Today I was hosted by Martin Cahnbley of Planet Wine NZ to a range of very impressive South African wines.
For most NZers, South African wines are a rarity - and when we do find them, they tend to be low-end cheap supermarket, bargain bin, very *ahem* forgettable wines.
However in the past, I have been exposed to some fantastic wines from the Nederburg label.
And today was another treat.
Here we go. First up a bunch of Chenin Blancs.
BADENHORST Secateurs Swartland Chenin Blanc 2013 $NZ25.60
Predominantly Chenin, but a 'sprinkling' of Palomino. Aromas of crisp apple, honey and fresh pineapple. Palate of crisp apple, with dry pineapple/tropical flavours and a hint of tonic water and a clean medium acidity finish.
RAATS Family Chenin Blanc Stellenbosch 2009 $NZ 43.20
Scoring highly with Wine Advocate and Wine Spectator, this is a lean dry and herbal style. Aromas of honey and minerality. Palate of tonic water, dry, mineral flavours and oak influence from 20% barrel time.
KEN FORRESTER Reserve Chenin Blanc Stellenbosch 2013 $NZ 28.80
Aromas of toffee and honeyed fruits. Palate of apricot, honey and creamy yeast.
FORRESTER MEINART FMC Chenin Blanc Stellenbosch 2012 $NZ 96.00
Classy Chenin, with a nose of ripe pear, and vanilla oak. Flavours of ripe pineapple and honey with dried apricot and a soft finish.
Now, to the reds...
NEWTON JOHNSON Pinot Noir Walker Bay 2010 $NZ 64.00
Clear garnet read. Aromas of smoke, savoury meats and cherry. Palate of cherry spice, big alcohol and leather, gamey flavours.
RAATS Dolomite Cabernet Franc Stellenbosch 2012 $NZ 32.00
Opaque dark garnet red colour. Dusty aromas, with oak, spice and leather. Flavours of chocolate, black cherry, spice and blackcurrant with a big alcohol whoomph and dry finish.
MEERLUST RED Stellenbosch Somerset West 2011 $NZ 32.00 Another big wine - Merlot domonant Bordeaux style blend. . Aromas of tar, liquorice, spice and dust. Palate of ripe blackcurrant, spice liquorice and a lengthy palate.
MORGENSTER Laurens River Valley 2005 $NZ 44.80
Another big red at 14.5% alcohol. Merlot dominant blend. Smoky aromas, with a hint of floral potpourri. Ripe and sweet palate with tar, liquorice, BBQ meats, spice and black cherry. Long finish.
KANONKOP Paul Sauer Stellenbosch 2008 $NZ 57.60
Mineral clay aromas with spice and tar. Cabernet 69% with Cab Franc 22% and Merlot 9%
Medium soft tannins with floral, spice, blackberry and cassis flavours.
KANONKOP Estate Pinotage Stellenbosch 2012 $NZ 54.40
Dark and opaque with aromas of plum, spice and smoky tar. Sweet and ripe black fruit flavours of boysenberry and black currant.
KANONKOP Kadette Pinotage Stellenbosch 2013 $NZ 25.60
Dense garnet red. Aromas of spice and black berry fruits and pepper. Sweet and ripe, with blackberry, cassis and oaky tannins. Great value
KAAPZICHT Pinotage Stellenbosch 2011 $NZ 30.40
Dark and opaque. Aromas of tar, liquorice and spice. Ripe and soft fruit flavours of plum and cassis with soft tannins. Another bargain.
ADI BAADENHORST Family Red Swartland 2010 $NZ 51.20
Syrah dominant, with Grenache, Cinsault and Tinta Barocca (thick skinned grape normally used for making port). Opaque and crimson. Aromas of spice, smoke and leather. On the palate, a big tannic hit, with black fruit. Complex and dry - maybe needs a bit more time.
LUDDITE Shiraz Botriver 2006 $NZ 64.00
Fruity, spicy aromas of black fruit and oak. Ripe and jammy in the big Australian Shiraz style with intense black currant and cassis.
BOEKENHOUTSKLOOF The Wolftrap Red 2013 $ NZ20.80
Syrah 66% Mourvedre 32% Viognier 2%
Medium opaque. Aromas of spice and cherry. In the mouth - sweet, ripe and spicy. Good value.
KLEIN CONSTANTIA Muscat de Frontignan Vin de Constance. $NZ 99.20
South Africa's most renowned dessert wine. Rich golden honey colour, with aromas of toffee, honey and beeswax. Intense and complex sweet palate of sultanas, caramel, toffee and honey with a clean acid balanced finish
Auckland : The Wine Barrel, Wine Circle, Wine Direct, Blanc, Accent on Wine, Wine & More,'Liquorland Northcross
Wellington: Wineseeker, Region Wines, Moore Wilson Centre City
Christchurch: Decant, Vino Fino
Phil runs wine tours in Auckland region