Welcome to the Western Cape Wineries - a kiwi's opinion blog

I originally set up this blog to help foreigners have an enjoyable experience when visiting the western cape wineries in South Africa.

I realised that it is very difficult for a tourist to choose where to go and which wineries to visit, when you have 600+ wine producers to choose from.

When I first moved to SA December 2010, my palate struggled to adjust to SA wine, b
ut after living here for a while and after visiting over 100+ wine estates, I have found many wines which I really like and can highly recommend.

Admittingly, when you come from another country it is hard not to compare the wine in SA to what you are used to back home. However, once you realise they are not the same (they have their own characteristics due to the different soil, climate etc) and appreciate their wines for being SA wines, it will improve your opinion and experience of the wines immediately.

If you are staying in SA for a while, don't dispair, your palate will change, and you will soon find yourself liking SA wine over your home countries wine!!

I hope my blog will help wine lovers have an enjoyable wine experience while in SA.

Please note: I am not a wine connoisseur. The comments I write about the wine is mostly for my own benefit of having them on record.

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Lemberg - Christmas in Winter 2013

Today we visited Lemberg to do a wine tasting and try their cheese fondue for lunch.

Yet again we had a lovely experience. They have a comfortable lounge area to enjoy a wine tasting, while staying warm beside the fireplace!!

Lemberg is one of my favourite wine estates due to their good quality and delicious wine at affordable prices. The winemaker, David Sadie, is a very modest, friendly, welcoming and humble person. He is usually the one at the tasting room to provide guests with informative tastings. I highly recommend visiting this wine estate in Tulbagh.

Other favourites in Tulbagh include Saronsberg, De Heuvel and Waverley Hills. Spend the weekend in Tulbagh, it is such a beautiful place and there is plenty to see and do!! Tulbagh Christmas in Winter is a fantastic weekend to choose to spend in Tulbagh, I highly recommend planning a trip to Tulbagh around this festival!!

My favourite wine of Lemberg's is the Lady Lemberg at R120 a bottle. It is a blend of 57% Viognier, 22% Harslevelu, 11% Sauvignon Blanc and 10% Semillon. It has lovely flavour, a soft yet full mouth feeling and nice body. I am also a fan of their Syrah, Pinotage, and Surin (dessert wine).

Lemberg wine is delicious (soft tannin and fruit driven wine) and I highly recommend you visit their estate to stock up on their wine!!

De Heuvel - Christmas in Winter

I liked the architecture of the building, the vibe, the value for money wine and the way the owner makes you feel so welcome here. It was a great experience. 

We visited this wine estate on the Tulbagh Christmas in Winter weekend. This is a really nice festival and I highly recommend visiting Tulbagh and the Tulbagh wine estates over this weekend. It is not too crowded and is child friendly, making for a nice weekend away for everyone.

We tasted all the wine here and found some great value for money wine!! They are apparently closing down so if you are planning a trip to Tulbagh it is best you find out before driving out here if they are still open. If they are, I recommend visiting this estate. Their wine is very good and due to the fact they are closing down the prices are really low!! The service was really friendly here, it was a fun wine tasting experience.

I really enjoyed the experience here and highly recommend you visit this estate. If you do drive out this way, be sure to visit Waverley Hills also.

Tasting notes:
Chardonnay 2010 from Walker Bay only R60 a bottle.
Floral, light, white flesh fruity taste, little tropical fruity flavours. I liked this wine.

Sauvignon Blanc 2010 R25 a bottle.
I prefer the 2009 much better, it is fresher with more prominant tropical fruity flavours.

White Reserve 2010 R45 a bottle.
A blend of four varietals Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Chenin and Viognier. Quite fresh, soft, rounded, a lot of flavour, very floral.

Chenin Blanc 2010 R25 a bottle.
Soft, easy drinking, fruity. Strong fruity nose with fresh citrus tones.

Chenin Blanc 2010 Barrel Fermented R60 a bottle.
Nice, lightly oaked, has nice depth to it. Medium body. Fruity.

Hanepoot 2012 R25 a bottle.
Sweet hanepoot smell yet a slightly sour taste. Tastes like the grapes were picked a little early.

