Original images by Katy Rose
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On the southern slopes of the Stellenbosch Hills, lies the DeMorgenzon estate. Named after the morning sun that hits the east facing hills, the estate is a patchwork of green-grey fynbos, ordered and abundant vines, and the occasional emerald green patch of lawn, edged in flowers of purple and pink. All throughout the estate, there is an air of calm confidence that comes from delivering vintage after vintage of top quality wines.
It was only upon walking around the vineyards, that I realised that the name of the Maestro range very literally refers to the classical music that is played to the vines, from speaks atop high poles, gently lapping over the plants in waves of symphonic harmonies.
Founders Wendy and Hylton Appelbaum strongly believe that the music calms and encourages their grapes into a more mature, well rounded fruit delivering a superior wine. The wine tasting got underway on the sunny stoep, and we worked our way through some exceptional white wines, both singularly and as blends.
Reserve Chenin Blanc Méthode Cap Classique
As a big name in Chenin Blanc still wines, it seems only natural that winemaker Carl van der Merwe would add a sparkling Chenin to his catalogue. Despite the obvious parallels, I am still take aback by the concept. Flavours of peach and almond cake come through the fine texture, with an acidity that is perhaps a few degrees softer than a traditional Chardonnay Brut MCC.
DMZ Chenin Blanc 2018
Bright green apples shine through on this lemon yellow 100% Chenin. This multi-award winner is everything you want in a young, Stellenbosch Chenin Blanc.
Reserve Chenin Blanc 2016
The more sophisticated sister to the DMZ, the Reserve, is a gracefully oaked wine with a confident structure that uplifts the fruit notes of nectarine, white peach with just the lightest touch of honey.
Reserve Chardonnay 2017
With a demure nose, this Chardonnay is smooth and curvaceous. Citrus zest and slight florals make this a delicious, elegant wine.
The flagship white blend is being made with increasing percentages of Roussane, in keeping up with an industry-wide shift towards lesser known varietals. Mostly Rousanne, Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay the Maestro is a beautifully balanced food wine.