This Chardonnay from the De Wets of Excelsior in Ashton, South Africa makes a great, reasonably priced wine for restaurants and consumers alike. Chardonnay grapes were first planted in South Africa in the 1920s but the De Wets have a winemaking tradition that dates back to 1697! The soils of the Robertson area were once used for raising championship thoroughbred horses, Excelsior points out. Today, they’re used for making fine wines.
This reasonably priced ( $6/99-$8.99 retail) offers value to restaurants and customers alike.
Lime slopes near the river and the alluvial soils of the river area proved useful for growing grapes. Robertson is a warm, dry growing region specializing today in white wines. Three Chardonnay blends come together to yield flavors of green apple, pineapple and citrus. The creamy grapes are fermented in stainless steel tanks and aged for nine months. The result is a wine with smoothness, elegance and acidity. Check the wine out from http://www.capeclassics.com.
Summer, always a season for white wines, is no exception this year with warm to hot days and cooler evenings, ideal for sipping outdoors.
From South Africa, Indaba, produced and bottled for Cape Classics, is well suited to that task.
It’s a Sauvignon Blanc and this summer, is now available in new three liter boxes for the first time.
Indaba is behind a philanthropic movement created to bring early childhood education to youngsters in need in the Cape Winelands community. Visit www.indabawines.com. 00
This wine, says Bruwer Raats, the winemaker, celebrates its varietal and was crafted minus oak to preserve its original freshness and flavours. “It reflects the lifelong passion our family has for Chenin and pairs effortlessly with a variety of foods.” He particularly likes it with spicy prawn dishes, calamari, sushi and oysters, he observes. The winery is located in Stellenbosch, South Africa and is owned by Raats Family Wines.
We enjoy it with foods and all by itself, especially on a hot summer afternoon when its a welcome and delicious refresher. Visit http://www.capeclassics.com for more information.
Les Hauts de Janeil Syrah-Grenache 2015
This charming Syrah-Grenache from the Languedoc-Roussilon region of France delivers spicy hints of cinnamon and vanilla along with black cherry. The winemaker, Francois Lorton, represents his family’s fifth generation in winemaking since 1897. The Mas Janeil vineyards comprise 59 acres in Maury in the Roussilon region on the Meriterranean coast. The Rhone red blend offers notes of black fruit and licorice with strong tannins. It’s 80 percent Syrah and 20 percent Grenache, with 13.5 percent ABV. Spicy, peppery and elegant, it’s imported by Cape Classics.
B – Black Bream Pinot Noir, 2015
B Vintners Black Bream Pinot Noir comes from Walker Bay on South Africa’s Cape of Good Hope. The name, bream, comes from that of the country’s national fish, the galleon, found in inaccessible shallow areas of the coastline. It’s made by cousins Bruwer Raats and Gavin Bruwer Slabbert and reflects its red and black fruit along with hints, its makers note, of crushed oyster shells which deliver a “distinctive saline character.” The wine celebrates its heritage and terroir – soils rich in limestone – and is aged for 12 to 14 months in old French oak barrels.
Both of these wines offer value to both restaurateurs’ wine lists and diners who select them. We love wine and wine by the glass lists that offer wines that aren’t “the usual suspects”! Exploration makes for an educational and often, delicious outcome.
We have to confess, this is definitely one of our newest favorites- a beautiful white wine complex and delicious! It received 92 points from Wine Spectator and a distinguished wine writer, Jancis Robinson, applauded its elegance and combination of fruit and acidity. “This lad can make wine!” Robinson declared and we can definitely agree. The combination of fruitiness – pear and citrus – and complexity makes it a wine you’ll want to have in your cellar. It combines Roussane (26%), Chardonnay (25%), Grenache Blanc (19%), Chenin Blanc (17%) and Vigonier (13%) for a full bodied result that makes you want to return to it again and again. From Stellenbosch, South Africa, the grapes are grown in vineyards where music is played continuously and is believed to have “a beneficial effect” on the wine. We loved it and see why it won a 2015 Decanter World Wine Gold Award.
Visit www.morgenzon.com and www.CapeClassics.com.
The Kanonkop Kadette Dry Pinotage Rosé 2015 from South Africa is a traditional rosé with rich aromatic raspberry and cherry flavors from this Stellenbosch winery whose name means “Cannon Hill,” referring to the days when cannons were fired to signal the arrival of Dutch trading ships into Cape Town Harbor.
With grapes from Stellenbosch, east of Cape Town, the 2015 wine was made after a cold and wet winter with a moderate ripening period, harvested on January 28, 2015. The wine has soft tannins and complexity, with a long finish. It is 14% ABV and makes for lovely sipping on a warm summer day or evening.
A beautiful Shiraz from the Western Cape of South Africa
FRANSCHHOEK, SOUTH AFRICA – Topiary, a relatively young winery which is said to be the only French-owned one in the country, is owned by two Frenchmen, Philippe Colin and Serge Jacqzynski with backgrounds in the wine industry in their native land – Philippe as a wine farmer in Burgundy, and Serge, as a former sommelier.
This particular wine is 100 percent Shiraz, from grapes grown on 15 year old trellised vines that face south and are planted in a mix of granite and sandstone. The wine offers hints of Damson plum, mulberry, white pepper and spices such as anise, with what some critics have called “silky” tannins. It’s a wine that spends 12 months in French oak barrels, 10 percent of which are new, for aging. The rest of the barrels used are 2nd to 4th fill.
Topiary Shiraz ’14 is smooth and silky with a long finish. It’s 14.3% ABV Delicious with dark fruits, we think you’ll find it a good value at around $23 retail.