Pinotage Rose 2011 R25 a bottle (unlabelled).
Nice and fresh with a strawberry taste. A little bit too fresh - not too sure it's balanced.

Pinotage 2006 R35 a bottle.
Smokey nose, deeper fruit flavours. Slightly spicy. Serve chilled. Age another 2-3 years.

Pinotage 2007 R35 a bottle.
Strong fruity/berry aromas with a hint of coffee. Slight sherry/port smell. Light. Little dry/bitter.

Rijks - Christmas in Winter

Our first stop on the Sunday of the Christmas in Winter Festival in Tulbagh was Rijks. We had a nice tasting here. They have some good wine and the service was good.

As you can see in the photo above, the weather was not as nice on the Sunday for the Christmas in Winter Festival, but I am glad the Saturday had the better weather of the two days!!

The ladies who served us at Rijks were very pleasant, welcoming and friendly. There is plenty of seating inside and outside. They have a nice range of good quality wine.

We tasted a number of wines. My tasting notes on the wine:

Fascination Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc 2008, R90 a bottle. Floral and light on the nose. Smooth on the palate. The Semillon was in barrels where as the SB was only in stainless steel tanks. It was a pleasant wine.

Chenin Blanc Touch of Oak 2011 at R80 a bottle. This was lightly wooded. Had slight pineapple taste with some stone fruit tones (peach and apricot). Gorgeous fruity nose, light, citrus fruity tones.

Private Cellar Chenin Blanc 2009 at R120 a bottle. Very lovely, pungent fruity flavours with tones of peach, apricot and apple. It was nice.

Chardonnay 2008 at R90 a bottle. Spent 12 months in barrels, 70% new oak and 30% 2nd and 3rd fill. I noticed honey and nuts on the nose, slight roasted tones, nice but a bit heavy, probably best with food.

Pinotage Touch of Oak 2011, R105 a bottle. Has that stem taste and slight powdery texture. It was light with nice berry flavours. Can serve this wine chilled. Dark cherries on the palate. 

Private Cellar Pinotage 2009, R160 a bottle. It was a little heavier than the touch of oak pinotage. There was a bit of coffee on the nose, a little dry on the palate. Probably best with food.

Shiraz Touch of Oak 2010 at R100 a bottle. Gorgeous pungent fruity nose, a little dry, light, little spicy, fruity, easy drinking.

Private Cellar Shiraz 2007 at R150 a bottle. A little more serious than touch of oak Shiraz. Spicier and fruitier. Heavier, little dry, probably best with food also.

Overall we had a nice experience here. They have good quality wine and friendly service. I would recommend visiting this estate.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Saronsberg - Christmas in Winter

Today we finished the day with a visit to Saronsberg. This is a beautiful wine estate, with a great vibe at the Christmas in Winter Festival. This is the second year in a row that we have attended this festival and visited Saronsberg each time. Both times we loved this place. If you come to Tulbagh for this festival, make sure you visit this estate!! This estate has very nice wine, an awesome building and lovely views!!

The wine tasting is done upstairs and on this ocassion I was fortunate to get the assistant winemaker Yolandi to do the tasting with me. Therefore it was informative and interesting.

I tasted the Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (R70 a bottle) which has 10% semillon in it, has a tropical fruity nose, is pleasant on the palate yet has some strong tangy fruity flavours on the palate and is a little floral and creamy.

Viognier 2011 is R90 a bottle and is fantastic!! It is very smooth and floral on the nose. I tasted this wine again at the CWG tasting this year and it truly stands out amongst other white wines!!

Provenance Shiraz Rose 2013 at R45 a bottle reminds me of candy floss on colour and taste.

Provenance Merlot/Malbec 2007 magnum is only R100 a bottle. It has a lovely fruity nose, is soft on the palate, and is relatively light.

Provenance Shiraz 2011 at R95 a bottle. It is a little spicy, has nice fruitiness and is nice.

The Saronsberg Shiraz 2011 at R185 a bottle is smooth, fruity and nice. It has an interesting fruity finish.

Full Circle 2010 is R230 a bottle is more serious, full bodied and has very fruity flavours. It is a blend of Shiraz, Grenache, Viognier and Mouvedre. I liked this wine.

