As we all know, spring is a real hodgepodge of temperatures, so our picks this month will cover you nicely for those still-chilly nights and warm days.
Elegant and overflowing with citrus and dried apricot, Allee Bleue’s flagship white is a stunner. Comprised of 68% Chardonnay, 21% Semillon and 11% Viognier, drink it on its own or pair with food – and on that note, it’s a perfect match for Asian spices, so think about pairing it with a Thai or Vietnamese dish. It holds layers of soft vanilla, with a silky palate of summer fruits, and even though it would be hard to resist drinking it now, it would age beautifully over the next 2-4 years. Cellar door price is R110. http://alleebleue.co.za/
Bold and fruity, it’s no wonder Alto Rouge is enduringly popular (you can read more about the Alto Rouge here). The latest Alto Rouge scored 91 in Tim Atkin’s special report on South African wine, and it’s well-deserved. Easy drinking and delicious, the Alto Rouge 2015 is a blend of Shiraz, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. With soft ripe tannins, the wine is dark, ruby red, with a bouquet of berries and cigar box. Perfect to drink without food, but if you are going to pair it then go for a simple red meat dish such as steak or game. Cellar door price is R80. https://www.alto.co.za/
New kid on the block! This is the first release from Overberg’s Broad Valley, which is about 10km away from Walker Bay and owned by David and Leigh Kretzmar. They originally bought the 105-hectare property in 2009 to use as a country getaway, but decided to turn its considerable terroir talents towards viticulture. And we’re glad they did. Their maiden vintage is herbaceous, with forest floor flavours and a savoury finish – it’s expected to develop more complexity and body over time, so will drink well over the next 8 years. For serving, it’s recommended to chill down to 18°C and decant for about 2 hours, and would be a lovely companion to a rare steak salad or veal. Cellar door price is R195. http://broadvalleywines.co.za/
The Caracal is part of Neethlingshof’s Short Story Collection, each of which tell a different story about the Stellenbosch wine farm (you can read more about the Short Story Collection here). This red blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot reflects the sustainability journey that the farm has undertaken, which brought the enigmatic Caracal back to the estate. The full-bodied Bordeaux-style blend is velvet-smooth, with deep notes of blackcurrants and undertones of vanilla. Enjoy it now or cellar for up to 5 years, and, while it’s great on its own, you can pair with a roasted quail dish. Cellar door price is R220. https://www.neethlingshof.co.za/
Plaisir de Merle Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
Full-bodied, elegant and juicy with cassis, this is a delicious Cabernet Sauvignon from Paarl’s Plaisir de Merle. With aromatic mulberry, spice and cedar notes on the nose, the wine is dark red and shows off classic dark fruit tastes. It’s very versatile when it comes to food pairings and will go beautifully with all red meat dishes. The wine will mature well for ten years or more. Cellar door price is R190. https://www.plaisirdemerle.co.za/