Hamilton Russell Vineyards Chardonnay 2016, Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, Walker Bay ($55) Seamless, harmonious and seductive. Bright, rich and vibrant with fresh acidity, great length and complexity. Refined with a refreshing minerality and a long, lifted finish. A benchmark for the region.
Yellow straw in colour with a lime tint, showing a nose of spicy apple, green nuts and a touch of barnyard. Medium- to full-bodied, dry, spicy and rich on the palate with a toasty, apple flavour and great length.
A punning label from Fairview winery that uses only Rhône grape varieties. This is a blend of Viognier, Roussanne and Grenache Blanc. Light straw in colour, it offers a minerally, peachy nose. It’s medium- to full-bodied, dry with peach and lemon flavours and a thread of minerality. Really good value.
New World wine? Fairview Cellars was established in 1693. That’s right. This is a blend of Shiraz, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Petit Syrah, Carignan and Cinsault from Paarl, aged in tanks and barrels. Ripe, juicy and smooth, this medium-bodied, easy-drinking red carries smoked meats, cherries and stewed cassis to a short, clipped finish. There’s a driving level of VA and some reduction brewing underneath the surface of this screw-capped wine that detract. That said, a partnership with smokey beef ribs will mitigate.
Shows dark berry fruit with a whiff of menthol on the nose and juicy blackberry and blackcurrant flavours, with solid, well-balanced structure, finishing firm and dry.
Elegantly scented raspberry, accented by varietal peppery spice and dry herbal notes, which evolve towards dark berry fruit and a pleasantly earthy character on the palate. Finishes with dark chocolate and a dry, tannic grip. Drinking well now but will develop further.
A blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Petit Verdot, this is a wine of great depth and character. Evolving dark fruit on the nose reveals complex notes of cinnamon, clove and a whiff of tobacco. Concentrated dark fruit flavours come in a firmly tannic structure with assertive acidity that needs time to soften. Best with another 5 years in the cellar.