(2021) A very nicely pitched Sauvignon Blanc this, with a touch of pea shoot and asparagus pungency, but not too much, with fruit too, hinting at the tropical. In the mouth that edge of grassiness keeps it fresh, as does plenty of cool citrus and apple acidity to given it a dry finish, but through the mid-palate there are more nuances of that tropical mango and pineapple to give it plenty of charm and appeal.
(2020) This is a powerful, concentrated and meaty Pinotage from the slopes of the Tygerberg mountain, just seven kilometres from the Atlantic Ocean. It spent 11 months in a combination of French and American oak barriques, 30% of which were new. Dark, brooding sour cherry and spices dominate the nose, with a bit of mocha and meat-stock. In the mouth the substantial presence of the wine shows both sweet and ripe fruit, but that edgy darkness again, plenty of tannic heft and good acids giving it juiciness and structure. A fine example of the variety.
(2020) What a beautiful wine, from 50-year-old unirrigated vines in Swartland, fermented in barrle with wild yeasts, and only 3,400 bottles produced. There's a definite whiff of gunsmoke and flint, then a lemon peel and apple brightness of fruit, but quite complex and very appealing. In the mouth that thrust and vigour of the citrus punches through, with excellent concentration and a bit of leesy richness of texture, a hint of creaminess, the finish long and tapering to a fine point. A lovely Chenin by any account.
(2020) This is the second wine in a can that I have chosen as Wine of the Week in the past year or so, but in both cases its the packaging factor and understanding that this is a growth area in wine retailing that has driven the choice, as much as the liquid inside. Don't get me wrong, this is a decent Sauvignon Blanc coming from bush vines, dry-farmed in the Darling region of the Western Cape, but apparently sales are increasing three-fold year on year for wines in this environmentaly-friendly packaging, and just check your supermarket shelves next time you are in. First of all, the wine is dry with only 2g/l of residual sugar, and it's a well-tempered example, not to herbaceous but with a bit of grassy punch, and the fruit all lemons and crunchy apples, with that dry, balanced finish. 250ml can is two standard glasses, or one-third of a standard bottle.
(2020) A very unusual non-vintage wine in that it is 90% Chenin Blanc, with 10% of added Merlot. In a 250ml can, Cloof stress its low carbon footprint and unaffected quality. Its a deeply coloured pink, the nose showing a little toffee apple character, some pulpy strawberry too. In the mouth it is crisp, apples and lemons, just a hint of briar and cherry, and dry in the finish. Pretty far from 'Provençal' in style, as it is described in the Cloof literature, but the standard two-glass serving in its lightweight can may appeal for picnics, etc. Coming into stock at time of review.
(2020) What a lovely style of Chardonnay, taking advantage of the cool conditions of high altitude vineyards at 960 metres on the Cape of Good Hope. Fermented in French oak barriques, 33% new, it spends a further six months in barrel, with lees stirring. Though that recipe gives richness with oatmeal and crushed almond on the nose and a sheen of creamy oak to the palate, there's also a definite cool climate edge to this, a hint of herbaceousness and very crisp, elegantly fresh and decisive limey acidity, the cool, lightly flinty character just showing a little peachy weight mid-palate before the racing acidity kicks in to the finish. A delightful wine. Watch the video
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