I think top of many parents’ wish list for gifts would be things like an automatic clothes-picker-upperer, a remote control so you can mute your kids when they’re arguing, a robotic sock-finder and some kind of gadget which will stop them announcing that they no longer like that cereal immediately after you’ve just bought 4 large boxes because last week it was their favourite food in the world. Are you with me on this? Thought you might be.
However – until these amazing additions to modern life leap into reality, I would suggest wine instead. Of course I would (no surprises there) but here are a few wines I’ve been lucky enough to try recently which have really made parenting very, very much better. And until we have the Tried and Tested Tastebud-Fixer in production, these are my personal choices for Mothers’ Day.
Hartenberg Sauvignon Blanc 2015 (R80 cellar door)
New packaging shows off what has long been a favourite and oft-forgotten wine from this great family-owned farm in Stellenbosch. Hartenberg is mostly about the Shiraz and it can be easy to forget that they multi-task like every mother, making great wines from many different grapes. This is just fab – zesty but not tart, fruity but well-balanced, dry but never searingly-so. All you could want in a Sauvvie at a great price.
Van Loveren Christina van Loveren Noble Late Harvest 2013 (R82 half bottle cellar door)
Are there any moms out there who don’t like a bit of sweetness from time to time? Whether it’s a lovely, sweet cuddle from your kid or a glass of something like this, it always seems to hit the spot. This top range at Van Loveren contains plenty of stunning wines but I thought I’d choose this one today. Made from Chenin Blanc and packed with pineapple, apricot and honey flavours, it’s a great way to end a meal.
Vrede en Lust Lady J Syrah 2012 (R105 cellar door)
This wine commemorates a matriarch – Johanna Buys, mother of Vrede en Lust owners Dana and Etienne - however, this wine is not just about looking back into history, but instead looking forward to the next generation. This new range celebrates the massive investment in solar systems which, along with other sustainable initiatives, has meant the farm has cut its carbon footprint to a fraction of its previous levels. The wine itself is a lovely drop – soft, juicy and smooth with really nice perfume and spice whiffs to it. A feel-good wine in many ways.
De Wetshof Finesse Chardonnay 2015 (R110 cellar door)
Sometimes wine journos like to blithely mouth off catchphrases such as ‘class in a glass’ because it rhymes and they don’t have to think too much. When I use it about this wine, take it from me that I genuinely, 100% mean it. New oak, lees contact and ripe, pure, elegant fruit combine to make this a faintly-dreamy drinking experience. It’s all wrapped up in lovely new packaging and comes in at a ridiculously-low price for this quality of wine. Class in a – well, you know the rest.
Le Sueur Barrel-fermented Chenin Blanc 2015 (R120 from De Krans cellar door)
Bet this is a new name for many of you! Louis Le Sueur van der Ruit (to give him his full name) is the winemaker at De Krans wine where he crafts really good wines mainly from Portuguese grape varieties. This is his own wine, named for his family, made from Calitzdorp Chenin Blanc – something I’d like to see more of personally. It’s been in old, old oak, had minimal winemaking intervention and is a beautifully-textured wine with real interest and bright, lively fruit.
Constantia Glen FIVE 2011 (R330 cellar door)
When you’re a parent, you need to have a LOT of patience. Like, a lot. And clearly the good folk of Constantia Glen have plenty as well as this finds them releasing 5 year old wines onto the market just when they’re starting to hit their stride. This is a Cab-led Bordeaux blend and already there are some beautiful signs of development in the softening tannins, hint of savoury olive paste and rich cooked black fruit. I really enjoyed this - thanks for doing the waiting for me!
- Cathy Marston