30 November, 2018 | A selection of premium white wines worthy of any dining table as the year comes to a close.
Spier Gables Chenin Blanc 2016
Made with thick-skinned grapes from old vines, the full-bodied 21 Gables Chenin Blanc 2016 is fermented and matured (for 14 months) in French oak barrels. Offering ripe, baked apples and apple pie spice on the nose, the rich and complex palate is characterised by yellow fruits opulent caramel, vanilla cream and toasted cashew – all framed by a balanced acidity and supported by a textured mouthfeel. Befitting to its heritage, the Chenin Blanc is an ideal companion to South African cuisine, particularly sweeter and spicier dishes.
On the palate, Vermentino is almost always dry with somewhat oily flavours of grapefruit and citrus, with a crushed rocky minerality and saltiness. On the finish, it tends be a bit snappy with bitterness similar to the taste of grapefruit pith. Fermented with a hybrid local commercial yeast in tank, Ayama Vermentino 2017 is a promising South African version of the Sardinian Vermentino.
Black Swan 2017
The Black Swan 2017 is a blend of the top two Sauvignon Blanc vineyards on Steenberg farm and is an expression of the best fruit of the vintage. The signature of this fresh, yet full wine is the edgy acidity that enlivens the unctuous palate from extended lees contact with refined composure. A food wine that can go the distance for up to 20 years from vintage with careful cellaring in the true tradition of a cool climate Sauvignon Blanc.
The Constantia White
A classic blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, Constantia White is the first in the pioneering Wade Bales Regional Series. The wine is the outcome of a collaborative project combining the talents of the winemakers from seven of Constantia’s top wine farms. Each winemaker selected a specific component of Sauvignon Blanc or Semillon from their best vineyards, tanks and barrels. All seven then participated in a rigorous tasting and blending process, handcrafting the best of Constantia. It shows fresh aromas of passionfruit, nettle and lime, following through on the palate with flavours of citrus and winter melon from the Sauvignon Blanc component. An undertone of sweet spice is derived from the Semillon barrel-fermented in French oak which adds complexity to this Constantia wine of origin.
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