Pinned down mercilessly to favour one wine over another, our man behind Wine Concepts in Newlands, Cape Town, was torn but finally capitulated and selected some of 2016’s most outstanding labels to drink now or slip into your cellar.
Méthode Cap Classique Le Lude Brut Reserve NV (Franschhoek)
Having spent 36 months prior to disgorgement, this harmonious blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir offers refinement and elegance; a wine for those who prefer their Brut minerally and dry. Enjoy now to 2019.
Vondeling Babiana 2014 (Voor Paardeberg)
Produced predominantly from Chenin Blanc 60% with Grenache Blanc 15%, Viognier 15% and Chardonnay 10%, the wine shows aromas of honey with subtle peach and toasted cashews. The intense palate offers elegant flavours of honeyed pears with dashes of white pepper culminating in a long, mineral, spicy rich finish. Enjoy now to 2018.
Grande Provence Amphora 2015 (Franschhoek)
The wine, made predominantly from Chenin Blanc with small percentages of Muscat D’Alexandria and Viognier, offers aromas of citrus and marmalade leading to complex structured flavours of silky ripe mandarin fruit on the palate, which lingers favourably on the finish. Enjoy now to 2020.
Joseph & Hermon Fraternity 2014 (Swartland)
A team effort from sommelier Joseph Dhafana and Herman Redelinghuys, owner of Swartland cellar Antebellum, the wine is beautifully poised with silky texture and a good line of acidity adding balance. Enjoy now to 2018.
Richard Kershaw Chardonnay 2014 (Elgin)
White peach, grapefruit and lime on the nose, so typical of cool Elgin fruit. A complex wine, which shows impressive minerality and length. Enjoy now to 2020.
Fröhlich 2016 (Bonnievale)
Palest partridge-eye hue with appealing aromas and generous savoury vinosity, lees enrichment with a rounded dryness on the finish. Made from Merlot. Enjoy now to 2018.
Eenzaamheid Pinotage 2013 (Paarl)
One of the more serious expressions of this grape from dryland viticulture, the wine has spicy scents and dark fruit with a fine backbone of oak. Enjoy now to 2018.
Waterkloof ‘Seriously Cool’ Cinsaut 2015 (Stellenbosch)
Lively, plum colour with subtle aromas of vibrant red berry fruit with hints of wild spice. The medium-bodied palate offers silky red cherry and ripe strawberry flavour entwined with balanced fruit acid and soft tannins. Enjoy now to 2018.
Saronsberg Shiraz 2014 (Tulbagh)
Lovely deep-velvet colour with plum and red cherry aromas. The palate is rich with ripe blackberry fruit with a touch of spice on the elegant finish. Enjoy now to 2024.
Delaire Botmaskop 2013 (Stellenbosch)
Bordeaux-styled blend with some added Shiraz. The wine is full-bodied with a savoury rich blackberry flavour, along with lingering plums on a well-rounded silky finish. Enjoy now to 2023.
Sumaridge Pinot Noir 2012 (Walker Bay)
This elegant and balanced wine is full of silky rich black cherry and plum fruit flavour, which lingers on the palate well into the long savoury finish. Enjoy now to 2020.
Tokara Reserve Collection Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 (Simondium, Stellenbosch)
The wine has a dark velvet colour with intense aromas of cassis, and herbal notes with slight whiffs of black cherry. The palate is complex and stylish with rich intense flavours of blackcurrant and spice, and elegant, soft dry tannins on the long finish. Enjoy now to 2026.
By Michael Bampfield-Duggan, Private Edition, Issue 34