WORDS: RICHARD HOLMES IMAGES: SUPPLIED
Bordeaux: Cavalli Colt
Few wine regions in France carry the cachet of Bordeaux, the spiritual home of cabernet sauvignon. Cavalli Colt is a new release from Stellenbosch estate Cavalli and is a wonderfully accessible cabernet, with intense colour, a nose of rich cigar box and a mouthful of dark fruit notes. Silky tannins mean it’s already drinking well, but it’ll age happily for up to a decade.
Loire: Spier 21 Gables Chenin Blanc
Chenin blanc is the star of the Loire in south-west France. While the Swartland may bag the chenin limelight locally, this stellar release from Stellenbosch estate Spier walked off with the chenin blanc trophy at last year’s prestigious International Wine and Spirit Competition. Fermented and matured for 14 months in French oak barrels, it’s a full-bodied chenin with baked apples and spice on the nose, the complex palate underpinned by balanced acidity.
Burgundy: Elgin Ridge 282 Pinot Noir
From biodynamic and organic vineyards, the cool climate high in the Elgin valley helps to craft this delicious pinot noir, the ﬂag-bearer for burgundy in central France. Elgin Ridge owners Brian and Marion Smith take a hands-off approach in the cellar, and the “282” – the vineyard lies 282m above sea level – is a wonderful expression of pinot noir. Expect dark cherry and raspberry on the nose, with bright acidity and good tannin structure. A good match for rare roast beef, poultry or risotto.
Rhône valley: Tamboerskloof Syrah
The dramatic vineyards of the Rhône valley are famous for their syrah, and the Upper Blaauwklippen valley scampering into the mountains above Stellenbosch claims the same. One of the ﬁnest producers here is Kleinood farm, whose Tamboerskloof Syrah 2014 is a dark, inky and delicious example of the cultivar. There’s a splash of mourvèdre and viognier in there too, ensuring a glass brimming with spice, pepper and rich fruit.