October 2022

Red Selection

Ernie Els Major Series Cabernet Sauvignon

Vintage: 2017

Winery: Ernie Els Wines

Wine Maker: Louis Strydom

Winery Location: Annandale Road, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Varietal(s): 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot

Vivino Score: 4.10/5.00

Retail Price: R250

Notes on Wine: The Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot vineyards grow on the warm north-facing slopes of the Helderberg region within the Stellenbosch appellation. The Hutton Clovelly soils contain a high gravel content which offers rich middle palate weight giving this wine exceptional depth and fruit purity. 

The whole berries are fermented in open top tanks.  Intermittent pump-overs and punch downs ensure that right flavours, aromas and tannins are extracted from the berries. Aged for 17 months – 300 litre French Oak barrels (20% new).

Red berry fruits billow from the glass with classic cigar notes over elegantly-crushed dried herbs, black cherry, ripe plums and fresh red cherries. The entry is inviting and fresh, with a vibrant, youthful energy of bouncy red fruits and an earthy undertow. The tannins are still tight, medium bodied and fresh expressing the crystalline character of the 2017 vintage. As the wine evolves in the glass there is an attractive tension between red and black fruit with a hint of liquorice over a linear focused and dry finish.

Food pairings: Slow-cooked malay lamb curry served with sambal and a warmed roti

Spier Seaward Shiraz

Vintage: 2021

Winery: Spier

Winemaker: Johan Jordaan

Winery Location: Stellenbosch, South Africa

Varietal(s): Shiraz

Vivino Score: 3.90/5.00

Retail Price: R125.00

Notes on Wine: 15 – 20-year trellised vines yielded the fruit for this cool climate style wine. The topography ranges from flat to eastern-facing slopes that are cooler, thus promoting fruit preservation. Rich, deep, decomposed granite soils with good water retention and medium fertility resulted in low, concentrated yields that contributed to the fruit complexity and tannin structure. Due to the proximity to the cold Atlantic Ocean, the fruit develops slowly resulting in wines with balanced fruit and acidity.

The grapes were harvested by hand from selected vineyard blocks and destemmed and crushed to stainless-steel tanks. Alcoholic fermentation was completed after 15 days on the skins. Free-run juice was barreled down for malolactic fermentation, with maturation taking place in French oak barrels (20% first fill and the balance in second and third fill). The wine matured for 14 months before blending.

Perfumed aromas of mulberry, cassis and blackberry are supported by subtle pepper and anise. The mid-palate is balanced with concentrated fruit flavours and smooth, dense tannins.

Food Pairing: Charcuterie, olives, artichoke hearts, and warm bread

Ghost Corner Pinot Noir

Vintage: 2019

Winery: David Nieuwoudt

Winemaker: David Nieuwoudt

Winery Location: Elim, Cape Agulhas, South Africa 

Varietal(s): 100% Pinot Noir

Vivino Score: 4.00/5.00

Retail Price: R250.00

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.

On completion of fermentation grapes are pressed and barrelled in 228l French oak. Malolactic fermentation is completed in barrel and maturation is over 10 months. 20% 1st fill, 20% 2nd fill, 20% 3rd fill, 20% 4th fill and 20% 5th fill barrels, tight grain with medium toast.

Food pairing: Wild mushroom pasta with sun-dried tomatoes

Boschkloof Merlot

Vintage: 2019

Winery: Boschkloof

Winemaker: Reenen Borman

Winery Location: Polkadraai Road, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Varietal(s): Merlot

Vivino Score: 3.90/5. 00

Retail Price: R170.00

Notes on Wine: Veteran winemaker, Jacques Borman, established Boschkloof in 1996 to pursue his dream of starting his own family winery. His son, Reenen Borman, joined the family business in 2010 and took over the winemaking duties in 2012. Together their aim is to make site-specific wines and to showcase the beautiful soils their vineyards grow in.

Pale garnet in colour, with delicate woodland and truffle aromas, the wine offers opulent red berry fruits, cherries and strawberries. The oak is subtle, supporting a lingering crisp finish.

