New Wave South Africa
There's huge creativity and an unfettered sense of discovery in the new wave of South African wines. There's a thrilling hodge-podge of diverse wines which are certain to make anyone with jaded palate sit up and take notice. Distinguished by quirky graphics, small-scale, natural wine making, and community of like-minded winemakers and precious, heritage vineyards. All-in-all thrilling stuff, the kind of wines we cannot get enough of. Literally in some cases as the production volumes are often tiny.
We've picked two bottles that sing out their individuality and differences from the rest of the world's wines.
The Cape's wine scene is full of extraordinary white wines. The legacy vineyards of Chenin Blanc, originally planted to distill into Brandy, have given a focus to this often over-looked grape. The 2018 DAVID COPE Full Moon White is a 'bring the noise' blend of 13 (!) grape varieties interplanted in a single plot in Paarderberg. There's Chenin Blanc, of course but also Semillon, the rare Semillon Gris, Colombard, Crouchen Blanc, Muscat and Palomino along with another six undisclosed varieties. They all ferment together, and give a wine that's 'slightly schizophrenic' in David's words. We're talking pear skin pithiness, green olives and salty brine tang. A lively texture and a fascinating panoply of flavour to finish.
Rare as they come next, and a turn to the grape many people most readily associate with SA wines; Pinotage. The 2018 SCIONS OF SINAI Féniks is unlike any Pinotage we've seen before. Just 11.5% alcohol, pale, translucent glowing ruby in colour. Pure, fresh raspberry and wafts of aromatic woody herbs with a Campari-like twang of bitter orange peel on the end. Full wine geek details here, we simply love drinking this with a bit of chill on the bottle and an unseemly amount of salami on the side.