If you grow and produce your wines in a place called Vermaaklikheid [Entertainment], can you go wrong? Lower Duivenhoks River, Cape South Coast is the place, 8km from the Indian Ocean near a small village called Vermaaklikheid. Clearly the chaps at Baleia hit the nail on the head from the first introduction of their wines not that many vintages ago. They also produce an excellent Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The thing that I like, is the attention to detail in the packaging. Baleia is the Portuguese word for whale, the labels reflect Portugal in that the design is classical Portuguese blue and white tiles. Attention to detail is everything.
The grapes for the Baleia Sauvignon Blanc 2017 come from vines planted in Limestone rich soils on trellised vineyards. Once in the cellar, the grapes are destalked and crushed, the juice being taken to half stainless-steel tanks, the remainder in 225 litre, 4th fill French oak barrels for fermentation using Loire Valley Yeasts. The wine was allowed ten months on the lees. Before being prepared for bottling.
From a Burgundy shaped bottle under natural cork. The label, as I said above, is classy stuff. In the glass, a pale golden straw in colour with lime green flashes. The wine has all the assets of a fine ‘green’ Sauvignon Blanc. Not green in terms of ripeness but the lovely aromas of scrunched scrubby coastal herbs. The fruits are Granny Smith Apples with the refreshing acidity of poached cape gooseberries and zest of green tropical limes. The long aftertaste has a minerality interwoven with the zingy citrus, refreshing and vibrant and asking you to take another sip.
Perfect as a sundown sipper, or as an aperitif to enliven the palate. Nina Timm’s Budget Salmon Pasta is a great partner to the Baleia Sauvignon Blanc 2017. Click here for her recipe.
This is a single vineyard wine inoculated with selected yeast strains from the home of the Pinot Noir Grape, Burgundy, France. Fermentation took place in open fermenters; the grapes were then pressed, and the wine taken to 225 litre French oak barrels of which 10% were new. Malolactic fermentation took place naturally and the wine was matured for 13 months. The wine was then prepared for bottling.
From an appropriately Burgundy shaped bottle under natural cork. In the glass, the classical Pinot Noir delicately translucent cherry red. The aromas of red berries and cherries, Parma violets and a hint of petrichor mingle on the palate with delicate spice notes. Lovely sensuous mouthfeel with a generosity of fruit and a long gently waning tail.
Do decant and chill for 30 minutes before serving. Nina Timm’s Lip-smacking Lamb Ribbetjies are a delicious partner for the Baleia Erhard Pinot Noir 2014. Click here for her recipe.
Planted on the limestone rich soils on trellises, is all a Chardonnay grape could ask for, and then to spend maturation time in fine French oak barrels. And the Baleia Inge Chardonnay 2015 has had time to age. A truly rewarding wine.
The grapes for the Baleia Inge Chardonnay 2015 underwent alcoholic fermentation in 30% stainless steel tanks, 50% 2500L French oak Foudres and 20% 225L 2nd+3rd fill French oak barrels. 60% of the wine underwent malolactic fermentation naturally. The wine was matured for 12 months before being prepared for bottling.
From a Burgundy shaped bottle closed with natural cork. The label as with the others is the classical Baleia blue and white label. In the glass, the wine is a golden straw colour. The aromas are of tropical fruits, mango, desiccated pineapple and barley sugar. These carry on into the entry where the wine is soft yet swirls full in the palate where sweet tropical limes and windfall oranges make their presence felt. The long and slowly disappearing aftertaste is interwoven with an undertow of oak and its concomitant spices and a lovely rough-skinned Cape lemon lift.
Again, a wine built for food. Perfect with the Sunday Butter Roasted Organic Chicken with real gravy and fluffy potato mash. And for a twist, Nina Timm’s Savoury Chicken Cheesecake will provide the perfect foil for the Baleia Inge Chardonnay 2015. Click here for her recipe.
As I mentioned earlier, Baleia also makes a fine Extra Virgin Olive Oil which come beautifully packaged. All these making excellent Christmas Gifts.
Read more about Baleia Wines – CLICK HERE