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Wine Wednesday - South Africa 2024

Wine Wednesday - South Africa 2024

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Event Description

Our 3-week visit to South Africa runs over three Wednesdays in August.

Wednesday 7th August

We start our exploration of South Africa wines with Burgundian varieties Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Paul Cluver is one of the most respected producers in the cool climate region of Elgin.  The wine is a great expression Chardonnay, bursting with citrus and citrus blossom notes followed by aromas of white peach and complemented with a great fresh palate which is long and lingering. These characteristics follow through onto the palate that reveals the natural, fine and fresh acidity of the wine with a lingering aftertaste.

Also from Elgin, Catherine Marshall's Pinot Noir has 12 months ageing in Burgundian oak barrels.  Fresh pomegranate jewels, cranberry and red cherry top notes with underlying ferrous savoury aromatics. Mouth filling red fruit supported by dry, suedey tannins for texture and complexity. The lightest and most delicate of Cathy Marshall's three Pinot Noir.

  • Paul Cluver Village Chardonnay, Elgin, South Africa, 2022 - Retail Price £18.45
  • Catherine Marshall Pinot Noir "On Sandstone Soils", Elgin, South Africa, 2021 - Retail Price £20.45

Wednesday 14th August

Sauvignon Blanc is not one of the most obvious varieties we think about for South African wine which is a pity as they make some outstanding examples of this ever-popular variety.

Our example is from the home of the South African wine industry; Stellenbosch.  The wine has a tropical style with extended lees contact giving length and complexity. The wine is full and dry with well-balanced acid. It has tropical fruit, flintiness and hints of asparagus and figs on the nose that all follow through to the palate. 

"The Chocolate Block" is one of South Africa's iconic wines with a definite "South of France" vibe, not least because it's a blend based on Syrah with a support cast including Grenache.  It has intense blackberry, bramble, and lavender aromas with gentle nuances of potting soil and cured meat dominate a dark and brooding nose. This is a robust, structured wine, yet it is delicate, poised and elegant at the same time. Black fruits, cumin spice, white pepper, liquorice and hints of garrigue persist on a velvety finish.

  • Clos Malverne Sauvignon Blanc, Devon Valley, Stellenbosch, South Africa, 2021 - Retail Price £13.60
  • The Chocolate Block Boekenhoutskloof, Swartland, South Africa, 2022 - Retail Price £22.45

Wednesday 21st August

Chenin Blanc remains the most planted variety in South Africa but is nowhere near as dominant as it once was.  Stylistically it varies from simple "quaffing" wine to complex, full-bodied, oak-aged wines.  The example we have chosen is more at the former end of the sprectrum with a very refreshing character, ideal for an August evening.  A youthful fresh wine with quince and pear drop flavours. Earlier picked freshness shows on palate with crunchy green apple and grapefruit flavours. Good mouthfeel and appetisingly tangy finish.

Finally, we finish with something of a treat, one of South Africa's top red wines, the "Boekenhoutskloof" from Franschhoek.  An almost varietal Cabernet Sauvignon, with just 5% Cabernet Franc added, this wine gets a  score of 95/100 from South African specialist Tim Atkins MW.  A brooding nose entices with its abundance of black- and blueberry aromas and hints of cigar box and tobacco spiciness. The palate is exceptionally full and round, yet precise with the crème de cassis, black currant and Cedar wood of the nose following through with notes of pencil shavings, red capsicum, tealeaf and subtle cloves. Grainy tannins and a perfect acidity balance the dark berry fruit on a rich mid-palate, suggesting significant ageing potential. The finish is smooth and complex with its offering of red liquorice, fennel bulb and exotic spice and an impressive length. 

  • Ken Forrester Petit Chenin, Western Cape, South Africa, 2023 - Retail Price £13.45
  • Boekenhoutskloof Franschhoek Cabernet Sauvignon, Franschhoek Valley, South Africa, 2019 - Retail Price £45.00

The combined retail price of the wines is £135.90, but our friends at Fraziers Wine Merchants have put together a special offer on this for just £122.50 (n.b. to qualify for free delivery you would need to "top up" your order to £135.00).

Follow this link to purchase the wines direct from Fraziers.

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