Food pairing: Fillet mignon with creamy fennel and dill mustard sauce served on a large panzanella

Night Sky SMG

Vintage: 2018

Winery: Fable Mountain Vineyards

Winemaker: Tremayne Smith

Winery Location: Weltevrede Road, Tulbagh, South Africa

Varietal(s): Syrah 50%; Grenache 35%; Mouvèdre 15%  

Vivino Score: 4.00/5.00

Retail Price: R200.00

Notes on Wine: The Night sky is named after the vast and beautiful stars that light up the nights on the isolated Fable Farm and is also a nod to biodynamics, which are practiced meticulously in the vineyards.

A blend of Syrah, Mourvedre and Grenache the wine is made in a southern Rhone style. All varieties are grown on the farm and are hand picked into fermentation vessels of either concrete or stainless steel. The ferments are allowed to proceed naturally and are hand plunged as required until they are dry.

Once the ferment is finished the vessels are allowed to undergo post ferment maceration on the skins. This usually lasts around 8 weeks. They are tasted often and when they are ready, pressed off into 500L French oak barrels. The wine spends around 24 months in oak, of which 20% is new.

Food Pairing: Spicy chorizo pizza

Khayelitsha’ Finest Wines Red Blend

Vintage: 2020

Winery: Khayelitsha’s Finest Wines

Winemaker: Lindile Ndzaba

Winery Location: Polkadraai Road, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Varietal(s): 60% Syrah, 20% Malbec, 20% Pinotage

Vivino Score: 4.00/.5.00

Retail Price: R210.00

Notes on Wine: Lindile Ndzaba set out to make the kind of high-quality wine found in the city’s best wine bars available to his home neighbourhood of Khayelitsha. Partnering with winemakers from across the Cape, Lindile aims to bring wine culture to underserved parts of the city in a locally-focused and community-oriented way.

The Red Blend is a collaboration with Saxenburg: a barrel selection of Shiraz, Pinotage and Malebec, each vinified separately, and then blended together to showcase the perfect expression for a frosty Eastern Seaboard winter’s evening. 

The Shiraz vines are well-established on Saxenburg and are one of the Estate’s main claims to fame (using the chonkiest, juiciest barrels to bring about boldness); the Pinotage was made in more of a semi-carbonic style, so this pops the fruit character and adds a great line of acidity; and the Malbec is from an old bushvine block generally utilised for blending.

Deep ruby in colour, with a full, rich palate and polished tannins for a full round mouth feel and long lightly wooded finish. Vibrant cherry notes, ripe plum, star anise and green peppercorns on the nose. Malbec adds hints of blackberry and notes of fynbos and rosemary. Only 1200 bottles produced

Food pairing: Best enjoyed with a braai, mielies on the coals and potato salad to accompany

White Selection

Khayelitsha’s Finest Wines White Blend

Vintage: 2019

Winery: Khayelitsha’s Finest Wines

Winemaker: Lindile Ndzaba

Winery Location: Swartland, South Africa

Varietal(s): 55% Chenin Blanc, 15% Grenache Blanc, 15% Sauvignon Blanc, 15% Verdelho

Vivino Score: N/A

Retail Price: R200.00

Notes on Wine: A Cape-style blend of cultivars from various vineyard sites across the Cape. Made in the heart of the Klein Karoo & blended by sommeliers Lindile Ndzaba & Ewan Mackenzie. 

With Chenin as the driving force Granny Smith and Braeburn apple flavours fill the palate. Sauvignon Blanc and Grenache Blanc add delicate whiffs of floral aromatics and encompassing structure. Verdelho rounds the blend with power and resonance.

Only 2000 bottles produced

Food pairings: Go big: prawns on the braai with a green salad to accompany

Pierneef Sauvignon Blanc

Vintage: 2021

Winery: La Motte

Winemaker: Edmund Terblanche

Winery Location: Franschhoek, South Africa

Varietal(s): 85% Sauvignon Blanc, 15% Semillon 

Vivino Score: 3.80/5.00

Retail Price: R160.00

Notes on Wine: This Sauvignon Blanc forms part of La Motte’s premium wine collection, which is a tribute to South African artist Jacob Hendrik Pierneef (1886 – 1957), famous for his mastership in portraying the unadorned beauty of the South African landscape and its architecture

35% of the sauvignon blanc comes from Napier with the balance coming from Elim. The Semillon also comes from Elim; these are among the southern most vineyards in Africa. 

