Riebeek Kasteel is an enchanting little town, filled with beautiful buildings, places to eat and places to stay. Little could be more romantic than drinking a Gin and Tonic on the front Stoep of the Royal Hotel, nor eating a fine pizza or pasta dish at Mama Cucina, recognised by Eat Out magazine as one of the best Italian restaurants in the country a couple of years ago.
The most perfect of accommodation is available in this quaint little town. Our favourite is Vineyard Views, we have spent a happy time there. Garth and Gareth run an excellent house with everything, and indeed more than one would want at home. Some excellent cooking going on there, fabulous breakfasts….
We were fortunate to have a taste of three new 2018 wines from Riebeek Cellars, which celebrates its 75th birthday this year. I have known the wines over the years and have always enjoyed them, enjoyed their even-handed pricing policy and have always been surprised at why they are not better known. These Riebeek Cellars wines are easily accessible and suitable for now drinking rather than allowing them a couple of years to mature.
The packaging is modern and elegant and great care has been taken to link the three wines yet create the difference. The colours of the different bottles are pastel and pleasing, with matching screw caps. All are easily accessible to drink in spite of their youth – I fact the youth adds to the charm.
This is a fine expression of Chenin Blanc. Head of Production, Alecia Boshoff says that “The fact that we could leave the wines on the gross lees for longer added a textured mouth-feel. The small berries definitely played a role here, and I think 2018 Chenin Blanc wines have great aging potential shown by the intense concentration and good technical analyses of the wines”. The vines
In a Bordeaux shaped bottle with a lime green screw cap and elegant with an ‘etching style’ label the screw cap colour matches the variety on the label. In the glass, a pale gold straw with some youthful lime green flashes. The nose is a melange of tropical fruits with ripe guava, which are repeated on the palate with crisp green apple and white flowers. Really nice long aftertaste.
I always think that Chenin Blanc goes best with a nice buttery roast organic chicken. It makes a great partner to vegetarian and vegan dishes with savoury mushrooms or a bean dip with fresh crunch vegetables. Good as a glass on its own.
The different picking times ensure a good mix of the ‘green aspects’ of this grape in earlier picking in the ideal ripeness window and the ‘tropical fruit’ normally expressed in those grapes which are picked later.
The packaging is identical to the Chenin Blanc. The colour in the glass is a delicate straw colour. On the nose, you get both the elements of fresh mowed lawn or scrunched up fynbos herbs, and the tropical fruits, melon and poached cape gooseberries.
Great as a mid-morning refresher or as a sundowner with snacks like green olives and an olive tapenade with little bits of toasted pita bread.
This is a real corker of a wine. We felt that it was a far nicer wine than the 2018 Rosés we had tasted which were far more pricey. This is truly great value wine and again very even-handedly priced.
The packaging is elegant and identical to the other two wines, though with pink being the colour. The grapes come from specially selected vineyards which are used for the sole purpose of producing a Pinotage Rosé. In the glass, it is a pretty cherry blossom pink. The nose and the palate are so close to each other, almost all the whiffs are repeated on the palate. Chunky ripe watermelon, freshly sliced strawberries and cherries – more red and white than black. The ending is dry, long and gently waning with the berries left as a memory.
As a glass on its own, it is the perfect any time wine. Mid-morning, lunch time, sundown and dinner. Naturally because if its colour, one would want to pair it with smoked salmon or salmon trout. Some delicious fat prawns freshly poached and served with Aioli, known to some as the golden butter of Provence.
Do look out for these wines on your supermarket shelves or click through to the website below and buy online.
Read more about Riebeek Cellars – CLICK HERE