Try the fresh ’n fruity

The new vin­tage of 2012 white wines is out on the shelf in time for sum­mer, writes Gra­ham Howe

Business Day - Home Front - - HOMEFRONT -

WATCH out for a re­fresh­ing range of brand new re­leases of trendy Pinot Gri­gio, Chenin Blanc, Chardon­nay and Sauvi­gnon Blanc, from the cool­cli­mate val­leys of Constantia and Dur­banville to the in­land vine­yards of Stel­len­bosch, the Swart­land and Robert­son. Dressed to chill on a hot sum­mer’s day, these clas­sic ex­pres­sions of pop­u­lar white va­ri­eties cover a broad spec­trum of styles from easy drink­ing to el­e­gant, fresh ’ n fruity to fi­nesse, with ripe flavours to match sea­sonal ta­ble fare from sal­ads to seafood.

Hill & Dale Pinot Gri­gio 2012. A new re­lease in the good value range made at Stel­len­zicht in the golden tri­an­gle of Stel­len­bosch tempts con­sumers with a cult va­ri­ety. Sourced from a vine­yard planted 30 years ago, it shows the del­i­cacy, fresh­ness and vi­brant po­ten­tial of one of the few ex­am­ples made in the Cape.

Two Oceans Pinot Gri­gio 2012. An­other lus­cious, good-value ex­am­ple of this pop­u­lar va­ri­ety — also known as Pinot Gris in France. This easy drink­ing wine has a sub­tle flo­ral bou­quet with vi­brant flavours of dried peach, apri­cot and litchi. The fruity palate and crisp acid­ity makes it a per­fect com­pan­ion for spicy Asian fare.

Klooven­burg Chardon­nay 2012. Made on an old wine and olive farm (1704) in the Swart­land by fam­ily wine­maker Pi­eter du Toit, this un­wooded Chardon­nay gives el­e­gant ex­pres­sion to the va­ri­ety in a wine with great pu­rity of fruit. Made from a 20-year-old vine­yard, this wine shows del­i­cate lime flavours and soft acid­ity.

Tan­gled Tree But­ter­scotch Chardon­nay 2012. This eco-friendly new range from Van Lov­eren in the Robert­son Val­ley comes in fully re­cy­clable, un­break­able PET bot­tles with in­no­va­tive tree free la­bels made from 100% re­new­able su­gar cane fi­bre. This full and creamy Chardon­nay has in­tense but­ter­scotch aro­mas and crème brûlée char­ac­ter. Watch out too for Choco­late Caber­net, Spicy Shi­raz and Trop­i­cal Sauvi­gnon Blanc. De Bos Sur Lie Chenin Blanc 2012. This de­light­ful new range comes from Bos­man Fam­ily Vine­yards, a ninth gen­er­a­tion farm (1699) in the Bovlei Val­ley. An el­e­gant wine with fi­nesse and vi­brant fruit, it was left on its lees to cre­ate a rich, in­tense char­ac­ter with fresh cit­rus aro­mas and lus­cious pineap­ple and white peach flavours.

Neeth­ling­shof Chenin Blanc 2012. The first Chenin Blanc made by Stel­len­bosch wine­maker De Wet Viljoen since tak­ing over the cel­lar a decade ago. Made from new clones which pro­duce trop­i­cal flavours with rich pear and guava aro­mas, it was left on its lees to cre­ate a wine that has a creamy mouth­feel.

Stel­len­bosch Hills Chenin Blanc 2012. Made from grapes sourced from vine­yards in Lyne­doch, this charm­ing wine bursts with ripe trop­i­cal fruit, apri­cot, pineap­ple and granadilla flavours. Made from only free run juice, the wine was cool fer­mented to pre­serve the pu­rity of the fruit in a great value ex­pres­sion of Chenin for sum­mer.

Buiten­verwacht­ing Sauvi­gnon Blanc 2012. Wine­maker Brad Pa­ton makes two leg­endary ver­sions of this sig­na­ture va­ri­ety on this his­toric farm in the Constantia Wine Val­ley. The stan­dard ver­sion has en­tic­ing green fig and goose­berry aro­mas in a bone-dry wine with grassy, le­mon nu­ances — while the sin­gle vine­yard Hussey’s Vlei flag­ship is a more in­tense ex­pres­sion of the va­ri­ety with herba­ceous char­ac­ter.

Ni­tida Sauvi­gnon Blanc 2012. There’s been no look­ing back since this bou­tique fam­ily farm won dou­ble gold Ver­i­tas with its very first wine, a Sauvi­gnon Blanc 1995. Ni­tida makes six styles of va­ri­etal and Sauvi­gnon/Semil­lon blends with this sig­na­ture va­ri­ety in the Dur­banville Wine Val­ley to­day. This clas­sic ex­pres­sion cov­ers the whole spec­trum with dusty min­er­al­ity sweet pea, le­mon grass and cit­rus char­ac­ter.

Clos Malverne Sauvi­gnon Blanc 2012. The 2011 vin­tage won places in the FNB Sauvi­gnon Blanc Top 10 in 2011 and 2012 — and the 2012 vin­tage a best value award. This volup­tuous new re­lease bursts with trop­i­cal fruit in a tangy sum­mer wine with pineap­ple, as­para­gus and litchi flavours.

Neeth­ling­shof Sauvi­gnon Blanc 2012. Wine­maker De Wet Viljoen makes two ver­sions — a com­plex blend of eight blocks and a sin­gle vine­yard ver­sion made from grapes of sin­gu­lar char­ac­ter from the ninth vine­yard. One of the top 10 win­ners in the FNB Sauvi­gnon Blanc Top 10 2012, the lat­ter is made only in ex­cep­tional vin­tages.

Vil­liera Sauvi­gnon Blanc 2012. A peren­nial favourite from the eco-friendly Grier fam­ily farm in Stel­len­bosch which is a leader in sus­tain­able viti­cul­ture. The new vin­tage leans to the fruit­driven trop­i­cal style with in­tense va­ri­etal char­ac­ter. The big goose­berry and fig flavours and dry, zesty fin­ish are ideal for seafood over sum­mer.

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