January 2023

Best of 2022

Red Selection

Stellenzicht Tristone Cabernet Savignon

Vintage: 2018

Winery: Stellenzicht

Wine Maker: L’re Burger 

Winery Location: Blaauwklippen Rd., Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa

Varietal(s): Cabernet Sauvignon

Vivino Score: 4.00/5.00

Retail Price: R225.00

Notes on Wine: Tristone refers to the three types of sandstone soils that the Cabernet Sauvignon vines are grown in. Each soil type brings a unique element to the wine.

The grapes are hand harvested in the morning. The whole berries are fermented for 7-10 days with three pump overs a day. After fermentation, a couple weeks of skin contact is given, the wine is then drained, pressed and racked to barrel. The wine is matured for up to 16 months in French oak barrels with 30% new oak, before it’s blended and bottled.

This wine showcases the terroir of the 3 soil types through its elegant balance between fruit, structure and lingering tannins. Cassis and cedar notes with hints of spice. Succulence balanced by fine tannins and supported by savoury oak notes. Approachable now, but with ample potential for development.
Only 6000 bottles produced.

Food pairings: Stellenzicht pays tribute its soils through its wine; do the same with your food! An earthy mushroom risotto perfectly accompanies this full-bodied but subtle wine

Riebeeksriver Syrah

Vintage: 2019

Winery: Cape of Good Hope

Winemaker: Dawie Botha

Winery Location: Swartland, South Africa

Varietal(s): 100% Shiraz

Vivino Score: 3.90/5.00

Retail Price: R170.00

Notes on Wine: Fermentation took place in a combination of concrete and stainless steel tanks, with each fermentation vessel contributing to the finesse and fruit evident in this wine. The wine was aged in 225L French oak barrels for approximately 10 to 12 months (none new).

This is a delicious Swartland Syrah. Creamy plum / mulberry with appealing savoury spice notes. Sleek, with fine, grainy tannins, this is not a dense heavily-extracted wine.

Food Pairing: Mushroom soup and hard-crusted bread

Cirrus Pinot Noir

Vintage: 2020

Winery: Cirrus

Winemaker:  Danielle Le Roux

Winery Location: Ceres, Western Cape, South Africa 

Varietal(s): Pinot Noir

Vivino Score: 4.3/5.00

Retail Price: R300.00

Notes on Wine: The Pinot Noir 2020 marks the first vintage of wines made from this unique vineyard on Rietfontein farm. At an altitude of 1026m above sea level (which is not unlike making wine on the top of Table Mountain!), the moderate summers, snowy winters and intense solar rays create an environment that produces Pinot Noir expressive of this totally new landscape and terroir.

Intense bouquet of wild strawberry, raspberry, and undergrowth. A mineral note adds an element of seriousness. Vibrant red fruit carries through on the palate, with layers of vanilla, sour cherry, and cigar box adding complexity.

Food pairing: Honey-baked goats cheese with a pecan-nut and basil jus

Stony Brook the Max

Vintage: 2017

Winery: Stony Brook Vineyards

Winery Location: Franschhoek, Western Cape, South Africa

Varietal(s): 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Franc, 10% Malbec

Vivino Score: 4.10/5.00

Retail Price: R175.00

Notes on Wine: With each vintage of The Max, the aim is to create a wine that has huge ageing potential as well as round, rich flavours that allow the wine to be enjoyed in its youth. It is a Bordeaux-style blend, made up of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Franc and 10% Malbec.

All of the components were picked at full ripeness to ensure that the tannins, while firm and grippy, are also round and moreish. The four varieties were matured in a combination of 40% new and 60% second-and-third-fill French oak barriques for 28 months before blending and bottling. 2016 was an exceptional vintage for Franschhoek red wines.

The nose offers dark red berries, wonderful cigar box and caramelised blackberry aromas with a little red pepper, showcasing new-world fruit paired with old-world winemaking techniques. There is sweet, concentrated ripe red fruit on the palate, matched with big, well-integrated tannins and a bright, elegant finish and just a hint of oak.

