The bedroom and lounge of the private suite in Forest Lodge, Grootbos Private Nature Reserve.
Day only, just like everyone else but rather decide when your schedule gives you the most flexibility and relax into a few glorious days amongst the floral and marine diversity that is the Southern Cape.
So what is on offer?
Stay in your own free-standing luxury suite which has a romantic canopy bed, spacious en-suite bathroom, separate lounge with fire place and mini bar as well as a wooden deck with fantastic views across mountain and sea.
Forest Lodge Boma.
All meals are included which are produced using ingredients produced by Grootbos’ own Growing The Future social upliftment program. Award winning wines from local cellars are served with seafood from Walker Bay and any dietary preferences will be taken into consideration.
Beach picnics on any of a selection of spectacular beaches and interactive coastal meanders with a guide are on offer.
There is horse riding too, led by guides and ranging from a quick outing to an extended trail where the unique flowers and birds of the Southern
Private deck of a Forest Lodge Suite.
Cape Coast can be enjoyed.
What about a 4 x 4 flower safari to experience a floral kingdom which boasts more than three times the floral species of the Amazon Jungle?
Trail walking is available, either guided or self-guided through ancient Milkwood forests or fynbos clad mountains and these suit every level of fitness and interest.
Spa treatments such as reflexology and full body massage are offered at 50% of the usual price and these can be enjoyed in the privacy of your suite or in the forest.
All of this is available at only R2,100 per person sharing for the month of February.
Personally I can’t wait to go there with my significant other and let you know about my experiences!
On the 25th May, The Royal Hotel in Riebeek Kasteel is hosting a Gourmet Food and Wine Evening in collaboration with Boekenhoutskloof, proclaimed Winery of the Year 2012 by the Platter’s South African Wine Guide.
The Royal Hotel, Riebeek Kasteel
The Royal Hotel has been a landmark in the Riebeek Valley since 1862 and current owners, Robert and Caminda Brendel are proudly celebrating the 150th anniversary of the hotel this year.
The event will consist of canapes, 3 courses and five exquisite wines.
Mini Prawn & Asparagus Springrolls with Soy Dip
Lemon Pickled Cucumber & Pepper Noodles
Pea Soup Cappuccino with Parma Ham
- Wolftrap White
Salmon Three Ways
Salmon Poached in Lemon & Ginger Butter (sous-vide)
Citrus Cured Gravlax with Mango Pesto
Seared Salmon in Sesame Oil with Pear Puree
- Boekenhoutskloof Semillon
Clouds of Wolftrap Red & Rose Sorbet
Pan Fried Beef with Anchovie & Mushroom Ravioli, Peppered Butternut Puree, Port Jus
- Porcupine Ridge Syrah
- Boekenhoutskloof Syrah
Petit Tart of Port Poached Beetroot with Chilli Spiced Berry Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream
- The Chocolate Block
- Boekenhoutskloof Noble Late Harvest
Price: R295.00 per person Gourmet Food & Wine event
R795.00 per person sharing accommodation, breakfast plus Gourmet Food & Wine event.
Book your place at the communal dining table by phoning 022-4481378 or emailing email@example.com
Full pre-payment required. Accommodation package dependant on availability.
Steenberg Vineyards have just released Steenberg Sauvignon Blanc 2011 excelling once again with one of the cultivars which has built the reputation of this Constantia Wine Valley producer. Set against the Constantia mountains and facing False Bay, the reliable rainfall, mild temperatures and granite ridges ensure that this farm creates the best of South African cool climate wines.
Steenberg Sauvignon Blanc 2011
J D Pretorius crafted this wine with a series of batches of fruit from different blocks on the farm. These were also harvested at different levels of ripeness resulting in a serious, complex wine. JD has this to say about the wine:
Our Sauvignon Blanc is a true expression of Steenberg’s unique position and terroir which is absolutely ideal for the production of this varietal. The decomposed granite soils in the Sauvignon Blanc are perfect for this grape as the soil is slightly leaner, and prohibits overly vigourous growth of the vines, which in turn promotes a naturally controlled lower yield and excellent concentration of fruit in the berries. In addition, the farm’s location near the ocean results in lovely mineral notes from the maritime influence, and traces of earthy fynbos are evident as a result of its setting within the Cape Floral Kingdom. We take great care to work with purity of fruit and allow expression of the terroir, with the aim of producing wines that show constraint and a sense of place. I believe the Steenberg Sauvignon Blanc 2011 is a classic example of this.
