The wonderful view from Middelvlei

There is always a time—even  when you start going in to the red wines of winter when you want something white and refreshing, especially when you are eating fish or light creamy pasta dishes. The most grown white grape in SA is Chenin (18.2% of total vineyards) followed by Colombar (12%) most of which is used to make brandy, Sauvignon Blanc (9%) with Chardonnay at 8%.  Chardonnay is grown all over the country with varying degrees of success. It is made in a variety of styles, from wooded—to fresh and clean and unadulterated. At the moment wine drinkers are seeking out Chardonnay which does not overpower with a major wood component. Here are some of my favourites—look for them and see which ones you like.

CHRISTINA 2019

Typical chardonnay characteristic of buttery citrus note from the Robertson Valley –beguiling, multi award winning. R135

HAUTE CABRIERE CH/PINOT 2019

One of the best Chardonnay/ Pinot blends anywhere, very popular, unwooded, fresh as today’s morning dew, stone fruit tang—great with sushi. A bargain at R99

KRANSKOP 2018 BARREL FERMENTED

Totally delicious with plenty to keep you interested –a fabulous food wine especially with game fish, rich in the mouth. Great value at R85

MENSA CHARDONNAY/PINOT NOIR 2018

These two varietals go brilliantly together in this beguiling example, fragrant, round and full in the mouth, gorgeous colour/ R80

MIDDELVLEI 2019

Unwooded uncomplicated and fun to drink, smells terrific and tastes even better. Typical of this varietal, some citrus, some stone fruit. R105

NEWTON JOHNSON SOUTH END 2018

From vineyards in the shadow of the Babylonstoring Mountains in Hemel en Aarde. Crisp clean lime fruit leads to assertive but low key acids—perfect for food like creamy pasta—lobster if you can afford it or grilled prawns.R205

 

ROOIBERG 2019

Well controlled oaking with French oak staves to support luscious fruit yields a wine that is approachable on many levels.  Fabulous with roast pork. Quality at a good price. R54 at the cellar

SPIER SEAWARD 2019

A mix of stainless steel and older French oak barrels with 6 months on the lees, some citrus and raw almond notes—creamy and intriguing and fun to drink at R110

TANGLED TREE FROM VAN LOVEREN

If ever there was a quaffer it is this –they call it butterscotch and it has some of those notes without being overwhelming g. Light wood component—at that price—and fresh appealing fruit. PET bottle makes it easier to carry around. About R40

ZANDVLIET NV

Fermented in French oak barrels and in barrels on the lees for 6 months, rich and citrusy with just the right amount of interference to help it along. R125

PORCUPINE RIDGE2019

Easy drinking quaffer, goes down like soapsuds down the drain.  Fresh, clean and plenty of green apples—even a grape or three. R60