Provenance Rooi 2011 is R105 a bottle. This is a Bordeaux style blend using all five varietals. It has beautiful pungent berry flavours.

Straw Wine 2006 at R150 a bottle had nutty and caramel taste and had a strong sweet nose.

My favourite wine however was the Seismic 2008 which is a bordeaux style blend using four varietals. It was fruity, smooth and delicious. I loved it.

Outside they had a live band, the weather was amazing and the views were gorgeous. It is such a relaxing place to hang out for the day!!

I highly recommend visiting this estate especially on the Christmas in Winter Festival weekend!!!

Manley - Christmas in Winter

This wine estate was on our way in to Tulbagh from where we were staying at Reflections and we hadn't heard of it before so decided to check it out.

We were greeted by the owner and shown through to the back where we could sit outside. Yes it was winter but it would have been a sin to sit inside on such a beautiful day!!

A tasting is R25 per person and waived on purchases of wine. However, if you go for the Christmas in Winter festival (which I highly recommend) then you pay a once off fee, get a glass and can taste wine at all the participating estates. 

Even though the winemaker was around, the owner did the tasting with us, which I thought was a bit strange, especially as he wasn't able to give us a very informative tasting... Anyhow, the tasting was pleasant as we were able to try some wines we hadn't tasted before, enjoy the views and after the tasting we enjoyed a pleasant walk on the estate. It is a beautiful place and I think it would be a lovely place to get married. They have a chapel on the estate, a function room, a restaurant and lovely gardens. What more could you want? Oh and there is accommodation on the estate!! It really is an ideal place for a wedding!!

As for the wine, this is what I thought:

Semillon 60% and Sauvignon Blanc 40% 2010 at R65 a bottle was very fresh, crisp, not too acidic, rounded, light, medium bodied, slight lemon hints. It was very nice.

Thatch House Red (Shiraz, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon blend) 2009 at R50 a bottle was light, smooth, with some dark berry flavours coming through. It was nice.

Pinotage 2011 (R85 a bottle) was fruity, had nice berry flavours, was smooth and pleasant. Was nice.

Merlot 2010 (R85 a bottle) was also smooth, fruity, little spicy, powdery tannins. Was nice.

Shiraz 2010 (R85 a bottle) was fruity, smooth, a little spicy and pleasant. I liked this wine.

Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 (R85 a bottle) had nice cherry aroma, soft and pleasant. Was nice.

Overall we enjoyed our experience here. I would recommend this place if you are in Tulbagh. Be sure to take a stroll on the property if you come here, it is beautiful!!

Monday, 24 June 2013

Neil Ellis

Lovely location, with a modern building, I had a nice wine tasting experience here.

This wine estate is in Stellenbosch and on a road with many wine estates worthwhile visiting!! If you visit Neil Ellis be sure to visit Tokara and Delaire while out this way, that will make for an awesome one day or half day wine tour!!

To do a wine tasting here costs R25 for a Premium Range Tasting and R35 for a Vineyard Selection Range tasting. I found the Vineyard Selection more serious drinking wines and felt they could benefit from some aging.

The ladies in the tasting room were very pleasant and polite. The lady serving me was struggling to remember the facts on the wine, but perhaps it was just one of those days. The service was good nonetheless.

I did a complete tasting of both ranges. It was good to understand the difference between the two ranges.

I also enjoyed a fabulous cheese platter while here. These platters are very good value and delicious.

The tasting room has a fireplace so if the weather is not so great you can enjoy your wine tasting in warmth. Having said that, the tasting room is quite big and as you can see doesn't really have that personal touch and looks like it is designed for the masses. If you don't come here in a group then you may like to do your tasting at the bar like I did. You then get more of a personal wine tasting as you are closer to the assistants and therefore they spend a bit more time with you and are more available if you feel like asking questions about the wine.

I do recommend visiting this estate if you are looking for good quality wine and an awesome cheese platter.

My tasting notes:

Vineyard Selection Range:

Neil Ellis Vineyard Selection SB 2010 R125 More green tones than the premium SB. Asparagus. French oak and stainless steel tanks used.

Neil Ellis Vineyards Selection Grenache 2010 - limited. R275. Prominant cherry on the nose. Stem taste with dark berry flavours. Light - medium body. Slightly tart on the palate. Lovely lingering cherry aftertaste. Nice!

