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Slow food, now... slow wine

Wine columnist Michael Olivier, introduces us to the soft, accessible and easy on the palette new wine range from Slowine...

by: Michael Olivier | 23 Jul 2007

There's a gang of four producers in the Elgin & Villiersdorp – Wine of Origin Overberg area producing Slowine – Andries Burger of Paul Cluver, Niels Verberg of Luddite, Sebastian Beaumont of Beaumont Wines and Ryan Elan-Puttick of Villiersdorp Cellars.

There's a tortoise on the label with the slogan, time becomes precious when life rushes by. The wines are all ready for drinking now – and it's so easy, they're all screwcapped.

Slowine Rosé; 2007 had quite a bit of skin contact so it's a bright sushi salmon colour and there are hints of strawberries and sweet cherries on the nose.

Soft and accessible and a lovely balance between sugar and enough acidity to give a crisp dry finish.

Swimming pool wine on a warm Sunday winters morning – makes me think of a watermelon and feta cheese salad but I can lust away, it's a couple of months before watermelon appears on the roadsides and shelves again.

The Slowine Chenin Blanc 85% Sauvignon Blanc 15% 2007 is pungent guava and cape gooseberry and delicious tropical fruits – the provenance of a yeast which is known to preserve the tropical fruit flavours.

I like a Chenin at the best of times, but spark it up with a splash of Sauvignon like this; it makes a really appealing wine to drink on its own or with a starter at a meal if it is a leaf salad or perhaps even some smoked snoek paté.

The Slowine Shiraz 2006 – matured for 12 months in Oak barrels – is typical in that there is such an array of spice on the nose followed through by bold berries on the palate where it is soft and there is such a concentration of flavour. Lovely long aftertaste – hit the roast lamb with this one!

Andries Burger – one of the Slowiners – produces the absolutely sublime Paul Cluver Wines.

International acclaim for the region
Jancis Robinson, well known British wine fundi was batting for South African whites recently when she said that she finds "a most attractive natural freshness in South Africa's white wines that, in the case of the top Chardonnays particularly, offer arguably the worlds best value alternative to white burgundy, with notably longer active lives than most other non-European Chardonnays."

One of the wines she mentions is the Paul Cluver Chardonnay. My favourite is the Paul Cluver Riesling – again a grape referred to by Miss Robinson as the producer of possibly the finest white wines in the world. This is such a brilliant food wine and one so underrated.

An excellent dry Gewürztraminer from Paul Cluver went down well in our house recently with a gentle lamb curry with a coconut milk base.

Even though the Times of India in a recent column suggested that we in the west have it all wrong and we should be drinking red wines with our curries – roll on Paul Cluver Pinot Noir – floral, strawberries, fresh mushrooms, freshly turned sod.

Such a delicious wine – chill it in an ice bucket for about 30 minutes – a quick road to heaven.


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