Summer, strawberries, Sauvignon, champagne and Wimbledon – all very much on my twitter timeline and on Supersport at the moment.
And whilst it’s not summer, I’m not in the UK and I won’t be eating strawberries anytime soon (cos they’re not in season and taste all woolly)
– EVERY time of year is fizz time as far as I’m concerned and even though we’ve had some horrendous days so far this winter, there’s been a few golden goodies when you can sit and sip a Sauvvie or similar in the garden.
So here’s a few summer wines to get you in the mood for all the grunts and groans of those grass court greats!
Ondine Sauvignon Blanc 2011 R60 cellar door
Ondine comes from the same place as my staple summer Sauvvie, the Alexanderfontein – the cool, West Coast around Darling. Made from selected grapes and kept back at the farm for a little extra time to allow the acidity to soften and fill the mouth, this was a glorious reminder of summer days to come when I drank it in the sunshine the other week. Pure drinking pleasure.
Groote Post Riesling 2012 R70 cellar door
This was the only Riesling to be nominated for 5 Stars in Platter last year and as we start the latest round of tastings, it’s a shame we couldn’t have tasted this wine now, because it’s tasting absolutely wonderful at the moment. It’s officially off-dry, but has so much bouncy, citrussy acidity that you don’t notice the sugar except as a wonderful, balancing richness in the mouth. Divine with curry.
Villiera Starlight Brut MCC R95 cellar door
This is a first – a light cap classique from fizz aficionados Villiera. Made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinotage, it has got less than 10% alcohol and is still dry – an unusual combination, but hugely in tune with today’s markets. It’s a light, frothy fizz with really attractive fresh citrus fruit, apples and pears.
Glen Carlou Chardonnay 2012 R90 cellar door
This has long been one of my favourite, stand-by chardonnays – utterly reliable, always delicious. And now they’re celebrating 25 years of chardonnay on the farm – what a good excuse to drink even more. They’ve done a very limited release under a special label, but this is the one I’d drink right now – lovely lemony fruit with an elegant creamy/muesli note.
Constantia Glen Sauvignon Blanc 2012 R100 cellar door
Cool, calm and collected – this is the Bjorn Borg of the wine world here (showing my age aren’t I?!!). It’s made with 10% Semillon and this year, the fruit was so perfectly ripe and balanced that winemaker Justin van Wyk decided not to use any oak as he has in previous years. Instead, he left it on the lees for 5 months to give a creamy, lemon curd edge to the wine, rounding out the lively acidity.
Fairview MCC 2011 R120 cellar door
Trust Charles Back and the Fairview gang to do something different. You’ll probably never taste another MCC like this because it’s made from Viognier, Grenache Noir and Grenache Blanc in roughly equal proportions. Yes, that’s right – forget the Chardonnay/Pinot normality – this is an interesting combination and actually very good. 18 months on the lees, a very good fizz for food.
Lismore Viognier 2011 R194.50 from Wine Concepts
Viognier isn’t actually my favourite variety so I approached this one with trepidation. I needn’t have bothered, because it had none of the things I normally dislike and loads of the things that I love to see in a wine such as balance, elegance, acidity and length. The peachiness is more perfumed, restrained white peach than blowsy cling ones, and the wine just cries out for Thai food and sushi.