Mellow green fruit with discernible gooseberry and grassy herbal scents on the nose. Generously ripe green and citrus fruit emerge on the palate, with solid mineral grip and pleasantly refreshing acidity.
It was, perhaps, inevitable that when Ernie Els, the South African golfer put his name to a wine, it would be called by his nickname, Big Easy. It’s a fruit salad blend of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsaut, Grenache, Viognier and Mourvèdre. Dense purple in colour, its bouquet is an amalgam of wood spice, cedar, smoke and blackberry with a note of leather. Medium to full-bodied, it’s dry on the palate with plum and prune flavours carried on a rush of fresh acidity. A great barbecue wine.
Ripe, dense and rich, opulent black fruit, cherry jam, resin and tar coat the palate of this Syrah, Mourvèdre and Viognier blend from sandy Franschhoek. Tannins are ample and supple, squeezing the sides of this full-bodied red. There's a pretty floral lift on the end, perhaps a nod from the Viognier, though the rest of this blend is weighted down with some charcoal dust. Certainly an easy grilled meat partner.
Soft on the sides, sappy on the palate and snipped on the finish, this merlot is sourced from vineyards 20 to 60 km from the coast in Swartland, Paarl, Overberg and Stellenbosch. Fruit from these 17 to 19-year-old-vines were cold soaked and fermented in stainless with ample pumpovers. Post-ferment, 20% saw time in stainless, with the remainder in contact with wood staves. Plum and cherry jam dominate, with some wet wood, medicinal cherry on the back end, choked out with spice. Though blocky in form, the soft sides and jammy fruit will attract many cushy merlot fans.
Rich, full and creamy with smoky peach and citrus flavours, vanilla and nutty, weighty but still shows good acidity. This barrel fermented style calls for a rich pairing such as poultry in rich cream or cheese based sauces.
A blend of Chenin Blanc with Clairette, Viognier, Grenache Blanc, Sauvignon Gris and Semillon. Light golden colour with a minerally nose of quince; medium to full-bodied, dry, richly extracted flavours of quince and pear with an engaging ouch of bitterness on the finish.
The 1685 in the name refers to the date this winery was founded, and today Boschendal is one of the grandest, largest estates on the Cape. Shining with bright lemon curd, this Chardonnay was selected from Stellenbosch, Elgin and Boschendal farm in Franschhoek. Grapes were whole bunch pressed and cold settled for 2 days before some of the puffy solids were added back into the clear juice. It then underwent partial natural fermentation in 30% stainless and 70% French oak (12% new), where it remained on primary lees for 10 months. Regular battonage amped up the mouthful of this creamy wine, one already generous with wood. Thankfully there is a tight backbone of lemon and stones to right this and keep it from feeling too fat. Green apple, wood spice, and the ever present zippy citrus hold this aloft, to a warming finish. Great value for a fresh, lightly oaked Chardy.