Steenberg Sauvignon Blanc 2011
This wine is so much more than a poolside tipple, as my significant other and I experienced as we sat on our jetty watching the sun drop behind the mountains while sipping a glass of this elegant wine. Very much a food wine, it is made to complement foods like sushi, lemon-garnished fish dishes, salads dressed with vinaigrette and Thai food. There are lovely aromas of grapefruit and green apple with different aromas coming through each time the wine is swirled in the glass. When sipping the wine there is the sensation of mouth-filling freshness and zest, and flavours of lime, green apple and ruby grapefruit. The sensations stay on the palate for the longest time – always a sign of quality in wine.
Steenberg Sauvignon Blanc 2011 sells from the cellar door at R95.00 a bottle.
Charl du Plessis describes himself as a beer drinking winemaker, preferring micro-brewed Jack Black lager. This makes sense when you consider that Charl is a scratch golfer and cyclist who has completed the Cape Epic and Cape Pioneer Mountain Bike stage races several times – what better way to quench the thirst after competing.
The Spice Route winemaker, Charl Du Plessis
Chatting to Charl at the new home of the Spice Route restaurant and tasting room on the slopes of Paarl Mountain, I asked how it was that he became a winemaker. While studying viticulture at Elsenberg College in Stellenbosch he was intrigued by the elite group of Cellar Technology students who wore t-shirts splashed with red wine and who converted an extra dormitory into a wine tasting laboratory which only they had access to. He was soon accepted into the course as one of only 10 students and remembers drinking classic 1970′s premium wines, (which formed part of research stock for the wine making course) at inter-varsity rugby games whilst most students were drinking Black Label or Carling.
Charles Back, owner of The Spice Route winery
More recently Charl was sought out by Charles Back, Spice Route owner to create his innovative wines. Charles has this to say about Charl:
The man has enormous passion for wine and pays incredible attention to detail – with talented winemakers it’s usually either the one or the other; it’s rare to find both in one. He has an incredible affinity for the Swartland and dryland viticulture.
Charles Back is one of the originators of the Swartland revolution in South African wine culture. He bought a farm near Malmesbury in partnership with Gyles Webb of Thelema, wine writers John & Erica Platter and wine activist Jabulani Ntshangase in 1997, although he soon bought over the shares of the other partners leaving him to develope Klein Amoskuil into The Spice Route Winery.
Select blocks of 40 year-old Chenin Blanc and Pinotage were retained and unusual to the Western Cape, Mediterraen varieties, were planted: Shiraz, Mourvedre, Grenache, Petit Syrah, Barbera, Tannat, Sangiovese, Zinfandel, Carignan and Tempranillo. Viognier was established as a blending component for the rich, full-bodied, Rhone red cultivars. The Portugese grape, Souzao was also planted. These vines grow in deep composite soils without irrigation and benefit from the cool effect of the Atlantic ocean breezes. The resulting wines created by Charl and his team are of exceptional quality.
Currently these are The Spice Route wines with their prices ex cellar door:
Spice Route Sauvignon Blanc 2011 – R60.00
Spice Route Chenin Blanc 2010 light – R60.00
Spice Route Chenin Blanc 2010 – R60.00
Spice Route Viognier R90.00
Spice Route Mourvedre 2008 – R75.00
Spice Route Pinotage 2009 – R90.00
Spice Route Shiraz 2008 – R90.00
Spice Route Chakalaka 2009 – R110.00
Spice Route Syrah 2007 – R210.00
Spice Route Malabar 2006 – R350.00
My favourites? The flagship Syrah 2007 and Malabar 2006. The Viognier too is utterly delightful and a great friend of food.
Flagship wine, Malabar 2007
Visiting the new Spice Route restaurant with fellow bloggers last week I was amazed at how busy it was with large groups of diners and that after being open for only a couple of weeks. Relishing Chef Philip Pretorious’ cured linefish marinated in citrus with Szechuan pepper and wasabi mousse, and the traditional Indian butter chicken with rice pilaf, fresh roti and espresso foam, makes it easy to see why foodies are talking about this exciting new destination.
