If you are a wine lover, to pass by the Du Toitskloof Winery on the northern side of the Du Toitskloof Tunnel, you will almost certainly have stopped over at the Winery to put a couple of cases into the boot of your car. On our winter holidays travelling to cousins in Victoria West, my Dad would always stop there to pick up a couple of bottles of their legendary sweet wines. Great help on a cold winter’s night in the Karoo, while we had to content ourselves with a mug of steaming cocoa.
The grapes for the Du Toitskloof Chenin Blanc 2018 were all harvested from 5 to 10-year-old vineyards within a 5 km radius of the Winery. Irrigation was supplied only when necessary and leaf canopies were pruned to ensure that the grapes were always in the shade. The grapes were mechanically harvested and taken to the cellar with dry ice to keep them cool and to prevent oxidising. Grapes were harvested at different stages in the ideal ripeness window to provide complexity to the wine. After destalking and crushing, the grapes were taken to a closed tank for 24 hours of maceration to allow for maximum flavour extraction. The free run juice was extracted and cooled down so that the excess water froze and was removed to further concentrate the flavours. Cool fermentation took place after which the wine was prepared for bottling.
From a Burgundy shaped bottle, closed under screw cap. The label is elegant and typical of Du Toitskloof style. In the glass, the wine is a pale golden straw, crystal clear. The aromas are typical of Chenin Blanc, green apples and pears, honey and white flowers on the nose. The flavours are of guava, ripe winter melons. All are perfectly intertwined in the id palate and aftertaste, fruit, acidity and the touch of residual sugar all in perfect harmony.
This is the ideal mid-morning refresher, excellent at lunch time. Both the wines in this piece are an excellent match for Ian Paarman’s Whole Fish over the Coals, which we have been cooking since the 1980s. The Du Toitskloof Chenin Blanc 2018 is excellent with Oriental foods, be they Chinese, Vietnamese, Laotian or Indian. Scroll down for Ina’s recipe.
Like its sister wine, for me this wine has reached almost legendary status. Often one of the earliest to hit the shelves after the harvest, Shawn Thomson Du Toitskloof Cellarmaster, have produced a classic here. Harvested from specially selected 5 to 10-year-old vineyards most of which grow on the cooler mountain slopes. Again, like the Chenin, the vines are pruned to keep the grapes in the shade. Irrigation takes place only when required. Covered with dry ice on its way to the cellar, after destalking and crushing a 24-hour period of maceration was allowed. Freezing to remove excess water took place, followed by cool fermentation and preparation for bottling.
From a Burgundy shaped bottle under screw cap. The label, again in the classical Du Toitskloof style. In the glass, a pale gold, gem bright. Again, with staged pickings, the Du Toitskloof Sauvignon Blanc 2018 has the typical Sauvignon ‘green’ character as well as the robust tropical fruits. So, you will get anything from freshly crush fynbos herbaceousness, through green asparagus into poached cape gooseberries, ripe sliced pear and grapefruit oil in the aromas and flavours. There is a golden thread of brisk refreshing acidity running through from entry through the generous mid palate and into the balanced and harmonious long and gently waning aftertaste.
This is an excellent pick-me-up midmorning. Great with food and will happily tackle crisp summery salads, smoked fish or chicken. At a braai, Ina Paarman’s Whole Fish over the Coals is the perfect Partner. Click here for her recipe.
Read more about Du Toitskloof Winery – CLICK HERE