South Africa has come a long way in a short time. During its isolation most of the country’s wines were tired and dreary, with the reds often tasting of burnt rubber and the whites of acid drops. But since then there has been a dramatic increase in quality.
South Africa is currently the world’s seventh largest wine producer. It is the fastest growing wine-supplying country in Britain, with a 12.1 per cent share of the market, hot on the heels of Italy and France (13 and 13.1 per cent, respectively).
Much of this is driven by the big brands such as Arniston Bay and Kumala, but the top end has played its part, too with a range of new exciting wines. South Africa now competes in every category, with crisp sauvignons and creamy chardonnays; honeyed chenin blancs and spicy shiraz. Even pinotage, which has been one wine not on my wavelength is now appealing.
Originally, we had planned to show some Australian wines but when we tasted the current wines available, we found them very expensive. Then, when we looked at the South African wines and there was no contest. So the wines we plan to show are a Chardonnay which recently won a gold medal at the 2012 Vintage: Chardonnay du Monde 2013 – Then we shall compare 2 Sauvignon blancs, the first Peacock Ridge from Waterkloof Estate in Stellenbosch with a new wine from Banghoek, the oddly named “Hells Heights” from Mon Vieux . They also make a stunning Semillon from Swartland which is excellent..
In reds, Paul Boutinot has worked very hard to eradicate the rubbery flavours from Pinotage and he has succeeded. His False Bay Pinotage has lovely rich slightly earthy flavours that offer excellent value. Paul has also brought out a Peacock Ridge Shiraz which again is good value. Mon Vieux also makes an unusual blend of Syrah and Tannat, the latter being the grape used in Madiran. We finish off with a fabulous Circumstance Merlot that Paul Boutinot is very pleased with and regards as one of the best wines he has made.
All these wines will be available for tasting on Tuesday 14th May at 8.00pm at Kro Bar, Heaton Moor. Places are £10 and should be reserved by contacting us.
11th June Summer wines
2nd July wines of the Year
16th July Thai dinner & Wines Phad Thai (Advance booking would be helpful) £25