All of The Spice Route wines are served by the glass in the restaurant and there is no markup. From the tasting room a Sommelier Tasting of 6 wines is on offer for R35.00 per person and a deluxe tasting of 9 wines with samples of the dishes served in the restaurant for R90.00 per person.
The Spice Route Wines are sold at Caroline’s Fine Wine Shops and also at Makro if you need them in a hurry. Why not rather take the N1 out of Cape Town and visit the relaxing destination which has been created around these special wines?
Opening hours and contact details
Open seven days a week
Sunday – Thursday – 09h00 to 17h00
Friday – Saterday – 09h00 to 18h00.
Last tasting vouchers are sold 30min (standard tasting) and 1 hour (wine & food pairing) before closing, so as to allow sufficient time to complete your tasting to the high standards of service that Spice Route sets. We don’t like to rush things!
From Cape Town on the N1:
Take exit 47 (Stellenbosch/Wellington/Klapmuts)
Turn RIGHT towards Klapmuts
At the four-way stop turn left onto R101 (follow signboard to Fairview)
After passing Simonsvlei on your right, turn LEFT into the Suid-Agter Paarl Road (follow signboard to Spice Route)
Spice Route is on your right hand side, about 4km along the road.
From 25th – 27th November, South Africa’s finest artisans will showcase their talent for the second year at Hyde Park Corner rooftop, at the corner of Jan Smuts Avenue, Hyde Park.
Talented local food artisans, winemakers and designers – handpicked to include only the best in South African products – will gather on the roof of the Hyde Park Corner from 25 to 27 November for the second annual FoodWineDesign Fair presented by Sanlam Investment Management (SIM). Guests of the boutique outdoor market will be treated to a feast of quality and originality under the Jozi summer sky.
Ross Douglas, director of Artlogic, says the fair gives a nod to the much loved ‘farmers market’ culture in South Africa.
FoodWineDesign is unique because all participants are hand-picked to take part in the fair to ensure exhibitors of the highest quality are represented over the weekend. This year, there will be more food and wine exhibitors and we encourage visitors to make a day of the fair and sample the offerings available.
Douglas says tent structures, theatre lighting, specially designed and manufactured dining and selling areas and larger than life landscaping will greet visitors.
Food Wine Design Fair
Standout exhibitors include wineland favourites, Kleinood wines and olive oil, Rickety Bridge and Vrede en Lust wine estates. We Love Real Beer will offer fine ale for those who prefer a beer, and food lovers should look out for popular Karoo based cooking school, African Relish, as well as Hijke Cheese and Honest Chocolate.
Those visiting the fair with an interest in design will not be disappointed as the lineup includes the likes of Koop Design, Shaw Sisters and Missibaba.
Sponsors SIM were drawn to the fair because it is a true celebration of the pioneering spirit of South Africa’s entrepreneurs. Candice Paine, Head of Retail at SIM, says
Artlogic’s ability to find unique and exceptional talent, particularly at grass roots level, is a great fit for SIM. Our approach to investing is to identify businesses with masses of potential – be they small or large – and support their growth over the long term. We are truly excited about the prospects within the small business space in our country.
The 5000 square meter roof-surface at Hyde Park will host the country’s top producers and will feature a seated dining area.
Friday, 25 November: 13h00 – 22h00
Saturday, 26 November: 10h00 – 22h00
Sunday, 27 November: 10h00 – 17h00
Ticket price: R80.00 per person (children under 12 get in for free), tickets available at the door and at Hyde Park Corner a week prior to the event.
Tim and Vaughan Pearson, from Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, UK, realized a family dream when they established a vineyard on the slopes of Shaws Mountain near Hermanus. Here they produce the noble varieties Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir and Syrah which are able to benefit from the cooling influences of the nearby Atlantic.
The Syrah boasts a savoury, earthy character with soft tannins which came as a surprise for such a young wine. I liked the acidity and found the wine to be well balanced. The aftertaste stays and stays with just enough spiciness to create interest without dominating the palate. My opinion is that this Syrah is a fantastic wine with great structure which is drinking well now. In another five years it should reach its full potential.
My score is 18/20 – an excellent, superior quality wine.
The alcohol is 13.77%.
The Chardonnay impressed me with the lime scent when I took that first sniff. The sensation when I sipped that first taste completely bowled me over with scintillating freshness followed by an incredible, long finish. For me this is a perfect Summer wine.
