Most of the wines I drink are – alas – by necessity, under R50 a bottle. I wish I could afford more for my everyday drinking, but I just can’t.
Luckily for me, I get sent lots of lovely wines to review, so, even though it’s almost harder to be tantalised with gorgeous flavours and textures, at least it ups the quality of my 6 o’clock tipple.
So, until my ship comes in or my handsome Prince turns up, here are some of the best special occasion wines that have crossed my threshold recently. Smart wines, very smart prices.
La Motte Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (R64)
Winemaker Edmund Terblanche gets to spread his net fairly widely in search of the best grapes for this wine. It’s a combination of 7 different regions ensuring layer upon layer of complexity and a beautifully-balanced wine. Crowd-pleasing price as well and congrats to their restaurant for making it to the Top 20.
Nitida Woolworths Exclusive Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (R75)
The more I taste Woolworths wines, the more impressed I become with Allan Mullins and Ivan Oertle’s choices. Sure it helps to have all the buying clout of Woollies behind you, but only these two could inveigle such good parcels of fruit from such popular wineries as Nitida in order to create something special for their customers. Had this with my husband on a sunny Sunday and it lasted all of 15 minutes. Enough said.
De Wetshof Finesse Chardonnay 2010 (R85)
Balance, balance, balance – can one go on about this enough when you talk about Chardonnay? Luckily, there’s no need to labour this point with Danie de Wet – his wines seem to achieve this effortlessly and this one is no exception. Masterly use of old and new oak, judicious amount of lees contact and lovely Robertson citrussy/minerally fruit. Wonderful.
Diemersdal Heritage Collection Sauvignon Blanc Reserve 2012 (R90)
Thys Louw’s family have been on their Durbanville farm for 6 generations and have been at the forefront of South African Sauvignon Blanc in recent years. They make about 6 different versions and this new one honours their ancestors with plenty of Sauvvie character and a fat mid-palate. Needs time.
Bosman Family Vineyards Adama White 2010 (R105)
This is a serious contender for my Wine of the Year and anyone that wants to displace it has an uphill battle on their hands. Mostly Chenin Blanc with some other bits and pieces such as Pinot Grigio and Semillon courtesy of the Bosman’s nursery vineyards. This wine just gives so much pleasure, is so full of lively fruit balanced by creamy oak & spritzed with zingy acidity, that all it needs is good friends to enjoy it with. If I’m prepared to share…..
Radford Dale Renaissance Chenin Blanc 2010 (R175)
As I write this, I am looking forward to the Chenin Blanc Association’s round of spring/summer events starting with a conference on Heritage Day. What perfect timing – to celebrate our heritage with our national grape and this is a great example with which to do it. It’s got all the hallmarks of a classic – 50-year old, incredibly low-yielding bushvines, barrel-fermented very cool to preserve delicate flavours, two pickings to balance freshness and complexity. Serious stuff and seriously good.