Boets Nel of De Krans Wine Cellar some years ago happened upon vineyards of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir in the Waboomskraal Valley, at the foothills of the Outeniqua Mountains, about an hour’s drive from his cellar. For the last three vintages the aptly named Garden Route Sauvignon Blanc has received high praise, a four-star Platter’s South African Wine Guide rating three years in a row, 2015, 2016 and 2017. The wine was also awarded a Gold Medal at the 2017 Vitis Vinifera Awards. The Outeniqua Wine Appellation grapes are taken to De Krans and the wines are made by the Estate’s award-winning winemaker, Louis van Riet.
The Garden Route Sauvignon Blanc 2017 shows what can be done with several pickings during the ideal ripeness window. The early picked grapes showing their crisp green apple, peas and freshly scrunched fynbos herbaceousness. The later picked grapes show sappy tropical fruits like piel de sapo melon mango and crisp granadilla. Golden thread of acidity from entry to the long ending where it is well interwoven with the fruit and a mineral undertow. Free run juice alone was used to make this wine and 6 months on the lees added so much to the full mid palate and creaminess.
From a Burgundy shaped bottle under screw cap. The enchanting label depicts the Knysna Loerie, endemic to the Outeniqua. In the glass, the wine is a pale golden straw with lime green flashes. Aromas are green and grassy and full blown tropical fruits. Really satisfying mouthfeel. A made for food wine, though good as a mid-morning refresher.
With crunchy green salads where the addition of rocket enhances the minerality of the wine. Good with a ceviche or smoked chicken or fish.
Only free run juice was used for the Garden Route Pinot Noir 2016 resulting in a cherry coloured translucent wine. Pinot Noir has a thin skin and very low tannins, thus easy drinking from early on. Fermented in open top fermenters with five short pump overs. The wine was then matured in previous fill oak barrels for 12 months before being prepared for bottling.
From a Burgundy shaped bottle closed with a screw cap. Label as for the Sauvignon Blanc, a matched pair. In the glass, a gem bright translucent cherry red. Aromas and flavours are of cherries, berries and forest floor after the rain. Layered fruit and oak and soft tannins.
It should be remembered that this is the wine of Coq au Vin and Beef Bourguignon, so it has enough oomph to take on full flavours. Duck breast, seared tuna and a selection of mildly flavoured charcuterie would be good partners.
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