Neil Ellis Vineyard Selection Pinotage 2010 R220. Gorgeous nose, light - medium body. Little dry. Tannins were a bit much for me. Slight sweet notes on the palate. Little sour.

Neil Ellis Vineyard Selection Syrah 2010 R220. Smooth, light - medium body, cherry flavour. Lovely finish. Dark berry tones. Like!!

Neil Ellis Vineyard Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 R220. More serious tasting than the premium Cabernet. Dark berry flavours. Little dry.

Premium Range:

Neil Ellis Groenekloof Sauvignon Blanc 2012 R75. Light green, apple, lemon, fig, guava. Nicely balanced with intense fruit flavours. Smooth. Crisp, citrus finish, lingering aftertaste. Balanced acidity with fruitiness.

Neil Ellis Stellenbosch Chardonnay 2012 R90. Soft vanilla nose, little floral. Smooth (could be smoother), light chardonnay. Slight apple and pear taste. Lime finish with minerality.

Neil Ellis Aenigma 2012 (White Blend) R65. Blend of Viognier and Chenin Blanc. Interesting lime zest finish (sour). Apple taste. Medium body, smooth, sweet yet sour, acidic tones balance with round mouth feel. Like.

Neil Ellis NLH 2011 - limited. R125. Nice light cloudy honey nose, light on palate, not too sweet. Nice.

Neil Ellis Shiraz 2010. R90. Light - medium body. A little spicy, fruity, smooth. Nicely balanced. Lingering spicy yet smooth finish.

Neil Ellis Pinotage 2009 R90. Tobacco box nose, fruity, dark cherry flavour, lingering finish. Light - medium body. Like.

Neil Ellis Cabernet Sauvignon 2009. R125. Green nose with capsicum aroma. Little dry but very fruity. Intense flavour!! Love this wine!!

Neil Ellis Aenigma 2011 (Red Blend) R65. Blend of Shiraz and Cab Sauv. I didn't like this wine. It was a little dry and sour/tart. Nose and palate not balanced. A little spicy.

Neil Ellis Aenigma 2011. R65. 100% Chardonnay Muscat. Toasty/oaky nose, smooth, round mouth feel. Medium bodied. Very nice, little creamy. Liked!!

My favourites were the Vineyard Selection Grenache and Syrah. The Premium Range SB, Aenigma (white) and the Cabernet Sauvignon.

Welmoed - Stellenbosch Vineyards

Lots of wine brands are on offer here under one roof. Great service, informative tasting and a nice experience. They have a restaurant also.

I have been driving past this estate everyday for the past 8 months on my way to and from work. Today I had a day off so I decided to pop in for a tasting.

I had no idea that Welmoed/Stellenbosch Vineyards have many different brands under one roof and that there is so much to taste. For those of you who have been following my blog, you will have noticed I struggle to choose when there is such an extensive list!!

The service here was very good. The person who served me was Cobus. He was very friendly, informative and made me feel very welcome here. They have heaps of wines to try and from several different brands: Credo, Welmoed, Kumkani, Arniston Bay, and Versus. With such a selection, it makes it very hard to decide what to taste. If I remember correctly a tasting is free here and you can pretty much taste as much as you like.

They have a big tasting room, a nice fireplace and they have a restaurant also. The wine is very reasonably priced, from as low as R25 a bottle for the Versus and Arniston Bay wine to R145 a bottle for the Credo Shiraz.

I recommend visiting this estate if you are out this way. It was a good experience I had here. Out of all the wine I tasted, the Credo wines were my favourite.

Wine tasting notes:
Credo Chenin Blanc 2010 (R100 a bottle) Spent 28 months in French oak, of which 80% was in new oak barrels. 14.5% alcohol. Wow, I really liked this wine. It was fruity, yet had butterscotch flavours. It was smooth, round, medium – full bodied. I liked this wine and bought a bottle.

Credo Chardonnay 2012 (R100 a bottle). 8 months in barrels. Interesting on the nose, hints of ginger and pear. It had an interesting taste also. I think it’s more a food wine. Has all the flavours of buttered toast, citrus, treacle, toffee, melon and a hint of ginger as described in the tasting notes. It is smooth on the palate and unique. I liked this wine and bought a bottle.

