Try the fresh ’n fruity
The new vintage of 2012 white wines is out on the shelf in time for summer, writes Graham Howe
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.