Winemaker, Riana van der Merwe, reports that it was fermented and aged in second fill, 300 liter barrels and that it only completed 30% Malo-lactic fermentation. She suggests that good food matches would be savoury dishes including fish, chicken and pasta dishes.
La Motte of Franschhoek has been voted the South African winner of the Great Wine Capitals (GWC) Best Of Wine Tourism Awards for 2012. The announcement was made today (October 27) in Mainz, Germany at a gala dinner attended by leading wine tourism practitioners from around the world.
The event was hosted by the GWC, a network of the world’s leading wine-producing countries that shares international best practice in the name of advancing standards in wine tourism across the world.
La Motte, with a history dating back over three centuries, was declared the winner in the Arts and Culture category for its impressive art museum that houses the Rupert family’s extensive collection of artworks by 20th century South African master Pierneef and other artists. However, what clinched the overall win for the winery was its consistently high performance across other categories it had also entered.
As the Best of Wine Tourism title holder for 2012, La Motte joins such iconic names in wine, such as Spain’s Bodegas Campo Viejo of Rioja, acclaimed for its wine and architecture; the famous 13th century Château d´Agassac of Bordeaux in France; the 900 year-old Dievole of Florence, Italy; Vinothek Bingen am Rhein in Germany that serves as a special visitor centre at the gateway to the Middle Rhine Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; Quinta do Portal, representing four estates in the Douro, Portugal; the lofty Bodega Atamisque, 1 300 metres above sea level at the entrance to the Uco Valley in Mendoza, Argentina; luxury resort, Meadowood of California’s Napa Valley, which boasts a three-star Michelin restaurant; and specialty boutique guides, Appellation Central Wine Tours of Christchurch, New Zealand.
GWC’s members, in addition to Cape Town-Cape Winelands, include Mainz-Rheinhessen (Germany), Bilbao-Rioja (Spain), Bordeaux (France), Florence (Italy), Mendoza (Argentina), Porto (Portugal), San Francisco-Napa (United States) and New Zealand’s Christchurch.
Coming a very close second in South Africa was Biodiversity & Wine (BWI) champion Waterkloof of Stellenbosch that won in the Architecture and Landscapes category but also scored highly across a number of other categories.
Other regional winners were Delaire Graff Lodges & Spa, situated on Helshoogte Pass near Stellenbosch, for offering the best accommodation for the second consecutive year; Waverley Hills, between Tulbagh and Wolseley (Sustainable Wine Tourism Practices, also for the second consecutive year); Tokara of Stellenbosch (Wine Tourism Restaurant) Solms-Delta of Franschhoek (Innovative Wine Tourism Experiences) and Waterford Estate in Stellenbosch (Wine Tourism Services). Waterford is a previous Wine Tourism Services winner.
Last year’s South African winner was Steenberg Vineyards. Steenberg chose former cleaner, Zelda Petrus, who is now responsible for front-of house cellar door sales, to fly to California to learn more about wine sales and marketing in the famous Napa Valley. She was hosted by Trinchero Family Vineyards and the San Francisco/Napa Valley chapter.
Speaking on behalf of the Cape Town and Cape Winelands chapter of GWC, André Morgenthal, who is also communications manager for Wines of South Africa (WOSA) confirmed that both the number and quality of this year’s entries had been higher than last year’s. This was despite the protracted downturn, which could have left producers feeling apathetic. “We are heartened by the growing support for the competition and the confidence and optimism this reflects amongst local wineries about what they have to offer visitors and wine lovers.
“There is an increasing recognition that wine tourism is a powerful tool in deepening the relationships established with consumers and not only on a face-to-face basis. It adds value, greater meaning and continuity to their engagement with wine lovers, particularly via social media channels.
“Wine lovers thirst for information that tells them what makes each winery unique. It helps them plan their visits and share their experiences with others. They want to understand what sets one producer apart from the next, not only in terms of their wines but also the ethos and lifestyle that lies behind each winery.”
Morgenthal said a recent online analysis conducted by Acceleration Media, showed that South Africa enjoyed a positive online reputation among international internet users. Many of the conversations focused on the country as a tourist destination.
This year’s judges included wine tourism specialist Margi Biggs; lifestyle and wine journalist Joanne Gibson; Joan Isham, the Biodiversity and Wine Initiative (BWI) extension officer; Marilyn Martin, former head of the SA National Art Gallery; architect Alex Robertson; food, wine and lifestyle journalist Myrna Robins; JP Rossouw, food critic and author of the annual Rossouw’s Restaurants guide, and landscaper Johan van Papendorp.
