Tag Archives: Review

We drink: Cape Chamonix Wine Farm Chardonnay Reserve

Cape Chamonix Wine Farm is a SAWi 2015 High-End White Wine Producer of the Year Finalist, with an average of 93.80 for its top three scoring whites. The Cape Chamonix Wine Farm Chardonnay Reserve scored 96.9 points in 2015, earning SAWi Platinum status. We taste the 2013 vintage as an example of the producer’s white wines portfolio.

The wine is a pale staw colour. Delicate hints of tropical fruit, banana, bitter marmalade and apricot skin appear on the nose, with the pleasing effects of lees contact and 14 months of oaking also evident.

The wine is well-balanced and almost full-bodied with all the scent-suggested flavours, but somewhat subdued. These subtle flavours are bound to develop over the next couple of years, so it’s advisable to delay drinking it now; if possible. Given this it’s best enjoyed on its own or with mild flavoured foods.

The finish is good, leaving hints of lime and that intriguing apricot skin.

Accolades (according to the chamonix.co.za website)
Decanter World Wine Award 2014
Taj Classic Wine – Chardonnay Reserve 2012
SA Top 100 wines – Chardonnay Reserve 2012
Taj Classic Wine – Chardonnay Reserve 2011
Gold Medal at Six Nations Wine Challenge
John Platter 5 stars 2013
John Platter 4½ stars 2012
John Platter 4½ stars 2011
Old Mutual Wine Awards, Trophy for Museum Class 2010
Gold, Tri Nations International Wine Show 2009
Gold Medal Santam Classic Wine Trophy 2009
Old Mutual Wine Awards, Trophy for Museum Class 2008

See technical and other details here.

We Drink: Constantia Glen Three

Contantia Glen is a stone’s throw from the Cape Town city centre, just below the Constantia Nek, in South Africa’s oldest wine producing region.

The estate produces four wines, two whites – a Sauvignon Blanc and a Sauvignon Blanc/Sémillon blend, and two reds – both Bordeaux blends, respectively. Constantia Glen is SAWi 2015 High-End Red Wine Producer of the Year Finalist, with an average of 94.22 for its two reds, and a SAWi 2015 High-End Overall Wine Producer of the Year Finalist, averaging 95.08. The Contantia Glen Sauvignon Blanc and Constantia Glen Three are both SAWi 2015 Platinum Award recipients.

The Constantia Glen Three is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. The cool coastal climate yields beautifully ripened fruit which is batch vinified. While the 2011 vintage is drinking well, this is a wine to keep for a while and will certainly express its true value with a few more years in the cellar.

Expect lots of dark berries on the nose, with the Merlot distinctive.

Dark fruit flavours dominate the palate, and despite its relative youth, the tannins are well-integrated. There is a pleasant spiciness to the wine which, together with the wine’s superb structure and 14.5% alcohol, points to a fabulous foil to robust flavoured foods.

The excellent mouth-feel gives way to a lingering finish that will hold up well to venison/red meats, smoked food, a hearty stew or another glassful…

Accolades (from http://www.constantiaglen.com/wines/)

We Drink: Raats Old Vine Chenin Blanc 2013

nullRaats Family Wines is a SAWi 2015 High-End White Wine Producer of the Year Finalist, with an average of 93.86 for its top three scoring whites. The Raats Original Chenin Blanc scored 92.8 points in 2015, earning SAWi Grand Gold status. We taste the Raats Old Vine Chenin Blanc 2013 as an example of the producer’s white wines portfolio.

This is a fantastic wine and an excellent example of the often-missed (in SA) value and potential complexity of Chenin Blanc.

In the glass the wine is striking, with a beautiful golden straw colour and distinct notes of pear, white peach and nettles on the nose. As the wine warms, tropical aromas are evident with citrus obvious and just a hint of spice.

With 30% of the wine aged in French oak for 9 months, and the additional 2 months lees-contact the oaked and unoaked components enjoy before bottling, the wine is noticeably full bodied and almost creamy, without masking any of the inherent Chenin Blanc fruitiness.

On the palate the wine exhibits tropical and stone fruit, citrus peel and ginger. There’s an enticing liqourice flavour prominent when inhaling after swallowing. The wine exhibits a perfect medium acidity, leading to a pleasing lingering mineral/lime finish.

The wine is perfect on its own, served cold, and is complex enough to be enjoyed with food – particularly a mild curry/spiced chicken or prawn dish, rocket-based salad, gammon or butternut soup.

Raats Old Vine Chenin Blanc 2013 costs R234 per bottle from Wine.co.za.

Accolades (according to the Raats.co.za website)
2013 – scored 90 points by Stephen Tanzer (June 2015).
2013 – 4½ stars John Platter 2015.
2013 – scored 92 points by Neal Martin from The Wine Advocate (0ct 2014).
2012 – scored 89 points by Wine Spectator (August 2014).
2012 – scored 93 points by Tim Atkin (July 2014).
2012 – 4½ stars John Platter 2014.
2012 – scored 89 points by Neal Martin from The Wine Advocate (October 2013).
2011 – scored 91 points by Wine Enthusiast (July 2014).

See technical and other details here.