Just about overnight it seems the weather in the Cape has gone from summer to winter, but that’s all right. It’s not like we can appreciate the sun anyway! What we can appreciate in this schizophrenic weather is the full spectrum of delicious wine the Cape Winelands produce, from crisp Sauvignon Blancs on warm days to sultry Syrahs on cooler evenings. Here are our favourite wine farms and some of the wines they make that are perfectly suited to the season.
Springfield “Life From Stone” Sauvignon Blanc
Wine region: Robertson
Tasting notes: Life from Stone derives its name from the incredibly rocky soils in which the grapes are grown. This Sauvignon Blanc is pale straw in colour and has an aromatic nose pungent with tropical fruits emerging from a nettle and herbal first impression. The palate bursts with gooseberry and tart fruit notes, as well as zipping acidity and fine ripeness. Pure and long in the finish, this Robertson-based winery’s concentrated, powerful Sauvignon is a beautiful wine!
Gabriëlskloof “Rosebud” Rosé
Wine region: Bot Rivier
Tasting notes: The “Rosebud” Rosé from Gabriëlskloof Winery in Botrivier (near Hermanus) is regarded as the little darling of the Estate Range. This blended Rosé-style wine is made from a 50% mix of Syrah and Viognier, both grown on the farm. The constituent wines were co-fermented in stainless steel tanks and left to age for four months before bottling. The Gabriëlskloof Rosebud Rosé boasts a peach and spice fragrance, juicy fresh flavours, and food-friendly dryness that make it equally attractive as an aperitif.
Allesverloren Tinta Barocca
Wine region: Swartland
Tasting notes: Located on the south-eastern slopes of the Kasteelberg near Riebeek West, Allesverloren is the oldest estate in the Swartland Wine of Origin district and is renowned for its red wines. The Allesverloren Tinta Barocca is a gorgeous deep ruby red in colour with red berry fruits and a hint of chocolate, vanilla, and oak spice aroma on the nose. On the palate, this elegant, medium- to full-bodied Portuguese varietal wine bursts with intense berry fruit underscored by subtle oak spice, finishing long and with well-structured tannins.
Teubes Family Wines “Malkopbaai, The Gannet” Reserve Sauvignon Blanc
Wine region: Vredendal
Tasting notes: The recently released “Malkopbaai, The Gannet” from Teubes Wines is a stunning reserve Sauvignon Blanc that took 2019 by storm. The latest Sauvignon Blanc from the estate, which is fresh, fruity, and citrusy, and affordable, is the perfect fit for this time of year. The grapes originate from organic vineyards grown next to the Olifants River up the West Coast, where they are bathed in cool afternoon breezes, an abundance of sunshine, and the perfect terroir.
Kleinood Tamboerskloof Syrah
Wine region: Stellenbosch
Tasting notes: Kleinood is a small Stellenbosch farm with just twelve hectares of arable land, 10 of which are devoted to vines and the rest to olive groves, fynbos, roses, and vegetables. The Kleinood Tamboerskloof Syrah is a bright ruby colour with complex cranberry and blackberry fruits exquisitely opening into violets and jasmine notes. This Syrah is elegant with well-rounded tannin and a fruitful follow-through from the nose causing a lingering finish, the perfect accompaniment to those cooler autumn evenings.
Clos Malverne “Ellie” Méthode Cap Classique
Wine region: Stellenbosch (Devon Valley)
Tasting notes: From the rolling Devon Valley hills in Stellenbosch comes the “Ellie” Méthode Cap Classique from Clos Malverne, a wine with a beguiling pinkish hue and ample fresh fruit intensity and body leading to a crisp, dry finish. Saffron and strawberry aromas dominate the nose, while a delicate mousse provides an explosion of extra fine bubbles that charm the palate. No one ever needed an excuse to enjoy an exquisite glass of bubbly but if one were compelled to come up with one, autumn’s warm days and long evenings are it!
Beyerskloof Pinotage Reserve
Wine region: Stellenbosch (Koelenhof)
Tasting notes: Beyerskloof is famous for its Pinotage and rightly so but the estate’s Pinotage Reserve just takes things to a whole new level. Made from single region Pinotage bush vines matured only in French oak, this wine really defines Stellenbosch at its highest calibre while also showcasing the quality of this cultivar when handled with respect. The resultant wine is well balanced, rich, and juicy with blackberry and plum flavours when young, and develops softer characters with ages.
Webersburg Méthode Cap Classique Brut
Wine region: Stellenbosch (Annandale)
Tasting notes: This 56% Chardonnay, 39% Pinot Noir, and 6% Pinot Meunier MCC Brut from Webersburg in Stellenbosch offers a lively expression of delicate richness and freshness with a seductive palate of citrus, fresh apple blossoms. Matured on the lees for up to five years, this Méthode Cap Classique has a great depth and rich fine mousse on the finish that pairs beautifully with fresh oysters, seafood, and salads.
Rickety Bridge Chenin Blanc
Wine region: Franschhoek
Tasting notes: From the spectacular Franschhoek winelands comes the Rickety Bridge Chenin Blanc, a delicious warm weather wine with inviting aromas of guava and white peach with underlying floral and green fig notes. The palate is full and rich in tropical fruit, citrus, and spice, which leads into a long, honeyed finish. The grapes used to make this wine were sourced from an old bush vine block from the estate and from other areas in the Western Cape known for producing outstanding Chenin Blanc.
Riebeeck Cellars’ “Pieter Cruythoft” Sparkling Brut
Wine region: Swartland
Tasting notes: Ah, a bubbly wine so worthy of celebration that dk villas decided to make it our welcome wine for all guests! The “Pieter Cruythoft” Sparkling Brut is made by Riebeeck Cellars in the Swartland Wine of Origin Region. This smooth, luxurious Brut was made to honour the founder of the Riebeek valley and celebrate his discovery of the valley in 1661. It’s made in a traditional Champagne blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir that yields a happy balance of fresh fruit, subtle biscuit notes, and a crisp, dry finish.
Warwick Estate “First Lady” Chardonnay
Wine region: Stellenbosch
Tasting notes: This lightly wooded Chardonnay from the Stellenbosch-based Warwick Wine Estate is one of those wines you can drink in any weather, which is a good thing because autumn in the Cape can cover all four seasons in one day. This Chardonnay is a pale straw in colour with flecks of green when it catches the light, and has a gorgeous citrus fragrance of lemon, lime, and orange peel complimented with apple blossom.