Winners and first and second runners-up in each category were:
Huge thanks to Andre Morgenthal of Wines of South Africa, one of the initiators of The Best of Wine Tourism Tours, for the invitation to join tour operators, bloggers and media representatives on one of the tours. Also to Belinda Lamprecht, Cape Town co-ordinator for the Great Wine Capitals in Cape Town who capably pulled everything together.
The Great Wine Capitals Global Network is a network of nine major global cities in both the Southern and Northern hemispheres which share a key economic and cultural asset: their internationally renowned wine regions. One of the cornerstones of the Networks’ mission is the development of wine tourism across the Network. To promote wine tourism and reward excellence the Network established an international tourism awards program in which wineries can be judged in different categories. These are: Accommodation; Wine Tourism Restaurants; Architects and Landscapes; Art and Culture; Innovative Wine Tourism Experiences; Wine Tourism Services and Sustainable Wine Tourism Practices.
The motivation to offer the Best of Wine Tours (or farm trips) to Best of Wine Tourism Awards entrants was twofold: firstly, to reach a different audience as opposed to traditional media in order to create awareness of the Best of Wine Tourism Awards and Great Wine Capitals.
Secondly, to alert wineries to the existence of this initiative, and to the value and promotional opportunities it offers, not only through possibly winning a category, but also the extended exposure via social media. These WOSA tours are unique to South Africa in the Network context and were met with applause by Cape Town’s counterparts at the CWCGN AGM last year.
Lynne and The Green Cab
The Green Cab Company was the tour transporter, an eco-innovation company which provides South Africa’s first cost-effective, aggressively green transport solution. They do this by utilising Liquified Petroleum Gas and BioDiesel.
Our first visit was to Waterkloof Wines, where the restaurant, tasting lounge and cellar are perched dizzily on the slopes of the Schaapenberg overlooking False Bay. The quality of wines here set an impossibly high standard to copy and were loved by each of us in the tour group. This farm has so much going for it not the least the fact that farming operations are bio-dynamic. I can’t wait to return to Waterkloof.
Panoramic views from Waterkloof restaurant
Hard at work - Jan Langenhoven, Di Procter, Kitty Snyman, Glenda van Blerk and Carla van der Merwe
Vergelegen Estate, Somerset West, welcomed us next in the form of wine host, Arnoux who outshone the other wine presenters of the day by far. He was passionate, engaging, knowledgeable and never in a rush to go and pour wine at the next table. Quite the opposite. He remained our host for our whole visit. Vergelegen offers innovative wine experiences and the “Camellia Inspired Tasting” was presented to us where four wines were thoughtfully paired with four Camellia blossoms. Vergelegen Estate has much to offer the visitor apart from award-winning wines. Things like garden tours, restaurants, picnics, barrel tastings, environmental walks and full moon vineyard walks.
Vergelegen Camellia Tasting
National Monument Camphor Trees
Our next wine tasting was at Rust en Vrede, Stellenbosch. What stands out about their wines is that they must have huge appeal for the wine collector who is purchasing wines to lay them down as they clearly need much time in the bottle to reach their full potential. Our wine presenter certainly knew her lines but seemed to lack interest and personal charisma.
Rust en Vrede
When I learned that tour lunch stop would be at Spier’s new organic food restaurant Eight, I was curious and excited. Our group was not disappointed – each dish ordered was delicious and of the highest quality plus Spier Private Collection Chenin Blanc was loved by all. Sitting close to the Eerste River in the beautiful Winter sunshine was such a treat. To get a feel for the light, airy feel of the setting, visit Eight’s Facebook page here. Spier offers many different attractions for visitors of all ages and backgrounds and deserves a place in the GWCGN hall of fame.
Eight at Spier
The open kitchen at Eight
Gershwin serving our table
The “dessert” stop was at The House of J C Le Roux for a sparkling wine, marshmallow and meringue pairing featuring five sparkling wines. Certainly innovative in their approach, the tasting room setting and products will be popular with trendy, Generation Y wine lovers.
