(2021) About 90% Shiraz with a dash of Malbec, this ruby-crimson wine has loads of smokiness on the nose, charred meat and bonfire ash to the fore. In the mouth a big, sweet and substantial mouthful, loaded with sweet black fruit and creamy in texture, that smokiness and slightly harsh acidity in the finish. I guess there's no denying it is a lot of wine for £6 in Tesco, on promotion November 15th to December 5th 2021.
(2021) In some ways this Sauvignon Blanc blended with a touch of Shiraz to give it its pink colour is more 'Sauvignony' than the straight SB. It certainly has the herbal, grassy and elderflower punch going on, some dry and pithy acidity making it feel a touch drier too. There is a little bit of confectionary sweetness towards the finish, that maybe jars slightly against that acid. £5.75 in Asda until the end of 2021.
(2021) Sauvignon from the Western Cape, immediately suggesting quite ripe tropical fruit, just a hint of herbaceous gooseberry and elderflower. In the mouth this is basically dry, just a little residual sugar to fatten the mid-palate, quite fresh and clean flavours with a hint of something smoky in there, and enough acidity to stop it feeling cloying. This will regularly appear on promotion I'd guess, and is down to just £5.75 in Asda until December 12th 2021.
(2021) Porcupine Ridge is a second label of the excellent Boekenhoutskloof estate, the wines made in big volumes in conjunction with the local cooperative cellar. Note too that there is a straight Sauvignon Blanc in the range on sale in Sainsbury's at less than £7, but untasted by me. This blends some Semillon, though it is the capsicum and gooseberry-touched fruity blast of Sauvignon that comes through most strongly. In the mouth there's a flattering touch of sweetness to offset juicy lime acidity. The fresh flavours across the mid-palate show a bit of fat, lemony character which the Semillon and just a touch of oak influence will be boosting. No aggressive side to this, in an easy-drinking style. Watch the video for more information.
(2021) A big blend led by Syrah along with Grenache, Petit Verdot, Merlot and both Cabernets, this spends 18 months in 2nd, 3rd and 4th fill barrels. Dark crimson in colour, the nose has pepper and spices over firm black fruit, touches of tobacco and black olive too. In the mouth this is both savoury with a touch of grilled bacon fat and boldly fruity with a depth of firm black berries. Good juiciness, the tannins spicy and ripe and the acid adding lovely balance.
(2021) Over 150 grams of residual sugar in this half bottle of sweet wine, composed of 64% Muscat de Frontignan and 36% Chenin Banc affected by Botrytis. Gorgeoud nose, where the barley sugar and leaf tea notes of the Botrytis merge with the floral and leafy green herbs of the Muscat. Unctuous and medium- to full-bodied, that beautiful fruit sweetness moves through nectarine to orange, but at all times the acidity if finely and exqusitely balanced. A lovely wine this. Price for the half bottle.
(2021) Around 85% of the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir here comes from vineyards close to False Bay in Stellenbosch, with the remainder from Robertson. This wine saw full malolactic and 12 to 15 months on the lees, and the dosage is 8.4g/l. It immediately his freshness, a dry citrus and Asian pear clarity, subtle biscuity richness too. The palate is zippy and fresh, a raciness to the mousse and acidity, but there is a fruit sweetness on the mid-palate keeping this crowd-pleasing and very easy to drink.
(2021) The second cuvée to appear after Kapse Vonkel was introduced, this comes from a cool vintage that suited the estate-grown Chardonnay in this Blanc de Blancs. This is a wine made only in suitable vintages, which has resulted in 17 editions over the past 30 years. It has just over 3g/l dosage and spent four years on the lees, disgorged in March 2020. Johan says it is a wine that improves after disgorgement - a 2012 tasted the day before this tasting was in a perfect place. Gentle pastry notes to creamy custard apple, a hint of hazelnut. The palate has a little of that creaminess, but is clean and lime and citrus fresh, a dry, sharply-defined wine as the finish shows a little salty minerality adding to the poise and length.
(2021) Villiera began making its Cap Classique in tandem with a Champenoise winemaker with whom they had a 10-year contract, which Jeff Grier says 'saved us re-inventing the wheel'. The Tradition cuvée is composed of 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir, spending 18 months on the lees. The wine has 8g/l dosage, and includes a proportion of wine from their Reserve Perpetuelle. It opens with plenty of small bubbles and a creamy, nutty character, nice biscuity autolysis and lightly spicy Cox's pippin fruit.  The palate walks a lovely line between freshnessand zipping lemon and salts acidity, and a more ripe and rounded mid-palate fruit. Long and beautifully done.
(2021) Boschendal's Brut Rosé spends 12 months on the lees and has a dosage of 10g/l. It's around 70% Pinot Noir, with Chardonnay and around 10% Pinotage, with 20% reserve wines. Pale peachy-pink, aromas are delicately floral and fruity with just a hint of biscuit. Keen, fresh and perceptibly dry on the palate, the mix of small, tart berries and lemon gives a fresh if perhaps slightly lean character (the wine does not see malolactic), but it slips down well and finishes with a bit of tanginess for sure.