A new wave of blends is com­ing out of the Cape to­day, writes Gra­ham Howe

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A new wave of blends to suit all tastes is com­ing out of the Cape to­day

TRA­DI­TION­AL­ISTS might pre­fer a Bordeaux-style blend of Caber­net Sau­vi­gnon, Caber­net Franc, Mer­lot, Mal­bec and Petit Ver­dot. Spicier palates pre­fer a Rhônestyle blend of Shiraz, Mourve­dre and Viog­nier (known as SMV) or Gre­nache (SMG). Pa­tri­ots might pre­fer the new style Cape Blend of Pino­tage with other reds; a Por­tuguese blend of tra­di­tional va­ri­eties such as Touriga Na­cional, Tinta Barocca and Souzao; or an eclec­tic new-world blend of Caber­net Sau­vi­gnon, Shiraz and other grapes which crosses old-world bound­aries: An­thonij Ru­pert Op­tima 2009. Rated 90 points by Wine Spec­ta­tor, this iconic Bordeaux-style red blend is one of the draw cards at the el­e­gant new tast­ing room in the manor house of An­thonij Ru­pert Wines in Fran­schhoek. Aged in oak for 24 months, this vel­vety wine abounds with cas­sis, plum and fruit­cake flavours. Clos Malverne Spirit of Malverne 2011. Wine­maker Suzanne Coet- zee hand­crafted this new lim­ited re­lease from the bou­tique cel­lar in the Devon Val­ley where Pino­tage rules. This as­sem­blage com­bines the fragrant sweet fruit of Pino­tage with the cas­sis and sup­ple black­berry char­ac­ter of Caber­net as well as the sweet and spicy nu­ances of Shiraz. Deetlefs De Hageveld 2011. Kobus Deetlefs of Raw­sonville has re­leased two flag­ship red and white blends ded­i­cated to the eight gen­er­a­tions of his fam­ily, who came to the Cape in 1752. The De Hageveld Red is a bench­mark five-way blend of Mer­lot, Pino­tage, Caber­net, Mal­bec and Shiraz and has al­lur­ing lay­ers of flavour and fruit. Druk My Niet T3 2010. Named af­ter the three un­usual va­ri­eties — Tan­nat, Tinta Amarela and Tem­pranillo — which make up the in­trigu­ing as­sem­blage, the el­e­gant red blends com­ing out of this wine farm in the Paarl Val­ley are turn­ing heads. Watch out for In­vic­tus, a flag­ship blend of Caber­net Sau­vi­gnon, Franc and Mer­lot. Lanz­erac Le Gen­eral 2009. This new lim­ited re­lease blend of Caber­net Sau­vi­gnon, Mer­lot, Shiraz, Pino­tage and Mal­bec won a gold medal at the 2012 Ver­i­tas Awards. Lanz­erac — the land­mark ho­tel, cel­lar and wine farm in Stel­len­bosch — has won ac­claim for this plush as­sem­blage of the best bar­rels of one of the great vin­tages of the decade. Mor­gen­ster Lourens River 2010. The an­nual re­lease of the flag­ship red blends of this award-win­ning es­tate in Som­er­set West is ea­gerly awaited by fans. Over the past two decades, Mor­gen­ster has ac­crued a rep­u­ta­tion as the pro­ducer of one of the top Bordeaux-style red blends in SA — made in a plush, re­strained house style. Mu­ratie Ansela van de Caab 2009. The op­u­lent flag­ship Bordeauxstyle red blend is named af­ter the eman­ci­pated slave who mar­ried Lau­rens Cam­pher, the founder of one of the Cape’s orig­i­nal es­tates in 1685. Ev­ery wine tells a story at one of the most au­then­tic fam­ily cel­lars in Stel­len­bosch — from the se­duc­tive fruit to vel­vety tan­nins. Neder­burg Baronne 2009. Cel­e­brat­ing its 40th an­niver­sary in 2013, this nos­tal­gic red blend was first re­leased way back in 1970. The brain­child of leg­endary cel­lar mas­ter Gün­ter Brözel, this smooth, easy-drink­ing blend of suc­cu­lent red fruit flavours of Caber­net Sau­vi­gnon and smoky, pep­pery flavours of Shiraz has stay­ing power. Rick­ety Bridge Foun­da­tion Stone 2011. An in­no­va­tive blend of six Rhône-style cul­ti­vars un­der a strik­ing mod­ern la­bel, this as­sem­blage of Shiraz, Cin­saut, Mourvè­dre, Gre­nache, Tan­nat and Viog­nier from the Fran­schhoek Val­ley is vel­vety smooth with spicy white pep­per, red fruit, choco­late and cherry to­bacco flavours. Swart­land Con­tours Mer­lot/ Caber­net Sau­vi­gnon 2012. This new easy-drink­ing range show­cases the fresh, ripe fruit of clas­sic va­ri­eties from the cel­lar which spear­headed the rich, con­cen­trated style of tra­di­tional bush vine grapes. This new re­lease com- bines the dark berry and black­cur­rant char­ac­ter of Caber­net with the plummy fruit of Mer­lot. Blaauwk­lip­pen Zin­fan­del Re­serve. This cult Cal­i­for­nian grape is made in four styles — noble late har­vest, white, red and re­serve red — by the only Cape es­tate which has spe­cialised in the va­ri­ety since the late 1970s. Sourced from a sin­gle vine­yard planted in 1982, this ex­otic and full-bod­ied wine shows a great con­cen­tra­tion of black­berry fruit. Over­gaauw Touriga Na­cional 2012. The Van Velden’s de­light­ful fam­ily es­tate in Stel­len­bosch was one of the first to plant Por­tuguese va­ri­eties in the Cape. Fourth gen­er­a­tion wine­maker David van Velden makes one of the few sin­gle va­ri­etal ver­sions of this suc­cu­lent, full-bod­ied va­ri­ety with rich mul­berry, plum and rasp­berry fruit and a spicy fin­ish.

Above: A scenic view of Over­gaauw, and be­low right, the Lanz­erac cel­lar and tast­ing room.

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