Family values and a single minded vision to produce timeless, world class wines is the bedrock of Tokara, the prestigious Stellenbosch Wine Estate that celebrates its 20th vintage this year.
Tokara’s flagship white blend has been hailed one of Tim Atkin’s ‘wines of the year’ and awarded 95/100, one of Tim’s elite ranking comparable with the best wines in the world, the Tokara Director’s Reserve White 2016 was one of just five wines to make the cut as a Wine of the Year in the White Bordeaux Blend category.
“Year in, year out this is one of the best white blends in the Cape,” is Tim Atkin’s verdict, describing the wine as follows: “Meaty, salty and subtly wooded, it combines Sauvignon blanc with 30% Semillon to brilliant effect. Long and complex.”
Tokara Director’s Reserve White 2016
The Sauvignon blanc (69%) and Semillon (31%) grapes from the upper slopes of the Tokara Vineyards were separately vinified in previous fill French oak barrels and matured for a further 9 months on the lees.
From a classical Bordeaux shaped bottle, closed under screw cap. Elegantly labelled. In the glass, the wine is a pale gold and gem bright. There is a golden thread of brilliant acidity which runs from entry, through the generous mid palate into the long and gently waning aftertaste. What happens in between is total magic. Rich and round layers of granadilla, Melissa and pink grapefruit oil and almond shortbread are deep and broad. A truly wonderful glass. My friends in the wine trade tell me that this is a difficult wine to sell. I wonder what would happen if it was called a White Bordeaux Blend? Which is is, using these two fabulous grapes which originated in Bordeaux.
Please serve the wine chilled, but not frozen. It is a wine which is a perfect match to any food, pork belly, veal scallops, seafood, butter and garlic fried prawn, and a good organic butter roasted chicken.
Tokara Director’s Reserve Red 2015
Tim describes this wine as “a very stylish Simonsberg red blend that has the balance and concentration that are typical of the best 2015s,” which he regards along with 2017, as the two best South African vintages ever tasted. The blend is Cabernet Sauvignon (78%), Merlot (11%), Petit Verdot (7%) and Cabernet Franc (4%), grapes harvested from prime sites on the slopes of the Simonsberg. Matured in a mix of first fill and previous fill French oak barrels for 22 months.
From a Bordeaux shaped bottle. Closed with natural cork. The label is of similar elegance as the Director’ s White. Inn the glass, the wine is a deep opaque bloodplum which pales out to ruby at the edges. The aromas are exactly as expected from a fine wine like this. Black fruits, black cherries, roadside brambles, Creme de Cassis, all supported by the careful use of the oak and its concomitant spice and vanilla. A fabulous glass of wine, with all the components which will allow it to improve with cool cellaring over a number of years.
I would advise chilling this wine for about 30 minutes in the fridge or in an ice bucket for a greater sensory reward. It is a wine for the traditional Sunday roast be it chicken or duck, lamb, or beef. Will happily match a lusty vegetarian dish like a layered casserole of courgette, mushrooms, aubergines and sun dried tomatoes. Please note that if you are making a dish like this that Parmigiana Reggiano is not a vegetarian cheese, it is set with animal rennet.
Tim Atkin, a UK Master of Wine and accomplished wine commentator with extensive experience when it comes to South Africa. He tasted 2 115 local wines for his 2019 South Africa Special Report, now in its seventh year and his largest to date. Tim said “I’m still convinced that the best Cape wines are world class and represent outstanding value for money.”
Read more about Tokara Wine Estate – CLICK HERE