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Heritage Day: South African wine recommendations from an expert

Heritage Day: South African wine recommendations from an expert

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If you have spent any time in the wine section of your local store, you have probably seen a few offerings from South Africa.

Over the years, the country has become renowned for its diverse variety of wines as well as very reasonable price points.

To celebrate Heritage Day, Wine Cellar’s Kenny Nassen shares a selection of wines that celebrate our history, uniqueness, and evolution, including vintage gems that you can try.

Scions of Sinai Féniks Pinotage 2021

Heritage Day: South African wine recommendations from an expert
Scions of Sinai Féniks Pinotage 2021. Picture: Supplied

Pinotage is the Cape’s own signature grape, first cultivated in South Africa in 1925 by crossing Pinot Noir and Hermitage (Cinsault). Seventh-generation grape grower and producer Bernhard Bredell is passionate about the Helderberg wine region, crafting his wines from old vines that date back to 1976.

His Féniks Pinotage 2021 is an expression of the sandy terroir. It’s an energetic red, packed with juicy red fruit and dried herbs. This is a go-to of mine on a Cape summer’s day.

Sijnn White 2020

Heritage Day: South African wine recommendations from an expert
Sijnn White 2020. Picture: Supplied

Tim Atkin’s Young Winemaker of the Year, Charla Haasbroek, describes the wines of Sijnn as “wines with personality”!

We saw this first-hand on the dusty road to Malgas. Shaped by rocks and river stones likened to the landscape of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, the wines express the rugged terrain of Malgas. Exotic spice and ripe yellow fruit offer a rich wine.

Kanonkop Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Heritage Day: South African wine recommendations from an expert
Kanonkop Cabernet Sauvignon 2018. Picture: Supplied

Better known for their Paul Sauer, the Kanonkop Cabernet Sauvignon is a joy to behold. It has incredible ageing potential and offers superb value at R540 per bottle.

We were lucky enough to taste the 1973 Cabernet Sauvignon earlier this year, which attests to its incredible age-ability.

With vineyards over sixty years old, award-winning winemakers, and a dedication to tradition, Kanonkop has firmly established itself as one of South Africa’s First Growth properties.

Meerlust Rubicon 2018

Heritage Day: South African wine recommendations from an expert
Meerlust Rubicon 2018. Picture: Supplied

Meerlust is an institution in the South African wine industry. Just off the N2 highway, it was one of the first wineries I visited at the beginning of my wine journey.

Their long-standing history has been instrumental in the growth of fine wine in South Africa. Meerlust Rubicon is a crowd pleaser, ticking all the boxes of rich red berry fruit and dry pencil shaving tannins.

Glenelly Estate Reserve Red 2013

Heritage Day: South African wine recommendations from an expert
Glenelly Estate Reserve Red 2013. Picture: Supplied

If you’re searching for a sip of Bordeaux in SA, look no further than Glenelly. After selling her Bordeaux estate, Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Madam May de Lencquesaing set her sights on the Cape and established Glenelly in 2003.

The Glenelly Estate Reserve Red is one of my favourites to enjoy with classic French dishes. Pair it with a beef wellington and a red wine jus.

Alto Fine Old Vintage 2008

Heritage Day: South African wine recommendations from an expert
Alto Fine Old Vintage 2008. Picture: Supplied

When it comes to heritage and tradition in SA, Alto is a household name. They’ve been dedicated to vineyard planting and wine production since 1919.

Fortified wine is an underrated and exciting category in SA, and we see a return of these finely crafted wines.

We love sharing classically styled fortified wines, which capture powerful fruit alongside earthy, spiced aromatics.

Read the latest IOL Food DigiMag here.

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