South Africa Spring Wines

South Africa Spring WinesWe are delighted to experience South Africa spring wines with these five lovely bottles from four well-known producers. First, South Africa creates wine for every palate. For example, in the last few weeks, we discovered a stellar Helderberg Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon from Stellenboch. In addition, we poured a recent vintage of an old favorite, Stellenboch Cab Sauv from Stark-Condé. As well, we tasted new vintages of Lievland Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc. Finally, we enjoyed Pinotage from Southern Right. The two whites pair nicely with the deck on a warm spring afternoon. And the three reds are perfect for the start of BBQ season.

South Africa Spring Wines: Whites

Lievland Vineyards 2022 Old Vines Chenin Blanc ($19)

Lievland 2022 Chenin BlancLievland Vineyards 2022 Old Vines is 100% Chenin Blanc, made from 38-45-year-old vines, and certified sustainable. It offers aromas and flavors of stone fruits, lemons, limes, orange peel, and tropical fruits, with a compelling minerality. Further, this Chenin Blanc is clean and vibrant. We paired it with roasted turkey, which was a terrific match. However, this delicious South Africa white also complements seafood, chicken, pasta with a cream sauce, and mild cheeses. Lievland, directly translated, means “love of land,” which shows in this bottle.

Lievland Vineyards 2021 Sauvignon Blanc ($19)

Lievland 2021 Sauvignon Blanc2021 Sauvignon Blanc, from the Elgin Valley on the Cape South Coast, bursts with flavors of grapefruit, tropical fruits and herbs. This is a Sauv Blanc with crisp acidity, balanced by a rounded mouthfeel. In other words, it has substance, and therefore, it stands alone without food. For instance, we poured it as a refreshing cleanser after an evening of juicy cheeseburgers. But you could also serve it with seafood dishes, spring salads or chicken.

South Africa Spring Wines: Red

Southern Right 2021 Pinotage ($35)

South Africa Spring Wines Southern Right 2021 PinotageIf you like Syrah, consider trying this Southern Right 2021 Pinotage, South Africa’s unique variety. But be sure to decant it for a few hours. We started to really appreciate it after it opened up awhile in the glass. This is a medium-bodied red wine, with grapes sourced from vines in clay-rich soil. It is packed with flavors of cherries, berries and plums with hints of spices, cocoa, licorice and vanilla. Southern Right is a small Pinotage and Sauvignon Blanc specialist. The wines are named after Southern Right whales, which frequent the South Atlantic Walker Bay near the vineyards. By the way, in 1925, viticulturists crossed Pinot Noir and Cinsault, then known as “Hermitage” in South Africa, and named it Pinotage.

Stark-Condé 2020 Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon ($30)

South Africa Spring Wines Stark CondeStark-Condé calls 2020 Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon the bedrock of their winery, which is “first and foremost a Cabernet producer.” Generally referred to as their “Estate Blend,” this vintage comprises 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Malbec. Aromas of blackberries, black cherries, tea leaves, spices and cedar lead into flavors of dark fruit, mocha, cassis and granite minerality. This full-bodied, elegant Cab Sauv features finesse, intensity and structure that expresses Jonkershoek Valley fruit. Further, Stark-Condé sources the grapes grown in decomposed granite and iron-rich red soils typical of Stellenbosch mountain vineyards. However, the elevations and soil textures vary, giving this Cab Sauv a number of different flavor profiles and textures.

Helderberg 2021 Reserve Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon ($27)

Helderberg 2021 Reserve StellenboschHelderberg 2021 Reserve leaps out of the glass with intensity and smooth flavors of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cinsault and 5% Syrah. Aromas of red and dark fruits, cassis, figs, licorice and barrel spices echo the palate. In 1906, the Helderberg Winery was established on the slopes of the Helderberg Mountain. Subsequently, the winery became known for superb Cab Sauv. In 2011, Boekenhoutskloof purchased the property. Consequently, the label notes that Boekenhoutskloof “made, matured and bottled” this Cab. Moreover, the style of this wine is similar to their Chocolate Block – a cult favorite. We’ll be watching to see if Helderberg Reserve follows suit.

Summary: South African Spring Wines

In conclusion, we recommend all five of these bottles of white and red wines from South Africa. This exciting wine region continues to produce exceptional wines at a good price point. Certainly, this region provides wine for every palate. So, we hope you try some of them too.

Thank you, Vineyard Brands, for the samples.

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Margot and Dave