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.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Blaauwklippen - Wine Club

Every Tuesday a group of the valley tasting room managers and assistants meet together to taste each others wine and see what each place has to offer. It is a great way for us to learn more about wine, get to know our neighbours in the industry and also to experience wine estates nearby so we can refer people to other estates based on our own experience.

Today it was Blaauwklippens turn to host the tasting. They decided to do a Zinfandel tasting seeing as that is what they are well known for.

Blaauwklippen has a nice outdoor area where you can enjoy a tasting and they have a lawn with a childrens playground within sight of where you sit for your tasting. It is therefore child friendly. They also have plenty of seating inside and a fireplace for those chilly days. On Sundays they have a market on which I have heard is very popular and a lot of fun.

To do a wine tasting here costs R25 for 5 wines, R15 for 3 wines, R10 for dessert wine, R15 for 10yr Brandy, R10 for 8yr Brandy and R75 for a chocolate and wine tasting.

The person who did the tasting with us was very informative, dressed professionally, she really knows the wine and has a great understanding on wine in general. She is truly an asset to the estate.

Tasting notes:
We started with the White Zinfandel 2011 at R92 a bottle. This had tones of peach and apricot on the nose. It was smooth, fruity and very pleasant. It was a slight pink/salmon colour. It was recommended that one serves this with sushi or fish, and that it is a nice food wine.

Zinfandel (red) 2007 at R92 bottle was a little dry, had a little white pepper, medium body, fruity, a slightly dry finish, slight acidity, the tannins could use a few years to soften up. I would recommend aging this wine further. This wine was recommended with cheese.

Next we were very lucky to taste the Reserve Zinfandel at R310 a bottle which is not available for tasting. It had a gorgeous fruity nose, was smooth, and had lovely flavour. Don't worry about not being able to taste the wine just buy a bottle. You wont be disappointed.

The fourth wine we tried was the Zinfandel Noble Late Harvest 2011 at R203 a bottle. This had raisin, prunes and dried fruit aromas. It was sweet without being syrupy. It reminded me of stewed fruit. It is smooth and rounded; it has a great round-mouth feel. It is yum!!! I loved this wine.

We finished the tasting with the Before & After Apertif N/V at R220 a bottle. The bottle alone is awesome enough to warrant buying a bottle. It is very stylish!! This wine was prety nice, it was smooth with a nice finish. It is 80% potstill brandy and 20% Zinfandel Noble Late Harvest. It is an interesting mix and I am not sure if I like it but it was interesting. I just don't think I like it enough to buy a bottle.

We had a very nice wine tasting experience here and I would recommend one visits this estate when in the area.

Second visit - 19/08/2013:
I visited Blaauwklippen on the 19th of August in the afternoon. Marlin was serving me. He has grasped a good understanding of the wine within a short time of working there. I tasted the Sauvignon Blanc 2013 at R61 a bottle. This was acidic, fresh, had nice sugar levels, tropical fruit flavours with a bit of green capsicum (pepper). The Viognier at R61 a bottle was a nice light wine. The Chenin Blanc 2013 was light, crisp and has hints of apple. I also found it a bit gassy, like CO2 had been put in the bottle before closing it. The 2012 is nicer and better balanced. It was very fruity on the nose.

The Rose 2012 at R40 a bottle really stood out for me. It is a Shiraz Zinfandel. It is very nice, light and fruity. Nicely balanced. I bought a few bottles of this wine.

The Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 (R66 a bottle) was ok, it has good potential but I highly recommend putting it away for a few years before drinking.

I tried the Shiraz and the Merlot but didn't like either of these due to body, texture and taste. The Malbec 2010 was smooth and a little dry, it was ok.

I tried the Viognier NLH 2012 which was lovely, smooth, fruity, full mouth feel, sweet but not syrupy. I liked this wine. I also liked the Malbec NLH 2010; it was heavier than the Viognier, with a nice round mouth feel and was sweet and smooth.

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