tomato bredie. I think it’s great to drink now, at three years old, although I suspect it will last and develop for quite a while yet.
Well, it certainly won’t last in my cellar! Winter’s here.
Haskell Vineyards Aeon 2007
04/06/2012: Only a total of five barrels of this attractive Shiraz (labelled Syrah) were made. If you’re serious about wine, get a couple of bottles while you can.
It’s a big, heady wine with beautiful aromas of dark, ripe berries, violets and new leather. On the palate there’s more than a hint of dark chocolate and spices. The tannins are just bright enough to add a bite to the finish, without being too obviously astringent.
What a treat!
The people at Haskell obviously regard this wine as something very special, as they’ve used a hefty bottle to put it in – one of the heaviest bottles I’ve encountered. You pick this one up and you really know you’ve something serious in your hand.
Certainly not a wine to be taken lightly.
Perdeberg Rex Equus Shiraz 2007
02/06/2012: Perdeberg Winery has grown in leaps and bounds from a little known co-op marketing only a handful of wines a few years ago, to an industry giant that’s racking up awards and winners hand over fist.
I was delighted to taste their Rex Equus Shiraz 2007, with its wonderful aromas of dark chocolate and savoury scents.
Obviously a carefully made wine, this one is packed with complex dark fruit favours and a nice hint of smoky spice.
It’s a wine to enjoy with a full-flavoured meat dish, like a winter stew or an ox-tail casserole.
It will probably age quite well for a few more years, but why wait?
It’s wonderful right now.
Douglas Green Saint Anna (non-vintage)
09/05/2012: The Douglas Green “Saints” range of user-friendly wines has been around for quite a while. They’re designed for easy drinking without pretension and are modestly priced.
The St Anna is a low alcohol (8%) wine full of sweet honey flavour and and blossom aromas.
At that level of alcohol you can safely drink a couple of glasses with your lunch and not have to tremble at the sight of a road-block on your way home.
This wine makes no pretense of grandness. It’s just a pleasantly sweet companion to a plate of babotie or curry and rice.
And at R30 a bottle it won’t make too much of a dent in your budget.
Lutzville Muscadel 2010
08/05/2012: I think it’s a pity so few wine lovers appreciate the versatility of our fine Muscadel wines. In most of our warmer wine-growing areas the long hours of sunshine provide us with grapes packed with flavour and sweetness that translates into a powerful and delicious wine.
Our muscadels are perfect to serve at the end of a meal, but can also be offered as an aperitif, poured over crushed ice, to start a meal.
Served in a tall glass filled with ice, a muscadel makes a perfect summer thirst quencher. Add a splash of club soda if you like.
Lutzville’s 2010 Muscadel, from the cellar’s Cape Diamond Collection, offers billowing wafts of floral honey flavours with the scent of honeysuckle and jasmine. It’s not as heavy or alcoholic as most muscadels on the market, coming in at 14,5% alcohol. This is the natural alcohol achieved simply from generous sunshine, not fortification.
I believe this fragrant wine would be the perfect accompaniment to a spicy Indian dish.
It retails at around R43 a bottle.
Badsberg Pinotage (Mocha Fusion) 2011
07/05/2012: There are several “coffee-style” Pinotages on the market now. You either hate them or love them. Purists snort indignantly at the very idea of making a coffee-flavoured wine, but the fact is they sell. And if they attract new drinkers to the world of wine, that’s a good thing. The coffee character doesn’t actually come from added coffee. That would be illegal. The coffee flavour comes from well-charred oak staves.
The Badsberg 2011 Pinotage (Mocha Fusion) certainly offers a whack of rich espresso coffee character, but there’s also a good backing of ripe plum fruit flavour to make it interesting and remind us that it is a wine, above all else. There’s a subtle savoury note in there too.
I’d drink this with a meaty pasta dish on a chilly winter’s night. At about R46 a bottle it’s pretty good value.
Rhebokskloof Semillon 2010
04/05/2012: There aren’t many straight Semillons around, more’s the pity, so it’s a rare treat to discover this very pleasant wooded version from Rhebokskloof.
Although it has been given some contact with wood, one of the most attractive things about this wine is that the wood plays a very subtle role in its make-up. There’s just the slightest suggestion of oak vanilla in the background, while the overall impression is one of fresh, peachy juiciness with a hint of lemon-drop crispness at the finish.
This is not a casual quaffer by any means. It deserves your full attention and would provide a handsome accompaniment to a full flavoured roast duck.
Expect to pay around R80 a bottle if you’re lucky enough to track some down.
Rustenburg Cabernet Sauvignon 1978.
23/04/2012: It’s always good to be pleasantly surprised by a wine you didn’t expect to be great. A friend who emigrated to America some years ago came back to clear out the last of his Cape Town possessions and, tucked away in the corner of a storage room, found a case of very old wines.
“They’re probably totally rotten by now,” said, “but take them in case any are still worth drinking.”
Among these old wines was a single bottle of Rustenburg Cabernet Sauvignon 1978.
Thirty-four years old! Could it still be any good at this stage?
We opened it with trepidation a few evenings ago. The cork came out whole, but wine-stained for its whole length. The wine was garnet coloured with a slightly amber edge to it.
It had oxidized very slightly, but there was no hint of vinegar on the nose.
Remarkably, it was velvet-smooth and subtle. It still had a gracious elegance to it, although there was little trace of the typical blackberry fruit flavour found in younger cabernets.
We sipped and enjoyed and marveled at the fact that a wine could be as pleasant as this after all those years.
