Vines from the Veldt

April 2019
Written By: 
James Ginley

Sip these food-friendly South African wines

Terre Brulee Chenin Blanc 2017 - Swartland, South Africa, $18
The Loire Valley of France is known for white wines made from the indigenous Chenin Blanc grape. So when Vincent Careme, a winemaker from Loire, met his wife, Tania, from Swartland, South Africa, they decided to make wine there too. This example offers apple and plum aromas, with honeysuckle and white fruits on the palate and a luscious finish. Easy to enjoy with cheeses, lighter fare and desserts.
Bayten Sauvignon Blanc 2017 - Constantia, South Africa, $17
This vineyard was founded by the first governor of the region in the early 17th century, and this example is crisp and zesty, with aromas and flavors of green fig, gooseberry and lime. The mouthfeel shows pepper and herbal notes, plus hints of mineral and chalk. Grapes are fermented in stainless steel tanks for 21 days, then aged on the lees for three months before bottling. Pair with shellfish or vegetarian dishes.
Jam Jar Shiraz 2016 - Paarl, South Africa, $14
Even if you aren’t a big fan of sweet reds, this wine is easy to enjoy and a change of pace. Shiraz-lovers will be pleasantly surprised at the semi-sweet, lighter-style of this wine. Jam Jar can also satisfy a serious red-wine drinker with its 13 percent alcohol. Fruity notes from dark berries, with chocolate layers throughout. Serve slightly chilled with burgers, sliced meats and cheeses, or your favorite appetizers.
Southern Right Pinotage 2017 - Cape of Good Hope, South Africa, $30
Southern Right is redefining Pinotage, South Africa’s own varietal cloned from Pinot Noir and Cinsault. Lots of complex berry fruit, beautiful tannins and subtle spice. Blackberries and a touch of wood smoke are also present and add to make this wine a worthy expression of South Africa’s unique grape variety. Loads of character, so best served with hearty dishes of poultry, venison and beef.
Kanonkop Kadette Cape Blend 2016 - Stellenbosch, South Africa, $18
A unique blend of Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot, aged in barrel for 12 months. A minty bouquet of black fruit and mocha leads to blackberry fruit and more chocolate in the mouth. Nice length and balanced acidity mingle for a harmonious finish. With alcohol at 14 percent, it complements robust fare like meat, pastas and stews.