New kid on the block at Eikendal Vineyards, a 30-year old Stellenbosch farm, is Nico Grobler who is currently the winemaker since the 2009 vintage, although he has six years experience of the vineyards and terroir there. Nico has also worked at a Burgundy producer in Cote de Challonaise and that exposure reflects in the evolution of Eikendal Chardonnay from the 2008 vintage through to the current 2010. The older vintages of this wine never seem to express the freshness of the variety due to the overt use of oak whereas the 2010 release has aromas of butter and lime and on the palate is fresh, round and smooth with a long finish of grapefruit and lime.
A technique used by Nico in the latest two vintages was to pick the fruit at three different stages of ripeness – (19.5 degrees Balling – 23 degrees Balling) resulting in freshness as well as richness in the finished wine.
Nico discusses the Eikendal Chardonnay 2009 in this video.
Also presented by Nico were the Eikendal Classique Red Blends 2005, 2006 and 2008 vintages. The 2008 blend consists of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc. Having more merlot in the equation creates a more old-world style of wine which I find to be classy, understated and well balanced. The tannins are soft while the finish stays and stays.
Food pairings are medium rare medallions of fillet or Carpaccio with fresh beetroot and even a rich chocolate and berry tart.
Eikendal Classique is sold from the farm for R150.00. The chardonnay is sadly sold out so keep a look out for the release of 2011.
Steenberg Vineyards was first farmed by Catharina Ustings Ras, a controversial, daring immigrant
Steenberg H.M.S. Echo Red Blend 2009
from the German Baltic coast who was granted a parcel of land in 1682 by Simon Van Der Stel, making it the oldest in the Constantia Valley.
A new release from winemaker J.D. Pretorius is the third in the H.M.S. trio of wines named for battleships which were deployed during the Battle of Muizenberg in the first British Occupation of the Cape – Steenberg H.M.S. Echo Red Blend 2009. The other two wines are Steenberg H.M.S. Sphynx Chardonnay 2010 and Steenberg H.M.S. Rattlesnake Sauvignon Blanc 2010.
H.M.S. Echo is a blend of 62% Merlot, 24% Cabernet Franc and 14% Cabernet Sauvignon. The grapes were sourced from Constantia, Robertson and Darling and each cultivar was fermented separately before spending 20 months in third-fill French barrels.
This wine is a joy to drink – aromas of peppermint and chocolate burst out of the glass.
This is a delicious, voluptuous, well balanced wine with a finish that lasts forever.
It paired very well with char-grilled T-bone steak as well as with char-grilled ostrich steak. Other great food matches would be roasted lamb with garlic and rosemary; beef and because of the minty flavour, will also work well with turkey and its traditional sweet trimmings.
On the other hand I could very happily drink it paired with only itself.
I rate this wine 18/20 – an excellent superior quality wine.
The alcohol is 14%
The cellar door price is R80.00 or R480.00 per six bottle case.
Cellar master at Constantia Glen since November 2006 is Karl Lambour whose mentor is none
Constantia Glen setting
other than ex Cheval Blanc co-owner, Dominique Hebrard.This winning duo consistently craft wines that are age worthy, premium wines amongst the best coming out of South Africa.
To keep it simple, there are three wines in the range headed up by the flagship Constantia Glen Five 2007. This classic Merlot 32% and Cabernet Sauvignon 27% led Bordeaux blend with Malbec 18%, Petit Verdot 11.5% and Cabernet Franc 11.5%, was named Best in Class 2009 IWSC; 4.5 stars Platter’s South African Wines 2011; gold medal 2009 Tri Nations Challenge; 89 points Wine Enthusiast; 89 points Wine Spectator and many more accolades besides.
This multi-faceted wine develops after being decanted and displays cedar wood and blackcurrant aromas. These are mirrored on the palate. An elegant, refined and classy wine which complements beef fillet; oven roasted quail with Parma ham or tuna steaks.
My drinking buddies from left, Liz Cotton, Rose Duggan & Jude Van Blerk
Constantia Glen Three 2007, formerly called Constantia Saddle, comprises Cabernet Sauvignon 39%, Cabernet Franc 38% and Merlot 23% and was named Best in Class 2009 IWSC and also achieved 4.5 stars in Platter’s South African Wines 2011 plus more.
The complex nose of this wine reveals aromas of pencil shavings and blackberries with dark chocolate and cedar tones. Pan-fried venison medallions with orange zest, black pepper and juniper berries; rosemary grilled lamb chops or smoked duck breast all work well with this wine.
