Fancy a nice glass of white? Nothing beats a chilled glass of a refreshing white wine.
Whether you want fresh and fruity, crisp and refreshing, oaked or unoaked, white wines are known for their simple, yet pleasing flavour. White wines are often considered more refreshing, and lighter in both style and taste than the majority of their red wine counterparts.
The annual White Wine and MCC Review took place in October at the beautiful Table Bay Hotel situated in the V&A Waterfront.
It was one of the most esteemed events where a maximum of 60 wineries together with the winemaker showcased their finest flagship wines in the country that received the highest accolades in all the top competitive platforms.
The ballroom set the scene for the tasting. The atmosphere was formal yet relaxed, with beautiful chandeliers and flowers to set the ambiance.
Here is a list of the wines we tasted:
BON COURAGE MCC JACQUES BRUÉRE BLANC DE BLANC 2011
This is an elegant cap classique that shows lovely fruit with hints of lime and a full yeasty biscuit nose. This is followed by a creamy complexity on the palate finishing with a delicious lingering fullness that is both crisp and clean.
In Champagne, the term Blanc de Blancs designates Champagnes made only from Chardonnay grapes or in rare occasion from Pinot Blanc.
MORGENSTER CUVÉE ALESSANDRA MCC 2016
It is a full flavoured, intellectually interesting bubbly made from Cabernet Franc, produced by the Méthode Cap Classique. This traditional bottle fermented style of production has resulted in a wine of intense flavour, big volume and fine bubble structure.
This bubbly is named after one of Giulio Bertrand’s daughters. Made from 100% Cabernet Franc and spent nine months in barrel and 16 months on the lees.
COLMANT MCC BRUT CHARDONNAY NV
A floral bouquet with beautiful lime blossom notes, paired with a fresh citrus and green apple scent, followed by toasted bread and brioche aromas induced by the lengthy maturation.
This bubbly is made from fruit off selected vineyards in Franschhoek and Robertson. The aim is finesse, freshness and elegance and a 100% Chardonnay bubbly.
Amorim Cap Classique Challenge 2018 ~ Best Blanc de Blancs.
Received 5 stars in the Platter’s Guide.
SALTARE MCC BRUT RESERVE NV
The wine has almonds, quince, orange peel and camomile flower aromas on the nose. There is creamed honey on the palate followed by layers of brioche, lemon thyme and yellow apple. It has a fine, delicate mousse with a long, complex, creamy finish.
Saltare means ‘to dance’ in Latin. It is a boutique winery in Stellenbosch.
SILVERTHORN JEWEL BOX MCC 2014
Light straw yellow with elegant fine bubbles. Complex aromas of roasted almonds, marzipan and subtle hints of strawberry and cherry compote followed by zesty citrus nuances on the Nose. The Palate is dry, rich and full – soft toasty creaminess with a beautiful weight. Made from 70% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir.
Jewel Box is inspired by our ethos of Afropean synergy, combining old world European heritage and knowledge; and our contemporary African environment and culture.
VONDELING RURALE BLANC DE BLANC 2015
The palate is crip, fresh apple and lemon with a hint of lemon peel. It’s creamy and full but not overly so.
Mèthode Ancestrale was originally produced in the Limoux region of France, as far back as 1531, and is in all likelihood the original method of producing sparkling wine. The name Rurale is the original name for what was later recognized by the French A.O.C as Mèthode Ancestral.
ANTHONIJ RUPERT | CAPE OF GOOD HOPE ALTIMA SAUVIGNON BLANC 2017
Bold tropical granadilla – and gooseberry notes tinged with grapefruit and lime zest. The entry is bold with crisp, zingy grapefruit and granadilla flavour. Lovely structure with good length and a lingering finish.
The Cape of Good Hope range pays tribute to the vinous heritage of the Western Cape, using grapes from ancient vines and unique sites to celebrate their impressive inheritance of terroir, climate, soil and grape variety.
ALHEIT VINEYARDS CARTOLOGY 2017
The Cartology is produced from vineyards across the Western Cape, namely Stellenbosch, Tygerberg, Paardeberg and Piekenierskloof. This wine shows some citrus, honey, quince, spear mint and some baking spices. A delicious white blend that consists of 87% Chenin Blanc and 13% Semillon.
