I say De Krans and you say… Yes, you say port. But you should also be saying many other things, because De Krans is about so much more. I can’t say I blame you, ‘port’ used to be my default response too. After all, De Krans is situated smack bang in the middle of South Africa’s capital of port, Calitzdorp, and they’re not exactly shy when it comes to winning awards for their ports. But a recent opportunity to sit down with De Krans co-owner, Boets Nel, and their winemaker, Louis van der Riet, showed me the error of my ways.
For you see in addition to their fortified wines (one can’t really say port anymore, the Portuguese rather mind), they also make some exceptional wines using traditional Portuguese varietals. The De Krans Tinta Roriz (that’s red – yes, it’s OK not to know) saw Louis make it to the top three of the 2014 Diners Club Young Winemakers Award. It has loads of dark fruits and spice on the nose and tongue. What a wine. Then there’s a Touriga Nacional. It too is simply sublime with dark cherries, white pepper and toasted oak on the nose and dark berries and violets on the tongue. With a retail price of about R85, these are both exceptional red wine alternatives to the more traditional varietals and would pair very well with lamb, and even more so with game.