The final wine in the trio is a fresh, impeccably balanced and classically styled Sauvignon Blanc 2009. The concentrated aromas of this wine are of guava, greengage and kiwi fruits. The palate reveals yellow fruit flavours, tempered acidity and a creamy finish. Foods to pair it with are asparagus with olive and orange butter; fresh tuna or chicken with prosciutto.
Constantia Glen is situated as the names infers, in the Constantia Wine Valley where wine production began in South Africa in 1685.
Dr Alexander Waibel, sales executive for Asia and Europe explains more here about the terroir and philosophy of Constantia Glen.
For spectacular views and beautiful wine, visit the tasting room which is open on Mondays – Fridays from 10h00 – 17h00 and on Saturdays from 09h00 – 16h00.
We took a dip and ordered The Pepper Pot from Edgebaston off a restaurant menu. When we
The Pepper Pot
noted from the description that this was one of David Finlayson’s creations we knew we were in for a treat.
The Finlaysons had been a huge influence on the South African wine industry for three generations since Dr Maurice Finlayson, a pathologist from Inverness, Scotland, started a wine business at Hartenberg, Stellenbosch. His son Walter started and built up Glen Carlou in Paarl. He was soon joined by his son David and in time Glen Carlou was sold to the Hess Family Estates and the Finlaysons have since been crafting accoladed wines on Edgebaston family farm.
This unusual blend Syrah 46%, Mourvedre 46 % and Tannat 8% is brash, bold, in your face and a great boerewors wine. The coriander and allspice in this traditional South African sausage enhance the white pepper flavour in the wine. On its own The Pepper Pot has a surprisingly dominant blueberry flavour and is very smooth.
My rating of this wine is 15/20 – a good quality, well made wine.
I never take for granted the gorgeous country that we live in and even less, our corner of
Woolworths Limited Release TMV Spectrum 2008
paradise on the banks of Zandvlei. It’s hard to think that today was the shortest day in the year, supposedly the middle of Winter, and we found ourselves enjoying the early sunset, on the jetty with our canine companions and pelagic birds, sipping another delectable South African wine.
Mostly we enjoy red wines but the glorious sunshine today called for a fresh white wine and Tullbagh Mountain Vineyards Spectrum was the perfect choice.
Tulbagh is a wine district in the Coastal Wine Region of South Africa, a valley enclosed by mountain ranges. TMV is run using a terroir driven approach and bio-dynamic farming methods, by Paul Nichols who tends the vineyards and Rebecca Tanner who is the cellar master.
Spectrum 2008 is a much lauded blend of Chenin Blanc 62%, Chardonnay 14% Grenach 9%, Rousanne 8% and Viognier 7%. The components were fermented seperately in old oak barrels and 600 liter Nomblot egg-shaped fermenters and only native yeasts were used. Malolatic fermentation was allowed and the wine was left on its lees without sulphur additions. After a year the wine was racked and blended. The result is natural richness and mouth feel as well as natural minerality. The palate is rich and complex with elegant layers of citrus, lime and vanilla flavours ending in a long, long finish.
Food matches are roast herb chicken or duck with orange or ginger sauce.
For me this is a superior quality wine and I rate it 19/20.
It has a screw cap and the alcohol content is 13.5%.
If I were the father of my children I’d be delighted if they presented me with Woolworths Limited Release Cabernet Franc 2007 from Diemersfontein/Raats on Sunday.
Limited Release Diemersfontein/Raats Cabernet Franc 2007
This wine is a collaboration between Bruwer Raats, Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc specialist of Raats Family Wines, and the winemakers at Diemersfontein Wines.
The nose is bold with prune, black current, blackberry and even a touch of diesel aromas. The flavours are of nutmeg, white pepper and raspberry which are all beautifully balanced.
This wine pairs well with lamb dishes, poultry, lasagne and pizza. I believe that it is peaking now and drinking at its best.
Amazingly this wine which usually sells for R99.95 at Woolworths retail and online stores, is now on special for R49.95 and for this week only there is an additional 10% discount if you have one of those Woolworths benefit cards. Don’t walk – run and stock up!
I love this wine and rate it 19/20 – an outstanding wine.
Yesterday evening, the warm north west wind was blowing which is always a sure sign that twelve to twenty-four hours later a serious Winter storm will blast the Cape Of Storms. We simply had to get down to our jetty to enjoy a glass of red wine and the full moon on this Indian Summer night.
