#1: QUOIN ROCK Chardonnay 2018

Regarded as ‘Winter’s white wine of choice’, this perfect all-year-round wine from Quoin Rock is a beautiful straw colour with hints of green, alluding to its youthfulness and vibrancy. ‘The attractive nose showcases ripe citrus and orange peel aromas which carry through to hints of vanilla spice oak and toasted brioche,’ says winemaker Schalk Opperman. Citrus peel on the palate adds good weight and a lightly buttery texture, resulting in a well-balanced wine with fresh acid and minerality. Lemon lime flavours linger on the finish.

Schalk enjoys savouring the wine on its own after a busy day in the vineyards, or if he’s entertaining friends. This wine partners perfectly with most seafood dishes, especially crayfish. The price tag for this premium Stellenbosch Chardonnay? R400 per bottle.

#2: GLEN CARLOU Quartz Stone Chardonnay 2020

With the 2019 vintage receiving 92 points from Tim Atkin (MW) in 2020, the Quartz Stone Chardonnay 2020 from Glen Carlou has big shoes to fill, but winemaker Johnnie Calitz feels confident that his new release will live up to the task. Meticulous vineyard management combined with exceptional terroir yielded fruit of superb quality. The Quartz Stone grapes were hand harvested in the coolness of morning, where the emphasis was on preserving the natural complexity of the fruit. The nose is complex with loads of citrus, white peach, spice and buttered toast. On the mid-palate it expresses tantalising lime and butterscotch. The aftertaste is long and complex with apricot marmalade and a delicate yet creamy almond finish. The price tag for this premium beauty? R340 per bottle.

#3: WELGEGUND Heritage Wines Chenin Blanc 2019

The 8th annual International #DrinkChenin Day takes place this Saturday 19th June 2021. Now Chenin may not be one of the noble grape varieties, but in the right hands and treated with care, it delivers wines of astonishing quality. Welgegund’s limited release Heritage Chenin 2019 was barrel fermented from a low-yielding 47-year-old ancient dryland vineyard that proudly bears the Old Vine Project Heritage Certification Seal – a World First!

Winemaker, Friedrich Kühne, says the 2019 is an exemplary vintage, one of the best in many years. A third of the wine was aged in 2nd fill 500L French oak barrels for 14 months. The wine is clear medium lemon in colour. On the nose you’ll find beautiful layers of candied citrus, ripe pear, quince, fresh peach and honeysuckle. The palate is soft and elegant, showcasing star fruit, melon and lime. It finishes in a slaty minerality with a touch of nuttiness. This is a food wine and will pair brilliantly with seafood like crayfish and langoustines, sushi and sweets like citrus tart or nutty nougat. Only 1801 individually-numbered bottles were produced, making it a wonderfully special Father’s Day gift. The price tag? R288 per bottle.

#4: GLEN CARLOU Blanc de Blancs Brut 2018

There are many Cap Classique wines that I just adore, but Glen Carlou’s Blanc de Blancs Brut 2018 is a bit of a stunner.

Made from 100% Chardonnay, the grapes were handpicked early in the morning and handled reductively to preserve the integrity of the fruit for the base wine. Grapes were sourced from vineyard blocks in the Simonsberg-Paarl region as well as Robertson. Bottle fermented and left on the lees for 30 months, this dry sparkler reveals distinct white peach, cinnamon spice and subtle jasmine floral aromas. These carry through to textured brioche aromas and nuances of lemon and lime, as well as a mineral green apple crispness, which become evident in the glass. It’s available online via their wine shop or directly from their tasting room at R320 per bottle. This is a premium price point to be sure, but it’s a premium Cap Classique that boasts 4,5 Platter stars. The ideal indulgent Father’s Day present if dad likes his bubbles.

#5: GLEN CARLOU Gravel Quarry Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Part of an award-winning lineage with the previous vintage scoring an impressive 91 points by the revered Tim Atkin (MW) in his 2020 South African Wine Report, the single vineyard Gravel Quarry Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 is planted in a rehabilitated gravel quarry, the soils consisting of weathered granite and ‘koffieklip’. This is a powerful, sophisticated wine that pays tribute to the soil’s identity. The nose of this noble varietal shows layers of ripe blackcurrants, dark berries, dark chocolate and nuances of bramble and cedar. Exquisitely balanced with a full and complex palate that’s rounded out by subtle oak spice and firm tannin. The price tag is R440 per bottle. This new release has fantastic maturation potential, perfect for dad to add to his premium red collection. It’s a stunner now and it’s only going to get better with a bit of lying around.

#6: DE GRENDEL Amandelboord Pinotage 2018 or 2019

De Grendel released its Amandelboord Pinotage for the first time in 2015 and it has been raking in the rewards ever since. The 2015 vintage got 91 points from Tim Atkin (MW); the 2016 the overall top Pinotage award in the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show and the 2017 Double Gold in the Michaelangelo awards. The 2018 has just been awarded a Top 10 place in the prestigious online Winemag awards and the 2019 received 93 points from Tim Atkin. On the nose of this wine you’ll find intense maraschino cherries, black plum, prunes and banana-flavoured Wilson toffee aromas. On the palate there is a slight toastiness followed by sweet, stewed prunes. A stonkingly good buy at the R240 mark.

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About this article: I only write about places and things I actually really like. Should I receive complimentary meals/tickets/diamonds, this will always be revealed. I’m not in the rubbishing business, so if something is not my cup of tea, I’ll simply not write about it (but I’ll keep the diamonds). Therefore this is not so much a review, as a personal recommendation of places and things I like.

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