Tasting this Chablis-style (unwooded) Chardonnay ignited an instant craving for oysters, scallops, and any other sea creature that comes from a shell. The searing acidity, crisp citrus fruit, green apple and peach are balanced with a round full mouth feel from time on the lees and a striking flinty minerality. Consume this wine no cooler than 60 degrees. It is the perfect wine for your ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) friends to remind them why this wonderful grape, unencumbered by butter, vanilla, and spice, is a treasure to savor.
The first thing you notice about this wine is the intense dark, almost inky color. It is a hint of the richness and opulence to come. The single lot of four classic Portuguese cultivars, all planted in 1965, are “field blended,” as they are hand harvested at the same time. The result is a smooth, rich, round, well integrated wine of berries and spice. Perfect with dark chocolate, stinky cheeses, or just a good book by a warm fire.
Clear, bright, medium straw yellow. Fine bubbles cascade up the glass. The nose is clean with medium intensity aromas of lemon, chalk, biscuit, cooked yellow apple, and yellow cherries. This is a dry wine with a full mousse, and large fleeting bubbles on the palate. It has medium-high acidity, medium body, medium alcohol (11.5%) and flavors of bright citrus, grapefruit, lemon, and green apple. The finish is long and creamy, and leaves a taste of salted caramel in the mouth. A good wine, especially for the suggested retail price. Pair with a salad with fresh fruit, grilled white peaches, roasted sole, or white chocolate truffles with black sea salt.
“Rubber” has become synonymous with Pinotage, at least partly due to the power of suggestion. But you won’t find a hint of it here, even if you try. Aging in heavily toasted oak gives the wine an aromatic nose of mocha, coffee, and chocolate along with the more typical Pinotage nose of smoked bacon. On the palate, cherry, plum and almonds mingle with the continuing mocha and bacon notes ending with a velvety smooth finish. Does not come across as your normal Pinotage! While chocolate or mocha desserts are a more obvious match, it would be fantastic with a more traditional Mexican dish covered in that chili-chocolate hybrid known as molé sauce.
Please help us choose which South African wine will be the Palate Press Wine of the Week!
Opaque purple in the glass, with a nose of chocolate, smoked bacon, and nutmeg. (Chocolate and bacon is a great combination, in fact.) Opens up tantalizingly but with great promise on the palate, with long, expressive flavors of black currant and nuts, perhaps pistachios. The Shiraz and Cabernet are in fine balance, ending in a languorous finish. A really splendid wine. Try it with really good, true, smoky BBQ brisket (which may be as difficult to find, or more so, than the wine if you are outside of Texas.)
Somewhere between the richest and oakiest Chardonnay-like South African Chenin Blancs and the lighter, more fruit-driven styles lies this hearty yet refreshing white. The nose is reminiscent of orange-compote bread pudding: toasty and rather rich but with a pure citrus tang and notes of honeysuckle and tangerine, suggesting a full-bodied but clean and refreshing palate. The mouthfeel is creamy but not overbearing with bright acidity to balance a warming alcohol (14%), leading to a long, resolving finish. A great match for rustic fall meals such as acorn squash stuffed with sausage, apples and breadcrumbs.