The outstanding performance of the Boplaas Gamka Branca 2019 in the most recent Prescient Cape White Blend Report on wines again serves to highlight the gems produced from niche grape varieties in lesser-known regions of South Africa.
The Gamka Branca received 93/100 points in the Cape White Blend Report, run by Wine Magazine. In the competition summary, the editors said: “What makes the category so interesting is precisely the lack of a formulaic approach, winemakers seeking out vineyards of interest and then letting their imaginations run wild as to which varieties to combine with one another. These wines also tend to offer extraordinary bang for your buck.”
Just one point behind the two wines sharing top spot in the line-up, the Gamka Branca was essentially placed second in the Top 10. Of this grouping, Boplaas was certainly the farm the furthest from the traditional heartland of the Cape Winelands.
But it is no one-hit-wonder. In the 2018 report, Boplaas’s Gamka Branca 2017 was best overall with a score of 94.
This latest vintage, which is yet to officially be released for sale, was personally crafted by Boplaas owner Carel Nel and daughter-winemaker Margaux Nel. It comprises Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Viognier, Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Sauvignon Blanc and Verdelho.
In the glass, the wine displays an exotic blend of citrus blossom, tangerine and lime marmalade, toasted oats and ripe pears. It has a mild tannic grippiness. This wine was aged for nine months in older French oak barrels and will continue to improve in bottle for another five to eight years, says Carel.
The Gamka Branca gets its name from the farm’s nearby watercourse, which was originally named Gamka – their word for “lion” – by early indigenous inhabitants. When in flood, the river that originates in the Great Karoo and makes its way through the mighty Swartberg Mountains, roars through the ravines.
The Gamka has been the lifeblood of the Calitzdorp region of the Klein Karoo since the Nel Family settled here in the mid-1800s. Its waters are still harnessed today to cultivate crops, ensuring Boplaas can tend vines to craft fine wines.
The Boplaas Gamka Branca 2018, which received 4½ stars in the Platter’s South African wine guide, is available from the Boplaas tasting rooms in Calitzdorp and at Klipheuwel in Klein Brak on the Garden Route.
Visit the Boplaas online shop at www.boplaas.co.za, as we ship all over SA free of charge if you purchase more than R1500.