This summer, we’re excited about these new release wines from some of South Africa’s most beloved cellars.
After a long, hard hiatus for the South African wine industry, the summer season is mercifully unfolding with a plethora of new wines for us to try. And just in time for the festive season, too! Here are some of the new release wines we’re most excited about.
La Motte Millennium 2018
A Bordeaux-style blend of Merlot (52%), Cabernet Franc (30%), Petit Verdot (10%) and Malbec (8%), the Millennium from Franschhoek estate La Motte is a reliably excellent, any-occasion red wine. On the nose are heady notes of raspberry and creamy toffee, intermingled with subtle herbaceous, earthy aromas and spice. The palate rises to the introduction set by the nose, adding flavours of concentrated blueberries and a fresh acidity.
De Toren Fusion V 2017
Another Bordeaux-style wine, this one from the lauded cellars of De Toren in Stellenbosch! The bold and full-bodied Fusion V 2017 is crafted from Bordeaux’s ‘Noble Five’ varietals and delivers complex flavours of liquorice, black cherry, cedar, and dark berries with a texture as “soft as spun silk”. On the nose, there are pronounced red and dark fruits with a hint of sweet spice and on the palate, a beautiful, complex texture with a long finish.
Vin de Constance 2017
The Vin de Constance is a natural sweet wine made from Muscat grapes with a beguiling history that dates back to the 18th Century when Constantia was internationally known for its sweet wines. The wine leads with a pure, enticing nose of sweet citrus, table grapes, marmalade, and hints of peach and apricot. In the mouth, it’s almost viscous with complexity and intensity and lingers for an eternity but without being cloying.
Warwick Wine Professor Black II Pitch Black
The Professor Black II Pitch Black is a new addition to the Warwick Wine Estate repertoire: a rich and textured red blend inspired by the wines from the Simonsberg region, where it was once common practice to blend classic Bordeaux varieties with Cinsault. The result of this alchemy is a total crowd-pleaser of a wine, according to Warwick’s cellar master JD Pretorius, delivering dark berries, wild strawberries, violets, and herbs on the nose and rich complexity, fine-grained tannins, and a long, brooding finish on the palate.
Tokara Reserve Collection Syrah 2017
From the gloriously beautiful, vineyard-carpeted hills of Tokara Wine Estate, high up on Helshoogte Pass in Stellenbosch, comes this seductive 2017 Reserve Syrah, which displays a stunning deep purple colour with a ruby red rim. The nose leads with notes of ripe blue and blackberries intermingled with subtle clove spice and aromas of cedar, vanilla, and blue violets. On the palate, the Tokara Reserve Collection Syrah is elegant and refined with rich dark fruit, a silky mid-palate, and a hint of pepper spice on the finish.
Constantia Glen Sauvignon Blanc 2020
For that perfectly crisp, go-to summer wine, look no further than Constantia Glen’s most recent vintage of Sauvignon Blanc. Born in a cool climate valley widely known for its suitability for Sauvignon Blanc, the new vintage delivers depth and minerality with uplifting aromas of nettle and gooseberry, backed by nectarine and kiwi fruit flavours. Sniff a little deeper, and you may detect the underlying perfume of elderflower, which is characteristic of the Constantia Glen Sauvignon Blanc.
Survivor Bushvine Chenin Blanc 2019
The limited release (1 500 bottles) Chenin Blanc Reserve 2019 from the Overhex Winery’s Survivor range is a wine of great complexity and finesse. Having been crafted from select parcels of low-yielding vineyards in the Swartland, this 100% Chenin Blanc showcases the best of what the region can produce. The resultant, partially oaked wine is complex, elegant, and creamy, boasting an intense bouquet of apricot, peach, and yellow apple enlivened by a hint of zesty lemon.
Delheim Vera Cruz Pinotage 2017
The Delheim Vera Cruz Pinotage 2017 is a rich and delicious 100% Pinotage from the Simonsberg Ward in Stellenbosch. Selected from a single block of 21-year-old bush vines, this vivid crimson and purple wine delivers layered aromas of plums, red currants, tobacco, black cherries, and chocolate truffles. On the palate is a complex array of fruit flavours of plums, mulberry, and fresh cherries, which burst forth on a river of velvety tannins, followed by a long and generous finish.
