Some of South Africa’s greatest and oldest wine farms are in Stellenbosch. Stellenbosch, fondly called ‘Stellies’, is a town about 40 minutes drive from Cape Town. It’s small and lazy, dotted with mountains, vineyards and a sorta-constant sun (somehow it’s clear when Cape Town is storming). Stellenbosch has its own very deep racial issues, but I’m not here to talk about that today. Today, we talk wine.
My friend visiting from Kenya joined me and a few other friends for wine tasting at the Middelvlei Wynlandgoed Wine Estate, Stellenbosch. We only visited one farm because, African Time. The weather was quite nice (especially compared to what Cape Town had that day!)
Unfortunately my camera battery died quite early, but I managed to get a few pictures in. Also a brief description of what I got from the 5 wines we tasted. This is just what I picked up, I am no wine guru!
1. Chardonnay (Unoaked)
Nose: Green apples, grass, crisp. Tasted a bit young. Maybe a year older would have been nicer, especially for a chardonnay. It was very fresh and light-bodied; almost like it was made for a Summer Sunday.
This is a blend of merlot and pinotage. A slightly spicy taste lingered on my hard palate, likely from the merlot. Smelled like forest berries and also woody and earthy.
3. Free-run Pinotage
Smoky, woody and earthy scents.
This was my first time tasting a free-run wine. Free-run juice is juice that flows from the grapes without pressing. It oozes out from the weight of the grapes on each other. Taste-wise, I can’t tell you the difference between a free-run wine and a normal pressed one. But the former commands a higher price point.
This wine was oaked in first and second use barrels; French-American. Can’t remember the ratio.
4. Cabernet Sauvignon
Pretty full-bodied and quite acidic. A little tannin-heavy. Hints of blackberries and plum scents. It’s oaked in first and second use barrels; French-American. Can’t remember the ratio.
Light and smooth. Not as dry as the Cab Sauv and Merlot. Tasted and smelled like cherries and strawberries blended with vanilla. I also got slight liquorice smells. Very easy drinking. Medium bodied, I would say.
Also, I recently discovered this wine blog by a Kenyan lady! It’s really well written. 🙂 Please check it out and also check out the Kenya Wines blog written by my friend and wine expert, Tom (also, Kenyan).
Christmas is around the corner!
Happy Holidays. 🙂