Last night I attended a SA tasting in Hove. A full house, and a great event, it hammered it home just how good SA wine can be. There were seven wines, and although I definitely preferred some to others, there was no duff bottle in the house.
We had the following:
Cape Chamonix - Cap Classique Blanc de Blancs 2009, Franschhoek – a very evolved fizz; fruit was rather mute, some notes of bruised apple and a very pronounced bready/yeasty aroma. Very dry on the palate, with that same bruised apple note and leesy creaminess, good length and a very delicate mousse. Felt quite refined!
Adi Badenhorst Papegaai White, 2018 Swartland – this is a blend of 88% Chenin Blanc and 12% Palomino, and an interesting blend it is, too. Soft peach and honeyed notes end on a dry, zesty lemony finish, with some pear notes making an appearance too. This was one of my favourites.
Delaire Graff Chardonnay, 2017 Banghoek – this was a stunning Chardonnay. Classy, restrained and well-made. Delicate oatmeal and vanilla on the nose, with some pineapple and peach. Gorgeous mouthfeel, with apple crumble, vanilla and tangerine zest that lifted it, and an incredibly long finish. This was probably the star white of the evening.
Iona ‘Solace’ Syrah, 2015 Elgin – I struggled with this one a bit. It was definitely made in the style of a Northern Rhone – the fruit was ripe, but very restrained with some damson and blackberries, and a very nice perfume. The palate was a little difficult to pin down; plummy, but very peppery – perhaps a bit too peppery for my taste. The tannins were smooth, and it had a nice bite of acidity and even a pleasant ‘smokiness’, but it didn’t feel like a harmonious wine to me.
Lanzerac Pionier Pinotage 2016, Stellenbosch- if there was one Pinotage to convert me – this was the one. There was none of the burnt rubber, charred meat sort of nose/palate; the fruit was beefy and deep, with a very lovely touch of earthiness to it, smooth tannins and a good length. But at nearly £38 a bottle, my conversion ground to a halt.
Meerlust Estate ‘Rubicon’ 2015, Stellenbosch – I don’t need to convert anyone here to this wine. What a beautiful, harmonious, ripe but elegant wine! Wowzers… I was smitten on the spot. This was definitely the winning red!
Mulderbosch Noble Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc 2010, Stellenbosch – an absolute winner for me! The colour was a stunning amber, the nose all marmalade, mango and dried fruit. The palate continued with a tangy marmalade note (actually, it tasted a bit like a liquid Membrillo!), and a succulence which was out of this world.
If only all Wednesdays were this indulgent!