Credo Shiraz 2010 (R145 a bottle) is fruity on the nose, has dark fruit flavours, grippy tannins, bold, med-heavy body wine. It was nice.

Credo Shiraz, Merlot, Viognier 2010 (R100 a bottle). Has dark fruity flavours, is a little dry, medium body, serious red wine, slight tobacco on the nose. This wine is smooth and rounded. Little spicy on the palate with a spicy finish.

Welmoed Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (R38 a bottle) has an awesome pungent tropical fruity nose, very fresh, fantastic flavour, smooth, not too acidic. I liked this wine – purchased a bottle.

Welmoed Viognier 2012 (R38 a bottle) was fresh, crisp, slight peach aroma, slight acidity on nose and palate. I liked this wine.

Welmoed Shiraz 2011 (R38 a bottle) has dark chocolate and berry aromas, hints of ripe berries, fruity, soft, not spicy, light wine. Matured in steel tanks with staves.

Welmoed Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 (R38 a bottle) was a little green, little dry, was ok.

Welmoed Red 2008 (R48 a bottle) was a blend of Cab Sauv, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cab Franc and I didn’t like it. It was a little dry, light – medium bodied, the flavours were not right/not balanced, slight tones of dried apricots. I didn’t like this one.

Kumkani Single Vineyard Range Cradle Hill Cabernet Sauvignon (R89 a bottle) spent 22 months in French oak, I could smell pine needles on the nose, was a little dry, ok.

From the Arniston Bay range I tried the Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (R35 a bottle) which I didn’t like. I thought it was a little fizzy, fresh and crisp.

They will have a MCC from August at only R79 a bottle. I think it will be worth while going back to try that.


Today I finally made it to Meerlust and wow they have great wine!!

I have been hearing many people talk about Meerlust when they come visit Haskell Vineyards so I figured I shall have to go check out what all the fuss is about. Sure enough, it is the wine!!!

Chardonnay 2010 (R181 a bottle) spends 12 months in 60% new oak. Quite tangy, medium body, tart, almost some tangy granny smith apple taste.

Pinot Noir 2011 (R215 a bottle) spent 11 months in 70% new oak. This was light on the palate with slight wood/dry tones, was light on the nose with hints of plum and cherry. Slight sweet notes on the nose. Some dark undertones on the palate. I liked this wine.

Merlot 2009 (R225 a bottle) has 10% Cab Franc included. Capsicum/green aroma, it was intense!! Medium body, little spicy, lovely intense flavour, a lot of spicy berry flavours, it is a great wine!! Fruity on the palate, dark fruit flavours. I liked this wine a lot.

Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 (R225 a bottle) had lovely aromas of plums and blackberries on the nose, medium body, nice tobacco with a toasty taste. This was my favourite wine!! It has fantastic flavours and a lingering finish.

The Meerlust Red 2011 (R148 a bottle) is 52% Merlot, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cab Franc and 5 % Petit Verdot. This wine is labelled as the Meerlust Red when it doesn't make the cut to be called the Rubicon. In other words, if the Rubicon wine is not up to scratch to be labelled the Rubicon, then it is sold for half price labelled as the Meerlust Red. In some people's eyes it is a bargain, for me it is a wine which didn't make the cut.... It was a little dry, had dark berry flavours, light on the palate. I thought this wine was just ok.

Last but not least we tried the Rubicon 2008 (R300 a bottle). It is ready to drink now but will be amazing in a few years. This is a Bordeaux style blend consisting of 70% cab, 20% Merlot, 10% Cab Franc. It was light - medium body. Lovely cherries, spicy hints on the nose, it was wow!! Fantastic. It had a smooth feeling on the palate, lovely flavours, beautifully balanced and a great wine!!

Overall, the visit to Meerlust was good. I was wowed by the wines. The service was pleasant and informative.  You are definitely visiting this place for the wine more than anything though!! Go, they have great wine but on the higher end when it comes to price.

Monday, 3 June 2013


Spacious tasting room, plenty to do on the estate and a great range of good quality wine.