It was no surprise to see the gold “bus ticket” on the bottle neck, certifying is as “Superior” by the Wine and Spirit Board.
It certainly was.
Douglas Green Vineyard Creations Sauvignon Blanc 2011.
06/04/2012: It’s interesting that Sauvignon Blanc has become such a big seller when there are so many truly nasty ones around.
Far too many winemakers are producing mean, acid little wines that threaten to dissolve the enamel on your teeth.
This is why I was so relieved to taste the Douglas Green Vineyard Creations Sauvignon Blanc 2011. Here’s a gentle, accessible quaffer with a rather shy nose offering a whiff of crushed leaves and green peas followed by lovely tropical fruit flavours, a suggestion of sun-warmed honey and yellow peaches.
It’s not a show-stopper by any means, but I don’t think it was intended to be one. It’s the kind of wine you can sip without ceremony and without doing too much damage to your bank account at around R40 a bottle.
The low (12.5%) alcohol content makes it a good lunchtime choice too.
Morgenster Lourens River Valley 2009
03/04/12: Most of the winemakers I’ve chatted to have told me the 2009 vintage was an exceptionally good one. Conditions were just right to produce grapes of really superb quality. Morgenster was lucky to escape the mountain fires that swept through some neighbouring farms, causing extensive damage to vines.
The resulting 2009 Lourens River red blend is a real treat for red wine lovers.
Make from the traditional Bordeaux varietals of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, it’s elegantly smooth and accessible now, although it show promise of a long and graceful bottle maturation.
Sniff the aroma and you get a suggestion of coffee, strawberries, fynbos herbs and cinnamon.
Dark berry fruit flavours are backed by subtle tannins – soft and smooth, but just bold enough to hold the fruit together.
The overall impression is of velvety smoothness and the finish is long and savoury.
It’s a wine just crying out to be served with a hearty Italian dish – a robust mushroom risotto, for example, or a rich lasagna.
Vergenoegd Merlot 2004
19/03/2012: I usually approach a South African Merlot with caution because, quite frankly, there are some truly bad Merlots out there.
But when a Merlot is good, it can be a real treat.
I was delighted to taste John Faure’s Vergenoegd 2004 Merlot recently. It shows what can be done if the grape is treated well.This 2004 Merlot is wonderfully smooth and velvety (as can be expected after eight years). It has warm notes of dark chocolate and blackberries and a long, almost savoury finish. It’s a great wine to serve with a plain grilled steak – or any red meat. It also proved a perfect accompaniment to a plate of roast duck. Actually, I’d prefer to enjoy it on its own, shared with a friend or two who enjoy the good stuff. It’s a friendly wine.
Lord’s Shiraz 2009
06/03/2012: Shiraz has always been a favourite of mine, so I was hardly surprised to find myself enchanted by the Lord’s Shiraz 2009, which was awarded four stars in both Wine Magazine and the Platter’s South African Wines.
The wine has that typical smoky Shiraz aroma, with a hint of savoury meatiness. The flavour is deliciously complex, with layers of red berry fruit unfolding and mingling with the smooth juiciness of very ripe plums. It’s been matured in oak, but the wood notes are very subtle and understated. The finish is lingering and tangy.
This is a wine to serve with any meat dish, or simply enjoy it on its own, shared with a friend.
Le Riche Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2008
22/02/2012: On his back label, winemaker Etienne le Riche says of his wines, “after further maturation they will be quite suberb”.
I believe he’s absolutely right, although this delightful wine is pretty superb right now. There’s a nice spicy, slightly smoky aroma with ripe blackberry scents, and the layers of flavour unfold to reveal dark berries, plums and juicy ripe fruit, all cleverly held together by smooth tannins, so they don’t slide into the “fruit bomb” category.
Most red wines produced these days are made for early drinking. It’s mainly a financial thing. Not many of us can afford to wait for years before opening a bottle of quite expensive (more than R200 a bottle) wine. Besides, not many houses have suitable wine storage facilities these days.
So, if you’re looking for a very special wine to lay down for a special occasion, the Le Riche Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2008 is one to consider.
I think it’s worth waiting for.
Rhebokskloof Estate Shiraz 2009
12/02/2012: Rhebokskloof seems to have slipped out of the limelight for a while now. The estate is better known for its restaurant and accommodation facilities than its wines.
So I was delighted to taste their Rhebokskloof Estate Shiraz 2009 recently. In a blind tasting it easily out-scored Shirazes from some prestige cellars and raised a few surprised eyebrows.
This Shiraz has a deep ruby colour, which promises an intensity of flavour. That promise certainly is fulfilled. It greets you with a waft of spice, violets and red berry fruit aromas, all of which slip across the palate elegantly and with a nice tangy freshness.
It’s drinking well now, but I believe it will settle down to gracious maturity in another year or two. This is a wine to serve with a rare, juicy sirloin steak or a rich venison pie.
Marklew Cabernet Sauvignon 2008.
Not a very widely publicized brand, but the Marklew cellar produces some real winners.
Their 2008 Cabernet is a treat. This deep ruby coloured wine greets you with aromas of cedar, dark berries and sun-dried tomato. Made in a light, elegant style, it offers flavours of souyr cherry, soft hints of cinnamon spice and a long, tangy finish.
It’s ready to drink now, but will certainly develop for at least another five years.
It’s the sort of wine that would go well with a meaty Italian pasta dish or slow roasted lamb shank served with creamy mashed potato.
Expect to pay about R80 a bottle.