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Cape Wines


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South African wine notes:

Van Loveren Papillon Brut – decent generic bubbly, equivalent to a middle range Cava.

2004 Danie de Wet Chardonnay Sur Lie – I can’t recommend this unoaked chard – it did have some fruit in the nose, but despite a decent balance it managed to be bland and uninteresting, unlike some of the higher priced wines from this producer.

2002 Beyerskloof Pinotage Rosé – in my opinion this is a harmless way to use up Pinotage – much better than adulterating good cabernet with it, for instance. Not much nose, but crisp and inoffensive. Went well with ostrich carpaccio.

2004 Van Loveren Sauvignon Blanc – ah – the first sign of interesting wine! A non-grassy sauv blanc, more fruit driven than many, crisp and refreshing at a bargain price.

2004 Van Loveren Semillon – I gave up on this wine after the first bottle was corked AND the replacement was also corked, although a bit less offensively. Hello, people – have you heard of crown caps or Stelvin?

With Piri Piri prawns (hot!)

With a very nice mixed Brai of venison tenderloin, lamb chop and South African sausage:

2002 Man Vintners Sénga Merlot Cabernet – this showed a very enjoyable nose with a hint of green and lots of fruit, was full and forward with soft tannins and well balanced. A bargain at $19 C.

2001 Beyerskloof Synergy – this is a Cape blend, which means that they take good wine and add Pinotage to it. And in the process come up with something that shows a bizarre nose of rubber with volatile acidity. Not bad at all in the mouth, big soft and fairly long, but the nose was enough to put me off. The previous vintage was significantly better in that it lacked the flaws in the nose. It may not be the Pinotage causing the problems here, but as you may have gathered I am not a fan of that grape, as I feel that it adds nothing to the blends in which it is used in the name of South African identity. Much the same thing could be said of the over-use of Carmenere in Chile, when its best role is so obviously a supporting one.

1953 KWV Muscadel ‘Jerepigo’ – I’ve had these old dessert wines before, though not from this vintage. Brown with red highlights in the colour, an oxidative Sherry-like nose, with huge fruit on palate and sweet ripe follow through. Interesting in the same sense that Aussie dessert wines are interesting.

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