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Vin-atics wines for April

Wine Ed. Cathy gives you all you need to know to about the Vin-atics wines for April.

by: Cathy Marston | 26 Mar 2010

Want to join in the fun? Here are the wines we tasted and some cool things to drop into conversation at your next dinner party.

Porcupine Ridge Sauvignon Blanc 2009    R36.99 from Ultra Liquor, Pick n Pay and other major retailers.

The second label wine from stellar winery, Boekenhoutskloof, the whole Porcupine Ridge range offers amazing value for money. This wine was light and fragrant on the nose with citrus notes. The acidity is nicely balanced – not too teeth-tingly – and the wine has a nice ‘weight’ to it, which is a combination of alcohol and mouthfeel. Sauvignon Blanc and goats’ cheese is a classic combination but the honeyed figs in our recipe really threw this out of kilter. Matching it with the green Thai curry was a surprise but ended up being a beautiful combination.

Dinner Party drop-in line – “I see that part-owner and cellarmaster, Marc Kent has just bought an organic farm out in Swartland – I wonder what he’s going to do with that?”

Bon Cap Organic Chardonnay 2007      RRP R60 direct from cellar 023 626-1628

Made on the oldest and largest family-owned organic farm in South Africa, this chardonnay spent 4 months in new oak barrels and is a deliciously integrated example of a wooded chardonnay. All of us were blown away by the well-balanced flavours of creamy oak/fresh yellow fruit and tangy acidity. Chardonnay is a great food partner – unwooded versions are always crowd-pleasers if you have a mix of wood and non-wood lovers amongst you. The beauty of this wine is that it is so well-balanced with none of the flavours dominating which makes it a great match for full-bodied dishes of chicken or fish.

Dinner Party drop-in line“Did you know that the Bon Cap label has information on it in Braille?”

Niel Joubert Viognier 2007       RRP  R42 selected Spars and other specialist retailers.

An off-dry Viognier with simple but delicate peachiness balanced with nice acidity and a honeyed finish. 10% of the wine was oaked which gives it added richness as opposed to oaky flavours. This version is great value for money as Viognier is a tricky grape to grow and many wine farms price it accordingly. Viognier is an excellent match for spicy food – in particular Cape Malay dishes which features fruits such as apricots and raisins. This off-dry version went well with several of the dishes on offer and was my particular favourite with the green Thai curry.

Dinner Party drop-in line – “Daan Joubert is the third generation of his family to farm in the Klein Simonsvlei farm in Paarl.”

Middelvlei Pinotage 2007  RRP R80 from specialist retailers.

Situated in the Devon Valley, Middelvlei is renowned for its Pinotages and Cape Blends. This one is a very fruity example with lots of blackberries and blueberries . The tannins are soft and gentle although this is an easier wine to have with food than on its own. Pinotage is a natural partner for South African game – and not just from a nationalistic point of view either! Dark fruits and spice are handled well by this variety and there is an essential rusticity and earthiness to Pinotage which makes it great with ostrich/springbok/kudu/whatever.

Dinner Party drop-in line  - “Did you know that Middelvlei has three wallabies on the farm?”

Hazendal Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon 2007  RRP R70 from Spar, Picardi Rebel

Owned by Russian Dr Mark Voloshon, Hazendal has a distinctly European twist to it. This wine is 55% Shiraz and 45% Cabernet and is packed with spicy berries with a chocolate undertone. Soft and elegant, I think this will be good for the next few years.This wine was a great drinker on its own but failed to really wow us when we tried it with any of the dishes. Until we came to the chocolate ganache and raspberries when we found the identical flavours in the wine and polished off the whole bottle!

Dinner Party drop-in line – “The only place in South Africa where you can find a Faberge egg!”

Stark-Condé Cabernet Sauvignon 2006    RRP R110 from specialist retailers.

American José Condé is a designer by trade but has spent the last ten years crafting fine reds on his farm in Jonkershoek. This wine contains tiny amounts of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot and is crafted for the long term with dark cassis fruits balanced by elegant structure and endless length. Cabernet Sauvignon is a classic partner for lamb – and after trying this wine, I wished we had chosen the Lamb Knuckle stew! This was easily the classiest wine of the night with lots of length, interest and flavour but didn’t particularly wow us with any of the dishes on offer that night. I would love to hear from anyone who tries it with the lamb though!

Dinner Party drop-in line – “Did you know that the winery name comes from the surnames of José and his wife?”


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