First of the 2010 summer wines
The release of the first white wines of the 2010 vintage coincides with spring, a season as vibrant with new aromas and colours as the first fruits of the new harvest, writes Graham Howe
IHAVE selected 10 new wines that express the typical character of the classic white cultivars, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Semillon and Chenin Blanc, as well as the first Rosé wines, which make an ideal table companion for summer fare.
Leading members of the Cape Winemakers Guild say weather conditions during the 2010 harvest were challenging yet ideal for optimal long, slow-ripening and small berries with outstanding fruit concentration and good levels of natural acidity. Many winemakers predict red wines will be particularly exciting, while Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc stand out.
Allee Bleue Rosé 2010. A charming wine from Franschhoek with cherry-blossom colour and strawberry and rose petal aromas. Made in the dry style with a spicy twist from the Shiraz grapes, the fruity palate is reminiscent of candy floss with raspberry nuances. Enjoy with bruschetta, chorizo and savoury canapés.
Circumstance Cape Coral Mourvèdre Rosé 2010. Wholebunch pressed and fermented with wild yeast in the gravity-fed Waterkloof cellar in the Helderberg. This delicate, dry wine with a luminous pale coral hue, has a savoury character, with fynbos and rich red berry flavours. Versatile with mushrooms, sushi and summer fare.
Kleine Zalze Gamay Noir Rosé 2010. This more-ish varietal Rosé has seductive strawberry and pink salmon colours, with deep strawberry, cherry and plum fruit nuances. Made from the popular Beaujolais cultivar, it is a clean, light and dry wine with a smooth mouthfeel, fresh acidity and soft tannins. Perfect for al fresco fare.
De Grendel Koetshuis Sauvignon Blanc 2010. This big wine shows bold, ripe flavours of asparagus, capsicum and gooseberry. A classic cool-climate wine with firm acidity, a mineral thread and a long, leesy finish, it is sourced from key vineyards in Darling and Durbanville. Try it with asparagus, creamy pasta and goat’s milk cheese.
Nitida Sauvignon Blanc 2010. Named after the protea that grows on this family wine farm, this award-winning wine brims with gooseberry, zesty lime, grapefruit and lemongrass flavours. A leading examples of the scintillating green pyrazine character of coolclimate Sauvignon, signature grape of the Durbanville Valley.
Southern Right Sauvignon Blanc 2010. The long-awaited new vintage from this specialist Sauvignon Blanc producer in Walker Bay maintains signature minerality with a scintillating mouth-feel. A complex wine with subtle aromas of lime zest, gardenia flowers and white peach shows typical salty marine character on the palate.
Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection Chardonnay 2010. This barrel-fermented wine shows a good balance of fresh citrus fruit and oak pear and orange peel flavours and a chalky mineral palate. The extended lees contact in the barrels produces a long, creamy aftertaste in a medium-bodied wine with intense cultivar fruit character.
Kumala Zenith Chenin Blanc/Chardonnay 2010. This easy-drinking blend combines two popular grape varieties in a full-bodied dry wine that marries the tropical fruit flavours of Chenin with fresh citrus and lime fruit of Chardonnay, with a creamy vanilla oak finish. Enjoy with fullflavoured Thai chicken and vegetarian dishes.
Two Cubs White Blend 2010. This easy-drinking medley of Chenin and Sauvignon Blanc comes from an old family winery in the Simonsberg area of Stellenbosch. A fruit-driven wine evokes a tropical fruit salad of guava, grapefruit and pineapple with a hint of wild honey and a long, lively aftertaste. Pair with salads, seafood and pasta.
Creation Semillon 2010. One of a trio of exciting new 2010 single varietal releases — Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier — from one of the newer cellars in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. The Semillon 2010 expresses classic waxy, lanolin character with nuances of green fig and peas. Enjoy with seafood bisque or line fish with peas.