Today I went to Spier for a wine tasting with Anthony who is one of the winemakers. He assists in making the white wine. It turns out there are different winemakers for the white wine and the red wine. Quite clever to have the winemakers focus on one or the other, rather than both.

It was my first time visiting the Spier Wine Tasting Centre and I couldn't get over how spacious the room was and how nicely they present their wine.

They have plenty of wine tasting options:
1) Frans K. Smit tasting at R90 pp. This includes a tasting of their top-tier, award-winning wines.
2) Heritage tasting at R60 pp. This is a food and wine pairing.
3) Spier tasting at R35 pp. This includes a tasting of three wines from the Spier range, 1 from the Creative Block range and 1 from the 21 Gables range.

They also have olive boards at R55, cheese boards at R60, cured meat board at R65 and a Frans K. Smit board at R85. They truly have something for everyone here.

We started the tasting with the Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (R47) which was rounded, grassy, had slight pepper/capsicum notes. It had a fresh tart/sharp finish.

The Chenin Blanc (R38) was smooth, fresh, easy drinking and pleasant.

The Chardonnay 2012 (R47) was buttery, smooth, light and pleasant.

Creative Block 2 (R85) is 89% Sauvignon Blanc and 11% Semillon. It was fresh, had citrus tones, nice body, fine by itself but would probably go great with food.

21 Gables Chenin Blanc (R118) spent 14 months in french oak, the grapes are from bush vines from Durbanville. This wine had good citrus and fresh acidic tones.

The Creative Block 3 2010 (R115) is 80% Shiraz, 17% Mouvedre, and 3% Viognier. It had a nice deep fruity/berry flavour, smooth, easy drinking, light on the palate, and strong on the nose.

Creative Block 8 2010 had an awesome nose! I loved the taste also. It was very fruity but a little dry. It is a blend of 8 varietals which included Pinoatge, Cab Sauv, Shiraz, Merlot, Malbec, Mouvedre, Barbera and Viognier. It is a fair trade wine. This wine was made for the Chinese market. There is some left which you can buy only at the tasting room. I highly recommend you get your hands on this wine. It is very nice.

As you can see they have a nice range of wine and also price range!!

What I appreciated about visiting Spier is that I learnt there is so much more to this estate than just the wine. There were tiles hanging on one of the walls in the tasting room each with a different piece of art. They have an art project called the Spier Arts Academy to support upcoming SA artists. They sell the tiles in the tasting room for R1200 each to support the artists. The Creative Block wine was named after this Art project.

There is a 4 star hotel on the estate, a restaurant called Eight and a deli which serves picnics called Eight To Go. This wine estate practises sustainable farming and they have gone one step further by rearing their own sheep and chickens. In the restaurant they serve the eggs, chicken and lamb from the farm. Apparently they try to use natural and organic ingredients from their farm or from nearby farms whenever possible. I like this farm to fork approach they apply here.

I visited this estate on two other occasions in the past two years. Once was to do a tasting but it was closed, so instead we went to the bird sanctuary and got to hold owls, that was awesome!! The other occasion was for a friends birthday. We had dinner at Moyo, the restaurant is on the estate, and had our meal in a tree house. This restaurant has a very cool vibe and atmosphere.

I recommend one visits Spier. There are plenty of things to do on the estate, like having a picnic, holding an owl, tasting some wine, eating at the restaurant plus much more.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Painted Wolf Wines

Very interesting wine tasting experience and great wine!!

My friend introduced me to Painted Wolf. We were at the Top 100 SA Wines when he pointed out the Painted Wolf Wine. We asked where they are based so we could go out for a tasting. That is when Jeremy Borg (winemaker and owner) explained to us that they don't have a tasting room but we could do a tasting at his house. My friend followed up on this and we ended up doing a tasting today with Jeremy in his dining room at his house is Paarl.

Jeremy brought in about 6 wines for us to taste, by the end of the tasting we had opened 11 different wines!!

We sat down at his dining room table and learned about his life journey and what got him in to winemaking and what the Painted Wolf Wines were all about. He grew up in Malawi, spent some of his time in UK, and then California. He did his degree in finance, he owned a restaurant in California, and now he makes wine here in SA. It is quite a colourful life he has had.

