The Four Retief Cousins, and the Patriarchs, who own and manage Van Loveren Wine Estate

Phillip Retief, CEO of Van Loveren Wine Estate in the Robertson Wine Appellation, once told me that his best ideas come to him when he is in the shower in the mornings. I think he is a good persuader. These lovely labels, simple & elegant, containing utterly delicious wines will only make them more visible on our wine shop shelves.

I had huge fun tasting my way through these amazingly even handedly priced wines.

Van Loveren Heritage Range Sauvignon Blanc 2021

This wine is one of the Retief family’s favourite wine. A superb example of Sauvignon Blanc, fruit driven and showing the wonderful ‘green’ qualities of the variety. In the glass, the wine is a pale hay colour with youthful lime green flashes. The aromas are of chunky Granny Smith Apples, and a fynbos herbaceousness. The generous palate has the lovely benign bitterness of grapefruit filling the sides of your tongue. An undertow of sweet tropical limes, desiccated pineapple, and a river stone minerality. Refreshing and satisfying at the same time, the long and gently waning aftertaste seems eternal.

Charred Lettuce with blue cheese, bacon, and walnut salad dressing

Even in Winter, the Van Loveren Heritage Range Sauvignon Blanc 202 is a wonderful partner to a salad. On your braai or in a ridged pan a quarter of a crisp Cos or Romaine lettuce can be charred and then served with a blue cheese, bacon, and walnut salad dressing.

Van Loveren Daydream Chardonnay Pinot Noir 2021

This wine is made with the two noble varieties of Burgundy and Champagne. Very popular blend.

In the glass the wine is a beautiful coral colour. The aromas are of fraises des bois and red berries and a mélange of citrus with lime dominating. Crisp and fresh from entry, just off dry and a sappy mouthful of Summer pleasure.

My Ceviche with passion fruit dressing

I don’t know why, but I always think of smoked salmon or Ceviche with this style of wine. The Van Loveren Daydream Chardonnay Pinot Noir 2021 makes a perfect marriage with smoked salmon or my Ceviche with passion fruit dressing.

Van Loveren Heritage Range Neil’s Pick Colombar 2021

I must admit that I am a great Colombar fan. Love its crisp freshness, so perfect for a late morning pick-me-up and so good with food.

This is an enchanting Colombar, not too much brain required, or thought given, easy drinker, and that is not demining it with faint praise. In the glass, the wine is a pale, pale hay colour with a lime green tinge. The aromas are membrillo, a quince paste, and sliced white guavas.

Cucumber sandwiches

Van Loveren Heritage Range Neil’s Pick Colombar 2021 is delicious with a splash of soda and ice. Excellent food partner, good with fat green olives, roasted almonds. My best is little cucumber sandwiches on fresh white bread with no crusts.

Van Loveren Heritage Range Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 202o

On skin fermentation takes place, and once pressed, the wine spends 8 months maturing in a combination of French Oak Staves and Barrels. Youthful, though eminently drinkable now, this wine is wonderfully complex, with a rich and generous and weighty mouthfeel.

In the glass a deeply dark bloodplum which pales out to ruby at the edges. Brilliant aromas fair jump out of the glass – petrichor, cherry tobacco, Crème de Cassis, and roadside brambles. On entry there is a crisp raspberry acidity which follows through the mid palate where the aromas become reality and the Merlot adds its plum with an undertow of mint. Smooth balanced and harmonious aftertaste.

My Tomato Bredie – photograph by Mike Robinson

The Van Loveren Heritage Range Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2020 is a perfect food partner. Chill is for added pleasure and serve it with a Winter Warming Casserole. My Tomato Bredie would be a good idea. Or a circle of Dalewood Wineland Chef’s Camembert baked with slices of quince paste in top which melt into the cheese.

And to end, the luscious Jewel i the Crown, The Van Loveren Red Muscadel

In my opinion, this style of wine is so quintessentially South African. Underrated and under-priced. The unctuous juice of the Red Muscadel Grape is part fermented before being fortified with mature brandy spirit.

In the glass, the wine is a delicate red with long ‘legs’ running down the glass. The aromas are very beguiling. They are of sun dried red Muscadel grapes, and sultanas. There is a touch of rose flavoured jelly candies. Unctuous, velvet smooth, and an almost eternal aftertaste.

So good after a meal with a cup of coffee and a selection of white, milk and dark chocolate squares.

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