Red wine substitute
After unpacking the wine cupboard and closely examining dozens of bottles of white wine we came to the realisation that we were clean out of red wine. Not even a bottle of plonk was on hand.
Then inspiration struck. After ransacking the not-to-be-disturbed, keep for a special occasion wine stash in the bedroom cupboard, two bottles of splendid red wine were unearthed – Steenberg Nebbiolo 2008 and Steenberg Catharina 2007 no less.
Sure, the Nebbiolo was to be relished at a future dinner party when I would serve it with osso buco to wine fundi friends and sure, we had decided that the Catharina was too young to be appreciated fully and needed more bottle maturation.
The decision as to what last night’s special occasion was, seemed too great for either of us to take.
Let lady luck decide – heads and we crack open the Nebbiolo, tails we make two mugs of hot chocolate.
Did the coin land on its side?
We drank our hot chocolate in silence in the balmy night air and then went to bed.
The Gugulethu Square Mall rooftop was the venue for this uber successful wine fest. This mall is the newest development in the township which is situated 15km outside of Cape Town, Western Cape. Successful local entrepreneur, Mzoli Ngcawuzel was part of the driving force to establish Gugulethu Square Mall as well as being the co-founder, with Lungile Mbalo, of the Tops Gugulethu Wine Festival.
It has been said that if the majority of South Africans took to drinking wine as their preferred drink, there would almost be no need to export our wines. Marilyn Cooper, Managing Director of the Cape Wine Academy, underscores this:
This is the start of a new dawn for wineries and Cape Town’s new consumers. The 2050 visitors to the festival are our future wine consumers and this event, together with the Soweto Wine Festival, is the Cape Wine Academy’s vision of wine education coming to life. We applaud the wineries that support the debut festival. We look forward to many more wineries attending next year.
Popular Cape Town Premier Helen Zille opened the event and spent an hour talking and taking questions.
Premier Stellenbosch producer, Jordan Wine Estate, has a second label, Chameleon, which seriously over-
Jordan Chameleon Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2008
delivers on price.
The Chameleon Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2008 has a bold nose with layers of leather, dark ripe fruit , cassis, mint and violet aromas. The tannins are soft and there is a long finish which leaves some mint flavours on the palate.
Slow cooked lamb will pair well with this Bordeaux blend especially if rosemary is used with the meat.
Don’t you just love Thierry and Guy’s hippo? This turned out to be a wine with an appealing label which followed through to the bottle contents. Like the hippo, they please with mouth-filling fatness.
Beautifully crisp with distinct lime and vanilla flavours to begin with, it stays on the palate for the longest time. South African Winemaker Francois Welch added quercus fragmentus, which I discovered are oak bits, during fermentation, and that gives the wine a butter fragrance.
Fat Bastard Chardonnay 2010
The Fat Bastard brand was begun by winemaker Thierry and Guy Anderson in Languedoc-Roussillon with a tiny production but today the Chardonnay, Shiraz, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc wines are enjoyed on both sides of the pond and happily, at the bottom of Africa too. In South Africa the brand custodian is Robertson Winery which produces Fat Bastard Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Shiraz.
I found that it paired perfectly beautifully with itself but it also enhances gently flavoured risottos and pastas; salad starters which are dressed with mayonnaise; fresh oysters and simply cooked freshwater fish. In other words, dishes that can be overwhelmed by too much flavour in the glass.
Available at Pick and Pay, Constantia for R54.99 per bottle.
Amongst the diverse and enjoyable wines that added sparkle to the holidays, one stood out from all others.
A wine collector and bon vivant, Jude, personal chef to the Canadian Ambassador in Oslo, Norway, shared a Kanonkop Black Label Pinotage 2007 with us to celebrate Christmas Eve.
Co-owner of Kanonkop Estate, Paul Krige’s vision for the limited release of 1,000 bottles is that the market will decide the true value of this wine. Only two negociants control the supply and demand so that stock will be bought back from willing sellers to sell on for a higher price. More of this secondary market will help to establish South Africa as a producer of really premium wines and will set in motion a new set of dynamics in the industry as well as create a greater appreciation for truly fine, collectible wines.
Char-grilled ostrich steaks paired absolutely with the beautiful wine. For me, sipping this pinotage was ultimate local wine experience for me.