The Robertson Winery is east of Capetown in the Western Cape, home to a number of winemakers who began planting grapes in the 17th century. Robertson Winery’s Special Late Harvest Gewurtztraminer, 2014, is already sold out – a tribute to its quality and value (retail price range is $10-$12). It is 11.5 percent ABV and has flavors of peach and litchi, plus has a feature providing “extra interest,” the winemaker says, a touch of honeyed botrytis. Robertson is an extended family of 35 participating farms, most of which are seventh generation wine producers. Visit www.facebook.com/Robertson Winery. The wines are distributed by Indigo Wine Group (www.indigowinegroup.com).
This Bordeaux Blend from South Africa is made by a winery dating to 1682 when the farmland was granted to Roelof Pasman, a German settler.
Today, it’s under the ‘caretaker-ship’ of Simon Barlow, whose parents, Peter and Pamela bought it in 1914 and ran it until 1987. Simon is committed to “playing in the highest quality international wine stakes” where “passion and total dedication to quality are absolute in both vineyard and cellar.”
The wine, named for a former owner of the farm who purchased it in 1892, revitalized it and was one of the first to promote wine tourism before such a thing existed, is a stunning Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and small amounts of Petite Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc.
Grown on the steep slopes of Stellenbosch Mountain, the grapes are harvested and the wine is aged in French oak barrels. Fruit-forward with an intense aroma, it is plummy with elegant tannins, soft, yet rich. Go to http://www.indigowinegroup.com/rustenberg/#2974-tab
Rustenberg, from Stellenbosch in South Africa, markets the wine under the Ida or Rustenberg 1682 labels. Designed for easy, accessible drinking, the wine is a blend comprised of 62.1 percent Sauvignon Blanc, 21.7 percent Chardonnay, 7.6 percent Semillon, 15.6 percent Vigonier, 1.9 percent Grenache Blanc and 1.1 percent Roussane. They blend together, offering fruity notes of melon, passion fruit, and peach – a bouquet of delicate flavors. The vineyard dates to 1682 and was purchased by the Barlow Family in 1941 and lovingly passed on to the next generation which, in 1981, reinvigorated it with a new winery and imported virus-free clones and grapes to replant the vineyards. As South Africa left behind the isolation of the Apartheid years, Rustenberg took its place, growing grapes on the slopes, creating blends according to the vintage, and last year, naming Indigo Wine Group as its US importer. The wine is available in MA from Ruby Wines. Go to http://www.rustenberg.co.za