He told us that he plans to start offering his guests lunch when they come for a wine tasting, so when you call Jeremy to book a time to do a wine tasting with him, ask him about his lunch options.

We started our tasting with The Den Sauvignon Blanc 2012 at R60 a bottle. On the nose I got vanilla and slight floral and fruity aromas. It was smooth and had a lingering lime finish to it. It was very nice. The grapes for this wine came from vineyards in Paarl which were apparently planted around the 1980's.

Then we tried the Lekanyane 2010 at R80 a bottle. This is a Cape Blend. Jeremy told us that the name Lekanyane is the Tswana name for Wild Dog. It is a blend of Chenin Blanc, Viognier, and Verdelho. It had sweet honey notes on the nose, a pungent stone fruit flavour, is quite smooth and easy drinking. It was nice yet a little complex somehow.

The third wine we tried caught all of our attention and I highly recommend you get yourself a bottle to try!! It is the Roussanne 2012 at R100 a bottle. Only 12.5% alcohol. It had soft peach aromas and was slightly sweet on the nose. Wow!! was my first reaction to this wine when I tasted it. It is full bodied, light, with a stone fruit finish. I liked it. There was a bit of strawberry and straw aromas. He said it is a northern rhone varietal. It was a little tangy on the palate which reminded me of granny smith apples. This was definitely a favourite.

The Chenin Blanc 2011 at R80 a bottle was soft on the nose, I struggled to pick out a particular aroma on this wine. But I liked it!!The grapes came from Swartland, it is 14.5% alcohol and was barreled for 9 months. This was another favourite of mine.

Then we tried the Chenin Blanc 2012 at R80 a bottle which was 12.6% alcohol. This wine had more prominant aromas than the 2011. The grapes were sourced from two vineyards. There were tones of melon on the nose, it was far more fresh, had a more fruity pungent flavour, was more acidic, had a sharp flavour and was a little sour. This wine was ok.

While we were trying the wine, we would talk a lot about all sorts of things, and somehow we got on to the discussion of Viognier. Jeremy then learned that I love Viognier, so off he went to go find a bottle. The Viognier is called Penny and is R140 a bottle. This wine is 100% Viognier and 14.5% alcohol. Penny and Benny Hughes own the vineyard. The vineyard is in Swartland. It is an organic estate, and only 1000 bottles were produced. It was sweet on the nose with tones of peach, it was very nice. It was full bodied, had an interesting fruity taste, was round mouthed, slightly acidic, had a fresh finish and was nice.

Next we moved on to the reds. We started with The Den Pinotage 2012 at R60 a bottle. It was a gorgeous deep red cherry colour, light on the palate, was fruity but lacked body, was easy drinking, slightly acidic, pleasant, little dry finish. Danie really liked this wine and he is not much of a Pinotage fan.

Madach 2008 at R80 a bottle had a gorgeous nose. It was 13.5% alcohol. A blend of 58% Shiraz, 19% Pinotage, 12% Mouvedre, 6% Grenache and 5% Merlot. It was light-med bodied, had beautiful berry aromas, was a little dry, had fresh tones, and fruity berry flavours.

The Shiraz 2010 was next at R120 a bottle. It had slight coffee tones on the nose, I could also smell toffee and dark berries. It was quite light and had berry flavours. This wine was smooth. It was 13.5% alcohol. The grapes came from vineyards in Stellenbosch, Paarl and Swartland.

Next we tried the Guillermo Pinotage 2010 at R140 a bottle. It was a little dry, medium body, smooth, nice and fruity.

The last wine was a favourite of mine and that was the Pictus One 2009. It had ripe cherry and plum flavours. Was fruity. I loved it. It was stunning. Beautifully balanced. It was a blend of 45% Shiraz, 35% Grenache and 10% Mouvedre.

I highly recommend one visits Jeremy for a tasting. You can call him on 0218632492 or email on sales@paitedwolfwines.com to organise a time to visit. The wine is really good!! The experience is one you won't forget. Jeremy has a lot of stories to tell about the wine and how the names came about so you need to allow a few hours for the tasting. We were there for 2.5 hours!! I didn't even realise how much time we had used until we were finished the tasting and were  walking out the door with all our wine.