I won’t go into every wine at the show – I’d literally need to be on a drip right now if I did, but selectively tried some of the varietals and wine estates, and met some wonderful people and winemakers as one does at these events. The closer you get to the final hour of the show, the louder and more generous the conversation. People also like hugging a lot after about the third hour for some reason.
My best wine of the evening is already sold out (no surprise) – the Louisvale Wines Stellenbosch Cab Sav 2018. Honestly no words to describe this wine – it was like velvet in a glass. Okay, I did have some words. You’ll see winemaker Simon in the pics below – he’s one of the giants standing next to me Got an invite to visit the estate’s cellars and get in line for next year’s release which also promises to be a showstopper.
Meeting winemakers who love what they do as much as I love sampling the fruits of their work is one of the best things about this passion of mine.
I tried dozens of Chardonnays, being my favorite white varietal. There are distinct forks in the profile of Chardonnays made in SA and those that tend towards the Californian buttery wooded flavor profile. Most of the wines oat the show were obviously the SA type, and one or two had the richness of the Californian wines.
Some of the ones I tasted were Kleine Zalze Vinyard Selection #chardonnay 2021, Iona Wines Elgin Monolpole Chardonnay 2020, Groote Post Vineyards Kapokberg Chardonnay 2020, Delaire Graff Estate Banghoek Reserve Chardonnay 2020, De Wetshof Wines Finesse Chardonnay 2020,Bruce Jack Wines Hard Day Chardonnay 2020 (Sing it with me – you had a hard day, you taken one down …), Chamonix Estate Franschhoek 2020 Reserve Chardonnay, David Finlayson wines at Edgebaston vineyard Missionvale Chardonnay 2021 and Crocodiles Lair 2020, Babylonstoren Chardonnay 2021, Le Grand Domaine Wines The Pledge Chardonnay 2020, and Paul Cluver Wines Estate Chardonnay 2019 and 2020.
Of these there were some exceptional wines ranging from 90 to 98 points, and ranging in flavour profiles from deeply wooded to subtle wood with very fruity overtones. My favorites were the Iona with its hint of Oyster shell, Delaire Graff, and Kleine Zalze. Don’t get me wrong, they were all wonderful wines, all above 90 points, but for me these three were memorable.
This wine show also came with a Deli Bar where they served a variety of sarmies to mop up some of the wine, so after a little snack and a break, because research is such thirsty work, on to the reds which I’ll cover in a separate post.