Although it may not entirely seem so, the idea of working on a warm Sunday winter afternoon does have its advantages. Recently, Kiki, a great purveyor of the cause of South African wines, was in town and invited u to a tasting of some wonderful wines from the estates of De Wetshof and a few others.
De Wetshof estate is in Robertson region, 160kms from Cape Town and is one of South Africa’s premier Chardonnay houses, producing award-winning wines from the Cape Floral kingdom.The De Wet Family immigrated to South Africa in 1693 and have ever since been actively connected to the wine industry of the Cape.The following wines were tasted and here are their brief tasting notes:1. Danie de Wet Robertson Sauvignon Blanc 2010:Nice clean, aromatic, crisp, comfortable, enjoyable. If affordable, super. Great daytime picnic wine or By The Glass (BTG).
2. De Wetshof Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2010:A slightly green style Sauvignon Blanc. Personally, not my favourite or preferred style, but the wine is fine…has good gooseberries and sour citrus flavours but if it boils down to personal choice, not for me.3. Limelight Chardonnay Pinot Noir 2010:I like the fruity suppleness the pinot provides here, balancing the crispness of the chardonnay. A tinge pink, ever so slight, so is mostly white but is super on the palate. This is a very friendly wine, and a great social sip. Definitely conventional but definitely doable. (*)4. Danie de Wet Chardonnay 2010:An oak-free Chardonnay is always a delight, if made in balance. Not biting crisp this one, seems to have a rounded edge to it. Creamy and lasting, fairly versatile, but a bit lacking on the memorable quotient.
5. De Wetshof “The Site” 2009:Oaked Chardonnay, the oak and fruit seem to fight it out on the palate with the oak a little strong to be kept down. Likeable but not excessively. I am a bit overwhelmed by the oak.6. De wetshof Finesse Chardonnay 2009:More preferable, milder on the oak, soft and subtle with fruit still present. Less complex a structure but more accessible and hence, socially drinkable.7. Limestone Hill Chardonnay 2010:Good crispness, crackling, fresh and vibrant, mineral too.
8. De Wetshof Bon Vallon Chardonnay 2010:Again a crisp wine, a bit tannic with extracted jammy fruit, but still balanced.9. De Wetshof Rosé:Good Rosé, corpulent, a hint of the betel nut, refreshing and yet definitely a nice rounded mouthful. Enjoyable.10. Danie De Wet Pinotage (red):Nice fruity red, easy robe, likeable, light but the tannins seem to over-ride a bit towards the end.
11. The 2010 Grinder Pinotage:Lovely label, oak notes first, playing with cocoa and tobacco, some caramel-coffee too. A big wine but still fruity and friendly and enjoyable, love the whole coffee-esque allusions. Balance is great. (*)12. Nature in Concert Pinot Noir 2009:A slightly bold pinot Noir, but doesn’t entirely lose its elegance. Tannins are marked but still juicy. Fruity still, even if a bit extracted. A good expression, if one doesn’t compare globally and vertically. Will pair with Indian food well.13. Danie de Wet Shiraz:Tight. Really tight, frightful almost. The fruit surprisingly is very ripe and not over-extracted. Likeable, strangely so. Big and powerful but still fruity and natural. (*)As we said, working on Sundays can have its benefits. We came away with a reddened palate and some jammy memories. Look forward to having some or all of these jewels shining on Indian shelves.