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White Wine – South Africa
Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Walker Bay, Newton Johnson Estate (13.0% abv)
The Newton Johnson family has been at the heart of Cape winemaking for many years, but only recently took the plunge in setting up its own estate. They are based near the seaside town of Hermanus. A broad textured Sauvignon with great balance between richness of fruit and crisp acidity. Passion fruit and asparagus are all apparent with a touch of Semillon adding an herbaceous edge. This is a really great alternative to the good old New Zealand variety.
Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2014, Journeys End Estate, Stellenbosch (14.0% abv)
The Gabb family took over and replanted Journeys End Estate in 1996. It is situated right in the heart of Stellenbosch which has one of the cape’s most exciting terroirs. Both in the vineyard and cellar Journeys End have a philosophy of minimum intervention, which allows the quality of the fruit to shine through. Ripe and juicy on the nose with citrus and tropical aromas. Crisp lemony fruit, some peachy flavour with a toasty creamy edge from wine maker Leon Esterhuizen’s sensitive use of oak.
Chenin Blanc 2014, Barrel Fermented 50, Stellenrust, Stellenbosch (13.5% abv)
Stellenrust was established in 1928, and is still family owned. The estate consists of around 400 hectares of which about half is planted with vines and is split evenly between the Golden Triangle area of Stellenbosch and high up in the Bottelary Hills. Awarded 5 stars from the Platter’s South African Wine Guide and made from 48 year old vines, this is definitely a wine made to be top of a class of one! The number on the label (the 2014 vintage is 50) refers to the age of the vines when the wine was made. Very rich and tropical, with intense flavours of pear-drop on the nose, carried on to a caramel creamy palate of well-judged oak – I didn’t write that! Seriously worth trying.