Cartology (meaning the study of maps) is a vinous exploration of Cape heritage. It’s intended to be a picture of the Cape, seen through the lens of her mature vineyards, in a given vintage. Therefore, the cuveé is composed of rare and extraordinary parcels of mature dryland bushvines. Naturally, the varieties used are also heritage varieties, namely Chenin blanc and Semillon. They have been planted in the Cape for centuries.
BOEKENHOUTSKLOOF SEMILLON 2016
Boekenhoutskloof Semillon is a deliciously rewarding wine that has a generous and mouth-filling quality. The bouquet is forthcoming with pronounced floral aromas that intermingle with lemon zest, roasted spice and white peach notes. Its lovely complexity is complimented by firm mineral acidity, which results in a perfectly balanced profile.
Boekenhoutskloof was established in 1776. Located in the furthest corner of the beautiful Franschhoek valley, the farm’s name means ‘ravine of the Boekenhout’ (pronounced Book-n-Howed). Boekenhout is an indigenous Cape Beech tree greatly prized for furniture making.
BOTANICA CHENIN BLANC 2016
The beautifully appointed Chenin Blanc from Botanica Wines shows an exquisite sunshine yellow colour in the glass, hinting at the sultry tropical fruit aromas that dominate the nose. Expect to encounter alluring peach and apple flavours alongside soft yeasty and earthy notes that perform with pleasing intensity on the mid-palate.
The farm is located in Devon Valley just 10 minutes from the center of Stellenbosch.
CAPENSIS CHARDONNAY 2015
There’s a balanced richness to this wine, with lovely notes of wood-grilled apple, toasted hazelnut, freshly baked apple pie and orange creamsicle that are cut by ample acidity. The medium-weight mouthfeel is smooth but not flabby, with lingering baking spice and toasted brioche notes on the close.
Latin for “cape,” Capensis is produced in South Africa, one of the oldest winemaking regions in the world. The ancient soils, dramatic landscapes and historic vineyards of Stellenbosch, Overberg and Robertson are the foundation for Capensis which honors the greatness of South Africa. Winemaker Graham Weerts has carefully selected the finest Chardonnay vineyards within the Western Cape to create this expressive wine.
OAK VALLEY GROENLANDBERG CHARDONNAY 2017
Generous fruit intensity of green apple, pear, citrus, cool lime and lemon freshness while retaining elegant restraint.
The Groenlandberg range from Oak Valley is hidden by a mist of clouds. This isolated mountain is covered in fynbos which grows in the fertile soils of Bokkeveld clay shales. The vineyards surviving under the circumstances of this harsh terroir form the narrative for wines from this range. They are a true reflection of place. While 2017 was the dryest growing season in more than 100 years, cool climate Oak Valley enjoyed the relief provided by constant cloud cover.
OLIFANTSBERG BLANC 2017
A refreshingly modern take on a classic white blend – Rhône-inspired but proudly Breedekloof terroir! The white Rhône varieties, Rousanne and Grenache Blanc, dominate the aromatics of the nose and pallet, while Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay add layers of fruit and complexity. A very enticing wine. Beautiful balance between savoury, floral and opulent fruit aromas. Fairly full bodied and richly textured supported by a keen line of acidity.
Located on the slopes of the Olifantsberg Mountain, the vineyards thrive naturally in Breedekloof shale Renosterveld and sandstone soils.
NEWTON JOHNSON CHARDONNAY 2017
Deceptively elegant as this wine opens up to produce complex characters with depth, and long flavours in the finish.
The vineyard is situated in the Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley appellation which lies at an altitude of 150-300m in the sole emergence of igneous granite in the Southern Cape. It is described as porphyritic, having cooled in stages to distinct sizes of crystals, and decomposed further in to the soil structure. Clays formed lower down that buffer the vines from temperature change and dehydration. We believe that granite provides the linear and perfumed characters in our wines.
LEEU PASSANT CHARDONNAY 2016
The Chardonnay has citrus and flinty aromas. The palate is packed with lime zest and crushed shells and has a textured, vibrant and long finish.
Leeu Passant is the Franschhoek Winery of Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines. The Leeu Passant wines are multi-regional bottlings inspired by the classic age-worthy wines of the Cape from the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s. These were authentic wines unique to the culture, terroir, history and tastes of the Cape, and we strive to reflect these unique factors in our wines.