Luddite Saboteur White 2019
Origin: Bot River
The fifth vintage of the Saboteur White (2019) from Luddite Wine Estate on the Walker Bay wine route is set to follow in the footsteps of its previous, highly successful vintages. A blend of 74% Chenin Blanc, 15% Fumé Blanc (wooded Sauvignon Blanc), 11% Viognier, the wine is beautifully balanced with a sumptuous, buttery texture and weight juxtaposed by refreshing acidity and fruity flavours.
Roodeberg Classic Rosé 2020
From the internationally beloved cellars of KWV in Paarl comes this refreshing take on an icon of the South African wine industry: the Roodeberg Classic Rosé. Just in time for spring, the new vintage of this vibrant Rosé serves up subtle aromas of strawberry, candyfloss, and raspberry intertwined with hints of rose petals and Turkish delight. This gorgeous, salmon-pink wine is the perfect complement to lighter summer dishes, salads, seafood, and picnic fare.
Babylonstoren Mourvèdre Rosé
What began as an experiment with Mourvèdre grapes—done at the time when this cultivar was rarely used for Rosé — has evolved into this rosy and devilishly moreish dry wine. The Babylonstoren Mourvèdre Rosé is a sophisticated wine, salmon in colour with delicious hints of raspberries and rose petals on the nose. These yawn open into creamy strawberry yoghurt and candyfloss on the palate, balanced nicely by a subtle punch of acidity and a lingering mouthfeel.
Saurwein Chi Riesling 2020
With only 5 900 bottles produced in this vintage, the Chi Riesling 2020 by superlatively talented winemaker Jessica Saurwein is a special thing indeed! The grapes originate from two vineyards in the fertile Elgin valley, yielding a Riesling that is fragrant with orange blossom, green melon, and lime, with subtle notes of yellow stone fruits, piña colada, honeysuckle, and flint. The 2020 vintage, with its cool, late-ripening period, also boasts wines of great palate weight and texture.
Bouchard Finlayson Tête De Cuvée
Origin: Hemel-en-Aarde Valley
The Hemel-en-Aarde Valley has the rare and unique combination of soil and climate that provides the perfect expression of the notoriously finicky Pinot Noir grape. And the Tête de Cuvée label presents Bouchard Finlayson’s top Pinot Noir barrels from each vintage. As such, you may expect a truly glorious wine—regal and focused — that presents a pristine balance of delicacy and richness. On the nose: silky layers of ripe blueberry and plum with touches of spice and espresso.
Stellenbosch Hills Reserve White 2019
The 1707 Stellenbosch Hills Reserve White is a rich, elegant wine with an aromatic nose of stone fruit, honey, and zesty citrus aromas. Crafted from 70% Chardonnay, 20% Semillon, and 10% Viognier from the Stellenbosch Kloof area, every component was matured on the lees in 300-litre French oak barrels for ten months. The result is 3 000 bottles of this voluptuous Reserve White blend, which pairs beautifully with sushi, risotto, grilled chicken, fish, curry, and cream-based dishes.
Boschendal Vin D’Or
On the sweeter side, the Vin D’Or from Boschendal Estate near Franschhoek is a natural sweet wine that bursts with citrus aromas of tangerine, underscored by hints of tropical fruit and delicate honeysuckle. On the palate, it delivers a tremendous fruit core that’s highly concentrated, yet well balanced, and rather than leaving a cloying sweetness in the mouth, it finishes with a fresh citrus zest. The Vin D’Or is crafted from Botrytis-affected Weisser Riesling (sourced from Durbanville) and Viognier (Elgin).
Groote Post Seasalter Sauvignon Blanc 2020
The Seasalter from Groote Post in Darling is a white blend of 90% Sauvignon Blanc and 10% Sémillon that’s wonderfully expressive on the nose and palate with captivating notes of blackcurrant, stone fruit, and green apple mingled together with hints of fynbos, kelp, sea breeze, and a touch of oak. This wine is rich and layered: a subtly powerful yet elegant blend that shows typical Darling minerality, vibrant acidity, and some leesy complexity before a long, saline finish.