Wines unboxed

Disclaimer: These wines featured have been sent to me as media drops. This post is not paid for and reflects my own unbiased opinion.

With another nationwide ban on alcohol, the industry as a whole has been shaken to its core yet again. Now more than ever the industry needs our support. If you do have the means, please consider supporting the South African wine industry by purchasing your wines online directly from wineries stores or through many local wine boutiques.

I am incredibly grateful that I am able to write about wine professionally and call this my job! I will strive to be as honest as I possibly can whilst honouring each winery with the respect that it deserves. Without further ado, Here is a list of a few local wines that have landed on my desk for me to review.

Boland Cellar’s Top 2 of 2020

  • Reserve Merlot 2018 – retails for R149 a bottle

The focus is purely on the stage name ‘Reserve’, the winemaking method and varietal. The grapes are handpicked at about 24° Balling, followed by destemming and cold-soaking for three days. The fermenting wine underwent pump-overs and after primary fermentation, malolactic fermentation took place in mostly second-filled barrels with a portion in new barrels. This richly structured and concentrated Merlot was further matured in 300-litre French oak barrels for 16 months to gain complexity. A small portion of 20% of the wine was not matured in wood in order to enhance the final blend with the ripe primary fruit flavours.

Tasting note: tons of red fruit such as red cherries, plums and red berries. Layers of oak, spice and wood shavings are integrated with savoury and tomato notes mingling together with a long and lingering finish. A firmly structured and full-bodied wine which will benefit from careful ageing and will perfectly complement grilled sirloin and rump steaks.

  • One Formation White Blend 2020 Retail price: R87

The range consists of a White Blend (Chenin/Sauvignon/Grenache), a Red Blend
(Shiraz/Grenache/Viognier), a Chenin Blanc, a Shiraz and a Grenache Noir. This blend in particular consists of 65% Chenin Blanc, 20% Sauvignon Blanc and 15% Grenache Blanc. The Sauvignon Blanc and Grenache Blanc underwent brief wood maturation in older small French barrels for three months in order to add a bit of complexity to the blend. The final blend was left on the lees for a further two months with regular batonnage before bottling, resulting in a rich, full wine with both structure and finesse.

Tasting note: Shows ripe pear and melon flavours as well as green pepper notes are evident on the balanced palate, followed by a gentle lingering finish. The old bush-vines of the Chenin Blanc yield ripe, creamy stone fruit flavours which are complemented by the crisp green fruit of the Sauvignon Blanc. The addition of Grenache Blanc in this blend provides richness and texture with ripe pear flavours. Finely flavoured dishes of seafood and poultry will complement this wine.

Garden Route Sauvignon Blanc 2019 – Retails for R86 a bottle

Produced and distributed through De Krans. Harvesting takes place mid-March during early morning to ensure the coolest possible berries. The fruit is handled with extreme care and only berries are hand selected. At the cellar the clusters are destemmed and lightly crushed into a closed tank and left on the skins till the next day. The free run juice is separated and fermentation takes place at cool temperatures for about a month. The wine is left on the lees for another 6 months before bottling.

Tasting note: The palate shows refreshing tropical fruits and cut grass/green pepper with a flint finish, well balanced acidity and a lingering finish. The perfect poolside tipple for the sweltering summer heat. Food pairing suggesting: serve with fresh cob or stump nose, served with a lime dressing. This wine also works well with any pâté or crisp summer salads.

Middelvlei’s Cinsaut Rosé 2020 – Retail price: R105 (not pictured here)

Made from 100% Cinsaut grapes, the fruit is sourced from only the best vineyards in the Western Cape.

Tasting note: on the palate shows delicate bursts of summer berry and juicy watermelon. Pale salmon pink in hue with a delicious fruity finish. Another poolside tipple for the win. Can be paired with grilled seafood or chicken dishes. Pairs well with a black olive tapenade, or any seasonal inspired salads. Also partners perfectly with grilled herbed lamb chops, lamb burgers with Moroccan spices or sweet and sour salmon teriyaki.

Do let me know in the comments if you have any questions or would like to see more of a particular topic on my blog.

Yours in Vino x

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