KLEIN CONSTANTIA PERDEBLOKKE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2017
Matured in neutral oak. The nose shows pear, peach, blackcurrant plus some herbal notes. The palate is pleasantly lean – clean fruit, arresting acidity, the finish long and salty. Very elegant and most particular.
The name Perdeblokke, refers to the horses that tilled the soils of the steep slopes that lie 200-220 metres above sea level on the slopes of the Constantiaberg mountain. Since it was planted, the Perdeblokke has yielded top quality and a distinctly unique Sauvignon Blanc, which prompted the decision to produce this special label wine in 2005. It is only made in years of exceptional quality.
JORDAN ESTATE NINE YARDS CHARDONNAY 2016
A style characterised by refreshing linear acidity and mouth filling fruit textures. Classic Nine Yards flavours with lime citrus and fragrant oak spice.
The Ultimate Expression of Jordan Terroir. The Nine Yards Chardonnay is made is in a reserve style, from barrel selection from our best vineyard site. Stylistically different to our Jordan Chardonnay, with this wine we went “The whole nine yards”!
IONA CHARDONNAY 2017
The wine shows concentrated marzipan and citrus notes, with underlying hazelnut and lime notes, which adds to layered complexity. The wine is seamless, with flavoursome and long finish.
Iona is the coolest vineyard in the Cape, 420m above sea-level, high above the picturesque Elgin Valley.
Iona is surrounded by the Kogelberg Nature Reserve and overlooks the Atlantic Ocean in the South. In a country where cool sites are precious, these vineyards are like gold — the grapes ripening up to two months later than other Cape vineyards and in perfect balance.
HAMILTON RUSSELL CHARDONNAY 2017
A delicious wine with minerality and classic length and complexity. Prominent pear and lime fruit aromas are brought beautifully into focus by a tight line of bright natural acid. An elegant, yet textured and intense wine with a strong personality of both place and vintage.
Hamilton Russell Vineyards – one of the most southerly wine Estates in Africa and one of the closest to the sea – pioneered viticulture and winemaking in the beautiful, cool, maritime Hemel-en-Aarde Valley appellation, just behind the old fishing village of Hermanus.
DIEMERSDAL WINTER FERMENT SAUVIGNON BLANC 2018
The wine has intense aromas of gooseberries, tropical fruit and sweet-grapefruit with a core of minerality. The excellent natural acidity creates balance to the concentrated, rich mouth-filling texture.
Diemersdal’s reputation for pushing the boundaries with Sauvignon Blanc is expressed in this innovative wine style. After harvest, the juice for this wine was frozen at -20°C and kept in this state for five months. It was then thawed and fermented in the heart of the Cape winter, producing a uniquely tropical style of Sauvignon Blanc totally unique for South Africa.
DE WETSHOF BATELEUR CHARDONNAY 2016
Citrus and pear-drop notes are complemented by an intriguing nuttiness, with elegant citrus on the finish. The Bateleur improves in dimension and complexity with age and under the correct storage conditions it can mature in the bottle for many years.
The Bateleur (Terathopius ecaudatus) is one of Africa’s most majestic birds of prey. This wine was named after an eagle that is rare in both its beauty and occurrence as a tribute to the power and grace of a creature synonymous with our great continent.
CAPE POINT VINEYARDS ISLIEDH 2017
A blend that consists of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. The wine displays a complex array of Stone fruit, floral notes, limes, grapefruit and spicy oak. The palate is rich, seductive and exotic while still retaining the characteristic of Cape Point mineral edge.
Named after Sybrand’s (owner) granddaughter, Isliedh best reflects the uniqueness of the Noordhoek Estate. Here a special block of severely windswept vines yield tiny crops of concentrated and well structured Sauvignon Blanc.
Raats Family Old Vine Chenin Blanc 2017
The wine offers a complex nose showing quince, white peach, yellow apple, acacia, nettles, white pepper and fenugreek spices and an intense minerality. The stone fruit character follows through onto an exceptionally balanced, very delicate, fine textured limey palate showing a peach-melba character with an exquisite roundness and freshness. The wine lingers with hints of ripe nectarine and apricot, zesty lemon and wet chalk.
Bruwer Raats uses a combination of wood and stainless steel components on this old vine Chenin, made with grapes from sandstone and granite soils.
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