Chenin Blanc, Botanica
This is one of South Africa’s best white wines! Awarded the maximum 5 stars in the influential Platter Guide for seven vintages. The dry-farmed grapes for this wine come from a vineyard in the Citrusdal Mountain region. It is fermented and aged partially in old oak barrels and has the perfect balance between richness and freshness that only great Chenin Blanc seems to achieve. Amazingly complex and will continue to develop for many years to come. Outstanding.
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Categories: South Africa, White Wine Tags: Chenin Blanc, organic, south africa
Family Vineyards Pinot Noir, Newton Johnson
This family farm was founded in the mid-1990s by Cape Wine Master, Dave Johnson and his wife, Felicity (Née Newton) and within the past twenty years has built a reputation for producing some of the Cape’s best Pinot Noir. Dave’s CWM thesis was on the variety. Add to that one of South Africa’s smartest Chardonnay’s and, more recently a pair of outstanding Rhône style wines. Right from the outset, Dave and Felicity’s offspring were involved and today it is very much Gordon, partnered by his wife, Nadia, who are responsible for the winemaking, with brother Bevan looking after the commercial side.This is always my favourite South African Pinot Noir, it just has beautiful purity of fruit and perfect balance; some richness but with bright and juicy acidity. It never fails to deliver. This will age and improve for up to 10 years but is delicious now. One of the New World's best and for a wine of this quality, the price is incredible (compare to Burgundy or California!) Great with roast lamb or pork, grilled chops, fillet steak, venison...any special meal!
Chablis 1er Cru ‘Cote de Lechet’ 2018, Gerard Tremblay
Gerard Tremblay is one of Chablis' most admired winemakers and this 1er Cru shows just why. Much richer than his (already delicious) village level wine, this has real depth and complexity and the finish is much longer. Gerard's wines go into some of the World's top restaurants, and you can see why when you taste this; there is nothing showy or modern (oaky) here, just pure elegance and class. Perfect for shellfish dishes (I seem to remember first having one of Gerard's 1er Cru wines with Langoustines in a creamy sauce at La Gavroche mmmm) as well as making simple grilled fish into a special occasion.
‘Douce Providence’ Muscat St. Jean de Minervois 50cl, Clos de Gravillas
This is a beautiful dessert wine from John & Nicola Bojanowski's organic winery in St.Jean de Minervois, deep in the Languedoc countryside. Made from that grapiest of grapes Muscat, this is floral and fruity with aromas of orange flower and honeysuckle combining with flavours of sweet pink grapefruit and mandarin. The finish has such a refreshing tang that you can drink it on its own as an aperitif, but it would also take kindly to strawberries and fruit pastries.
Southend Chardonnay, Newton Johnson
This family farm was founded in the mid-1990s by Cape Wine Master, Dave Johnson and his wife, Felicity (Née Newton) and within the past twenty years has built a reputation for producing some of the Cape’s best Pinot Noir. Dave’s CWM thesis was on the variety. Right from the outset, Dave and Felicity’s offspring were involved and today it is very much Gordon, partnered by his wife, Nadia, who are responsible for the winemaking, with brother Bevan looking after the commercial side.Southend is a single vineyard that is owned and farmed by Newton Johnson's neighbours, the Pringle family. It is a notably cooler slope, a stone’s throw across the river from NJ, with less sunshine and consequently slower ripening. It produces wines with sparkling clarity, high-toned fruit flavours, compact structure, and vibrant acidity. They preserve these features by fermenting in larger format casks that often ferment slowly in to the winter.The oak is barely noticeable here, the wine is just fresh and juicy; such an elegant style of Chardonnay by one of the New World's best Chardonnay producers. If you know people who are adamant that they do not like Chardonnay, get them to taste this! A great all-rounder, suiting simple fish and shellfish dishes as well as salads and grilled vegetables.
Three Lions Chardonnay, Plantagenet
Lovely Chardonnay from the great Plantagenet winery in the Great Sothern region of Western Australia. This sees no oak contact at all but is full of rich, juicy stone-fruit flavours. All the Plantagenet wines are extremely well-made with great balance. This is delicious!
Quando Sauvignon Blanc
Fanus and Martin Bruwer are 6th generation farmers in Robertson working 190 hectares on the banks of the Breede River, growing artichokes and citrus alongside 8 hectares of organic Sauvignon Blanc on ancient riverbed soils. The grapes are harvested by hand over four successive pickings at different levels of ripeness in order to build in complexity. The result is a dry, mineral Sauvignon, more ‘old world’ than new, but with a spectrum of both tropical and herbal flavours. Still literally made in a garage on the farm using olive oil grade plastic tanks and an old wooden wine press, it shows what a little ingenuity can achieve. Very different to the mass-produced, UK bottled Sauvignon’s that line the supermarket shelves.
Bandol Rose, Domaine de Suffrene
At Domaine La Suffrene, Cedric Gravier makes exceptional wines and is fast becoming one of the stars of the region. This rose is a bend of Mourvedre, Grenache, Cinsault and Carignan. Slightly richer and fuller in style to Rose from the Cotes de Provence further inland, this really comes alive with food. Imagine garlicky prawns from the grill, grilled tuna with tomatoes and olive oil...imagine you're on the Cote d'Azur, sitting in a restaurant overlooking the Mediteranean with Bouillabaisse!
‘O Rosal’, Terras Gauda
Terras Gauda was the first Galician winery to really make me think that World class wines could be produced here. Their vineyards are located in the subzone of O Rosal on the terraces that rise steeply above the river Miño which divides Spain from Portugal. This wine is a selective blend of the best Albariño grapes in the O Rosal subzone, mixed with the indigenous Loureira and Caiño Blanco, it is greenish-yellow, evoking white flowers and green plums on the nose and filling out on the palate with fresh grape and apple compote flavours as well as peach kernel. Edged with superb acidity and a bristling minerality this reminds me of a cross between really good Riesling and Premier Cru Chablis.The perfect wine for seafood, salads or simple fish dishes.