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Klein Constantia Estate Red 2017
With a noble history which dates back to 1685, Klein Constantia is one of South Africa’s most revered wineries. The property occupies a stunning setting in the foothills of the Constiaberg with views over towards nearby False Bay. Conditions here are ideal for producing premium wines thanks to the cooling ocean breezes which create a very long ripening period and help to preserve freshness and aromatic complexity in the grapes.
This robust red is crafted from Cabernet Sauvignon along with smaller proportions of Petit Verdot and Malbec. The grapes are carefully harvested from selected parcels at optimum ripeness with only the best quality grapes chosen to be used in this wine. Following vinification the young wine is transferred to French oak barrels for 16 months of maturation.
Black cherries, cassis and mulberries characterise the nose while the palate is bursting with big bold berry flavours and more delicate hints of woodsmoke, black pepper, and vanilla from the oak ageing. Smooth tannins, a firm structure and ripe fruit flavours make this a great partner for flavoursome red meat dishes, although it can also be cellared for another six or so years.
Beaumont Hope Marguerite Chenin Blanc 2019
One of the most exciting Chenin Blancs currently being produced in South Africa, the Beaumont Hope Marguerite has won praise from top international wine critics like Tim Atkin and Jancis Robinson. The fruit used in this wine is carefully selected from the estate’s oldest Chenin plantings which date back to the 1970s. The wine is fermented in large French oak barrels and aged on the lees to add additional character and complexity.
The result is a powerful, full-bodied white wine which is reminiscent of fine white Burgundy. On the nose there are intense notes of white peaches, vanilla, and mango, while the first sip reveals a firm structure and bright tropical fruit flavours. This is a wine which will respond well to ageing and can be kept in the cellar for at least 5-7 years.
The Beaumont family founded their winery in 1994 after withdrawing from the local co-operative to try their hand at making their own wines from start to finish. As well as working hard on the vineyards, Raoul and Jayne Beaumont renovated the charming 18th centrury building at the heart of the estate which once served as an outpost for the Dutch East India Company. Today the estate is run by Sebastian who is committed to producing exceptional Chenin Blanc wines from the Bot River’s outstanding cool climate conditions.
Hamilton Russell Chardonnay 2019
One of Africa’s most southerly wineries, Hamilton Russell is set in the gorgeous Hemel-en-Aarde Valley close to the coast where the cool conditions are ideal for premium winemaking. The estate was founded in 1975 when Tim Hamilton Russell purchased 170 hectares of pristine undeveloped land after a long search for a site with perfect terroir. After extensive research in 1994 just 52 hectares of land were identified as being optimal for growing top quality grapes. Rather than experimenting with a wide variety of grapes, the estate focuses purely on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir which thrive in the maritime climate.
Bursting with complexity and elegance, this stunning Old World-style Chardonnay grows on stony and clay soils which help to showcase the freshness and aromatics of the variety. Once in the winery the grapes are carefully pressed and fermented in oak barrels. The young wine is then aged on the lees in the barrels for 9 months prior to bottling.
Bright lime, pear, and subtle hints of tropical fruit define the nose while the first sip reveals a crisp acidity, medium body, and notes of brioche, toast and vanilla from the maturation process. The texture is rich and creamy with soft tannins and a long spiced finish. A great match for roasted chicken, creamy fish dishes or even potted meats and terrines.
Jordan Cobblers Hill 2016
Set on the site of a historic 300-year old farm in the idyllic surroundings of Stellenbosch Kloof, the Jordan estate’s modern incarnation as a top South African producer began in 1982 when Ted and Sheelagh purchased the 146 property in 1982. The couple extensively replanted the 146 hectare farm and carefully selected varietals which were a good match for the local soil and climatic conditions. Gary and Cathy Jordan, the couple’s son and daughter-in-law, spent a couple of years working internationally to learn the winemaking trade before returning home in 1993 to take over the running of the estate.
This unique wine honours the Jordan family’s history as talented cobblers and is a limited release wine crafted from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc grapes. The unique climatic conditions of Stellenbosch Kloof make this an excellent area for growing these Bordeaux varietals as the vineyards enjoy a Mediterranean climate cooled by early morning mists and breezes from the nearby False Bay. The result is perfectly-balanced, aromatic grapes that are both ripe and concentrated as well as fresh and spicy.
The intense dark cherry, blackcurrant and cacao character of this wine make it an excellent partner for hearty dishes like steak or beef bourguignon. If you prefer to wait a while, thanks to the 24 months of ageing this is a complex wine which will mature well in the cellar over the next decade or so.
Lothian Vineyards Riesling 2018
The Wilson family who own the stunning Lothian House and surrounding vineyards have been making wine on the Cape for three generations. The family spent years searching for the ideal site to craft their graceful Burgundian-style wines before finally settling on this slice of paradise on the banks of the Palmiet River.
Elgin has a cool climate thanks to the proximity of the Southern Ocean and is ideally suited to the Riesling grape, allowing the freshness and aromatic character of the variety to come to the fore. To preserve the grapes in optimal condition they are carefully handpicked in small boxes and whole-bunch pressed. The juice is then fermented and left on the fine lees for 4 months to add extra texture and complexity to the finished wine.
The result is a crisp, expressive white wine which opens with enchanting notes of gooseberry, white peach, honeysuckle and citrus zest. The first sip reveals a mouthwatering acidity, smooth entry, and long-lasting notes of tropical fruit, pine needles and saline hints. The finesse and vivacity of this wine make it excellent to serve as an aperitif or as an accompaniment to seafood, fish, or leafy green salads.
Beaumont Pinotage 2017
Although best known for their deliciously vibrant and full-flavoured whites made from Chenin Blanc, the Beaumont estate also produces limited quantities of red wines from the Pinotage grape. Pinotage was actually the first wine made at Beaumont and this bottling is a stunning example of cool climate Pinotage made from 45 year old vines. The grapes are vinified in concrete tanks and then aged in oak barrels for 18 months to soften Pinotage’s notoriously firm tannins.
The result is a well-built, intensely fruited red wine with ample dark berry and cherry character which lingers on the tongue. The structure, fine balance, and subtle freshness of this wine make it an excellent match for red meat and it will continue to develop and evolve if cellared over the next decade or so.
Beaumont was founded in 1994 when Jayne and her late husband Raoul decided to leave the local co-operative system to produce their own wines from start to finish. The couple renovated the stunning property at Compagnes Drift which had formerly been an 18th century outpost for the Dutch East India Company and began to bottle their wines here. Recently the running of the estate has passed to Sebastian, the couple’s son, who has worked tirelessly to establish a reputation for crafting exceptional wines.