This Saturday we are heading to the other end of the earth and exploring the wines of South Africa. The warm climate blended with cool breezes off the ocean come together to make for great grape growing. Each region excels in different varietals and we’ve found some excellent examples to show that off. Take a break from the Seafair frenzy and come tour the Cape.
2011 Badenhorst, Secateurs Chenin Blanc, Swartland $14
Badenhorst is a family estate in Swartland growing old bush vines that are bio dynamically farmed. The Chenin is full-bodied yet discreet and inviting, with herbal, floral and citrus flavors.
2011 Southern Right, Sauvignon Blanc Walker Bay
The estate is located only 3 kilometres from the Atlantic Ocean and the cool breezes that come in off the ocean make this the coolest region for wine production in South Africa. The blanc has full aromas of lime and gooseberry and a touch of mineral along with flavors of lemon and pineapple.
2011 Boekenhoutskloof, Wolftrap Red, Franschoek $10
65% Syrah, 32% Mourvedre & 3% Viognier
The wine gets its name from the early settlers in the Franschhoek valley (where the Boekenhoutskloof winery is located) who built Wolftraps. The only problem is, there have never actually ever been any wolves in or around the region. The reds were fermented using selected Rhone strain yeasts. French oak matured with Viognier blended prior to bottling. Egg white fined. The wine has a spicy profile with ripe black fruit and violets with soft tannins, good density and a hint of oak.
2009 Spice Route, Chakalaka, Swartland $20
37% Syrah, 21% Mourvedre, 18% Carignan, 10% Petite Sirah, 10% Grenache and 4% Tannat
Swartland’s deep red soils sustain these unirrigated bush vines through the long warm summers. The harsh condition is tempered by cool Atlantic breezes rolling in overnight. The wine has initial smoky cloves and savory notes that give way to a plum and black cherry nose with hints of sweet oak spice.
2010 Fairview, Pinotage Paarl $15
The Fairview Pinotage is sourced from a number of different vineyards in the coastal region of Paarl. It is a classic example of this uniquely South African varietal. The wine is big and earthy with smoky aromas and lots of dark ripe fruit.