Food pairing: Any red meat dishes, as well as a pasta dish with a cheese-based sauce

Muratie Alberta Annamarie

Vintage: 2018

Winery: Muratie

Winery Location: Merlot

Varietal(s): Cabernt Sauvignon, Merot  

Vivino Score: 4.00/5. 00

Retail Price: R215

Notes on Wine: The artist George Paul Canitz was out horseback riding with his daughter Alberta Annemarie when they, quite by chance, discovered Muratie. They both fell instantly in love with the property, which he purchased in due course, and when he died he left it to her, making her one of the first female wine-farm owners in the country. A fiercely independent woman, she kept Muratie exactly as her father had left it, and she rode well into her 80s, eventually only stopping, she insisted, ‘because the horse is too old’. Like fine wine, she got better with age, making this Merlot, with its potential to become increasingly characterful over time, a fitting tribute.

The Merlot was harvested and hand-picked from three different blocks on the estate. The vines were planted in 1990 and 1992. Two of the blocks are North West facing and the third North. The elevation of the vines is at 280m above sea level. The Table Mountain sandstone soil provides good moisture to these dry-land vineyards.

Initially, one tastes lusciously ripe plums that evolve into complex layers of cocoa, cinnamon and toasted hazelnut (from 12 months in French oak barrels) Its appealing sweetness and fullbodied richness are balanced by fresh acidity and a pinch of mixed herbs. Made in a soft and approachable style for early enjoyment.

Food Pairing: Don’t be afraid to sample a home-made gorganzola, fig, butternut, and roast pinenut flatbread with this beaut of a wine. Fresh neopolitan-style pizza like those Pizza Shed ilk would also work well

Hidden Gems

Vintage: 2018

Winery: Hidden Valley

Winery Location: Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa

Varietal(s): Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Merlot

Vivino Score: 4.10/5.00

Retail Price: R280.00

Notes on Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon driven blend, ruby red in colour and complex aromas of mulberry, thyme, cigar box and white pepper spiciness. The palate follows with more bright fruit, strawberries and plum complimented by an earthiness and subtle cedarwood from careful oaking. It is a full-bodied wine with smooth tannins and concentrated fruit intensity which lends to a generous back palate.

Food pairing: Go Big! Rogan josh lamb shoulder and aubergine slow-cooked pot, served with fresh yogurt, lemon zest and a drizzle of olive oil

White Selection

Reserve Sauvignon Blanc

Vintage: 2020

Winery: Cape Point Vineyards

Winemaker: Riandri Visser

Winery Location: Wine of origin Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

Varietal(s): 100% Sauvignon Blanc

Vivino Score: 4.00/5.00

Retail Price: R240.00

Notes on Wine: Grapes for this wine are hand-selected from 3 sea-facing vineyard parcels where a combination of the fresh breezes and decomposed granite soils result in a wine that has a distinct mineral edge. The grapes were hand picked between 22°B and 23°B in the early hours of the morning and whole bunch pressed. The juice is allowed to settle naturally over 12 hours. After fermentation the wine is left on the fermentation lees for 15 months in old French Oak with regular mixing to enhance the mouth feel.

An elegant representation of Cape Point Vineyard’s unique terroir, with hints of floral spice, cardamom and white pepper. The generous fruit profile showcases lemon, tangerine and ripe nectarines.

The delicate notes of perfumed spring blossoms with subtle hints of oak ageing gives this wine added layers of complexity. The palate is rich and textured with a pithy quality, finishing with the characteristic lengthy mineral edge.

Food pairings: Cio bella, pasta primavera!

Constitution Road Chardonnay

Vintage: 2016

Winery: Robertson Winery

Winemaker: Jacques Roux

Winery Location: Robertson , South Africa

Varietal(s): 100% Chardonnay

Vivino Score: 4.2/5.0

Retail Price: R190.00

Notes on Wine: At the Cellar grapes were soft crushed and sent to the Elite press where the juice was separated into two fractions, the free-run and press juice fractions. Only the free-run juice was used. Juice was partially settled for 12 hours after which it was racked off the heavy lees and taken to new and 2nd fill French oak barrels. Fermentation took place in barrel after which the wine was left on the primary lees and underwent malolactic fermentation.