Due to a late winter and a cool summer bereft of heatwaves, harvesting started 10 – 14 days later than usual, in February of 2021.

The wine is thiol driven with especially citrus flavours.  Green pepper and cape gooseberries round off the palate, an elegant finish with high minerality follows.

Food Pairing: Spicy green thai curry

Big Easy Chenin Blanc

Vintage: 2021

Winery: Ernie Els

Winemaker: Louis Strydom

Winery Location: Annandale Road, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Varietal(s): Chenin Blanc

Vivino Score: 3.7/5.00

Retail Price: R110.00

Notes on Wine:

The Chenin Blanc grapes were harvested from individually-selected, low-yielding bush and trellised wines from the Perdeberg region nearby Paarl. The grapes were hand-harvested in the cool of early morning. 

After the grapes had been sorted, the grapes were destemmed and lightly crushed. The wine was settled overnight and the sediment was racked off the next day. Post fermentation lees contact was maintained for two months with weekly stirring of the lees before racking and stabilisation prior to bottling. This wine is crafted in a fresh style without any oak component.

Scents of the tropics… pineapple chunks, salted mango, pawpaw and squeezes of lime drift on the breeze of orange blossom, honeysuckle and the faintest whiff of summer fynbos. This transporting bouquet follows on to the palate evolving into stones fruits; fresh cut peaches, bites of nectarine freshness and zesty apple skin. The fruit is mouth coating and rich lifted by an inherent vibrancy that crests long into the lime-tinged, chalky finish.

Food pairing: Beer battered hake and chips

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

Leeuwenkuil Reserve White

Vintage: 2019

Winery: Leeuwenkuil 

Winemaker: Willie Dreyer

Winery Location: Swartland, South Africa

Varietal(s): 80% Chenin Blanc, 20% blend of: Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Verdelho, Clairette, Chardonnay, Colombar, Viognie

Vivino Score: 3.90/5.00

Retail Price: R145.00

Notes on Wine: Leeuwenkuil grow numerous cultivars. Most are dry farmed bush vines which deliver exceptional quality fruit under harsh conditions. 

After handpicking the grapes, they were whole-bunch pressed to retain their natural acidity. Half of the wine was fermented in 5 000L French oak barrels and the other half in stainless steel tanks, and aged for nine months before blending and bottling. 

This is a vintage blend of the best whites Leeuwenkuil produces from the Swartland region. 2019 has a delicate nose of white blossoms, apple and just a hint of pepper. The palate offers ripe peach and tangy pineapple flavour with an intriguing underlying chalky minerality which lingers on the finish.

Food Pairings: Creamy mushroom and pancetta pappardelle

Spier Seaward Chardonnay

Winery: Spier

Winemaker: Johan Jordaan 

Winery Location: Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa

Varietal(s): Chardonnay

Vivino Score: 3.70/5.00

Retail Price: R150.00

Notes on Wine: Dryland, semi-trellised vines with an average age of 15 years yielded the grapes for this wine. The region experiences moderate summers with low night temperatures, and cold, wet winter.

Grapes were hand-harvested between 22.5 and 23.5° Balling. The grapes were cooled down in the cellar before crushing. Skin contact was allowed for 4 hours at 10°C. Only free-run juice drained by gravity was used for fermentation. 80% of blend fermented in Stainless steel tank and 20% fermented in older French oak barrels. After fermentation, the wine rest on its lees for 6 months. The oak component was blended with the stainless-steel fermented wine prior to bottling.

Being lightly wooded, its citrus-dominated flavours are rounded out by creamy vanilla; the oak offers structure without being overbearing.

Food pairing: Garlic mussels or a butternut soup with rustic bread