Current wines for the drinking & a great local whisky

Slanghoek Private Selection Chardonnay 2016

Slanghoek is a place of great beauty. I have been there but once and have a yearning to go back. The mountains, the trees, the vineyards.  Also, a place of excellent wine. The Slanghoek Private Selection Chardonnay 2016 being one of them. The wine recently took the award for the Best Value Chardonnay at the annual Getaway Best Value Wine Awards. So worthy for a wine under R80.00 a bottle.

Elegant bottle, Burgundy shape.  In the glass, a pale straw gold with green flashes. Fresh tropical limes and soft whiffs of oak on the nose.  The palate is rich with sliced yellow apple, good in the middle with complex fruits on a refreshing ending.

Ultimate food wine. A butter and lemon roasted organic chicken with crisp rustly potato wedges and a parsley laden salad, would be a great partner.

Avondale Samsara 2009

Avondale Samsara 2009 is made from Shiraz grapes harvested in vineyards which are between 10 and 17 years old.  The vineyards are low yielding offering between 4 and 8 tons per hectare. Long post fermentation maceration and ageing in various ages of 225 litre French oak barrels.

From a Burgundy shaped bottle under a cork closure. Wonderful opaque Satsuma plum at the core which pales out to ruby garnet at the edges. A nose of crushed red berries, raspberries and fraises des bois with an undertow of oak. Gorgeous fruit, ripe bloodplums, red cherries, and sweet brown spices. Good tannins well interwoven into the long tail.

This is a superb food wine. While being superb with the traditional Sunday Roast Lunch and all its trimmings like crispy roasties and real gravy, it will be a good partner to a well cooked midweek supper dish and a full flavoured vegetarian dish with mushroom, tomato, aubergine and parmigiana.

Boplaas Whisky

The Nels of Boplaas in Calitzdorp are well known for their fabulous ports and for their ventures into producing delicious dry wines from Portuguese wine grape varieties. The Boplaas potstill brandies are legendary since the family’s pot still came back into use in 1989. Now there is a Craft Whisky, recently released.  The Boplaas Whisky is made from local maize which is fermented and distilled and then matures in American oak barrels for up to 5 years.  Then it spent a short while in Boplaas’s Brandy and Port Barrels.  Finally it is diluted with distilled water to 43% and then bottled.

Amber in colour, delicious sweet oak whiffs and flavourful spirit.

Ideal on the rocks or with soda, it is very moreish. Perfect in cocktails and toddies for Autumn. Also with sliced mildly chilied biltong and prunes.

Whisky by Julian Merrow Smith