Rich interlaced aromas of citrus, buttered toast, marmalade and vanilla are prominent on the nose. Zesty acidity cuts the creamy texture on the palate followed by layers of citrus, pear and butterscotch that lingers on the finish.

Food Pairing: Butternut, pine nut ravioli tossed in a sage and butter dressing

Mason Road Chenin

Vintage: 2021

Winery: Brookdale Estate 

Winemaker: Kiara Scott

Winery Location: Groot Drakenstein, Western Cape, South Africa

Varietal(s): Chenin Blanc

Vivino Score: 3.9/5.00

Retail Price: R130.00

Notes on Wine: Winemaker, Kiara Scott, is young, full of energy, and brings with her a new world order for the creation of Chenin Blancs.  Brookdale love her ‘breaking boundaries’ approach to winemaking, echoed in the owner’s vision ‘to do something different at Brookdale’. Unlike the Brookdale Estate Chenin Blanc, the Mason Road Chenin is from younger vineyards and lightly oaked with only 20% in old French oak. It presents revitalising freshness alongside full fruit flavours as a result of the warm climate and cool mountain breeze.

The wine has a racy acidity and a pithy finish, “a wine as nonconformist as its maker”.

Food pairing: Rosetta prawn linguine

Diemersdal Sauvignon Blanc Reserve

Vintage: 2022

Winery: Rustenberg

Winery Location: Wine of origin Cape Town, Durbanville wine valley,, Western Cape, South Africa

Varietal(s): 100% Sauvignon Blanc

Vivino Score: 4.00/5.00

Retail Price: R140.00

Notes on Wine: Harvested from a selected block at 23-24ºB. Crushed and destemmed reductively. Skin contact for 12hrs; pressed and settled for 36hrs. Post fermentation lees contact of 5 months, stirred up once a week to enhance mouthfeel and concentration. The wine is bottled unfiltered and sediment may occur. 

This is a full flavoured, complex Sauvignon Blanc. The wine has good depth on the nose with aromas of citrus, green herbs, hints of asparagus and a touch of sweetness. On the palate excellent natural acidity creates balance, a fine structure and a pleasant mouth-filling texture with a clean finish..

Food pairings: Creamy mushroom soup served with rustic bread

Holden Manz Proprietors White Blend

Vintage: 2020

Winery: Holden Manz Wines 

Winery Location: Franschhoek, Western Cape, South Africa

Varietal(s): Chardonnay (40%), Viognier (40%) and Chenin Blanc (20%) 

Vivino Score: 3.80/5.00

Retail Price: R205.00

Notes on Wine: Winter 2019 saw cool temperatures and good strong rains allowing the vines a chance to rest.  The growing season was dominated by moderate temperatures and spring rainfall and a slow ripening period.

Food pairings:  Fish, including carp, sea bass or salmon. This should be accompanied with creamy mashed potatoes and green beans with roasted almonds & feta.

Ghost Corner Semillon

Vintage: 2019

Winery: David Nieuwoudt

Winemaker: David Nieuwoudt

Winery Location: Elim, Cape Agulhas, South Africa

Varietal(s): Semillon

Vivino Score: 4.00/5.00

Retail Price: R225.00

Notes on Wine: The Ghost Corner range is inspired by the extreme coastal area around Cape Agulhas near Elim, known as ‘Spookdraai’ where many ships have been wrecked. These wines are as intriguing and extreme as the story of their origin at the southernmost tip of the Cape winelands. A wine that showcases its unique terroir.

Grapes are hand harvested early morning. 30% of juice is barrelled in 225l French oak barrel for fermentation and maturation for five months. 70% of juice is tank fermented at 11°C for approximately 24 days. Finally, the wine is maturated further on fine lees for additional four months with a monthly battônage of tank and barrels before the final blending and bottling. 30% 1st fill 225l French oak, tight grain with medium toasting.

A focused Semillon layered with white peach, green-fig, and lime with dusty aromas. A waxy, terpene-like character yet it has a crisp mineral finish.

Food pairings: Avo! Chicken stock and wild mushrooms! A serious homemade herb butter sauce or a chicken roast