A local taste of Stellenbosch

Next month’s cover story on SA wines in the Wine Spectator will surely please the Stellenbosch Wine Routes as the district gets upgraded to the “culinary capital of the winelands” as well as being called the home to one third of SA wineries with the most vineyards – a claim with which Robertson may disagree as they have 400 more hectares of vines (SAWIS numbers). But then maybe Robertson vineyards are bigger. When Anibal Coutinho and I blind tasted several hundred wines in Oak City last year, some surprises emerged:

tmp 300x225 A local taste of Stellenbosch

A Trio of Bubblies

♥♥♥♥♥ Villiera Monro Brut 2007 toasty, intense limey citrus flavours, fine chalky bubble

♥♥♥♥ Villiera Brut Natural 2009 fresh and lively nose, ripe yellow fruit, pear drops and baked apples, chalk and smoke

Spier 2007 rich and ripe nose, green palate plus citrus marmalade

Five White Blends

♥♥♥♥♥ Waterkloof Circle of Life White 2011thatch and hay, sweetly fruited, some dried fruits, figs, honey with a creamy palate and flinty minerality

♥♥♥♥♥ Morgenster White 2011 peach peel and pith, overripe oranges, sweet and spicy oak, flinty minerality, world class

♥♥♥ Jordan Chameleon 2011 Chardonnay on the nose, tropical Sauvignon Blanc on the palate with some citrus, peaches and herbs

♥♥♥ Zevenwacht Tin Mine White 2011 matches on the nose, pineapples on palate, tangy fruit style

Kaapzicht Combination,2012 floral buds and tropical, easy going

One Rousanne

Rustenberg Stellenbosch Roussanne 2011 intense lime and veggies, sappy

One Viognier

Waterkloof Circumstance Viognier 2011 light peaches, woody

A Duo of Rieslings

♥♥♥ Jordan The Real McCoy Riesling 2011 fresh and lively, tropical, sweet and sour style

Hartenberg Riesling 2010 petrol nose, tangy floral palate, lemon pulp and zest

Nineteen Sauvignon Blancs

♥♥♥♥♥ Webersburg 2011 toasty floral, creamy, complex, long, a world class wine

♥♥♥♥♥ Jordan The Outlier 2009 rich and ripe, grassy floral, dusty dried apricots and figs

♥♥♥♥ Villiera Traditional Bush Vine 2011 herbal nose, broad sappy palate

♥♥♥♥ Warwick Professor Black 2011 cheesy nose, rich and ripe palate, gooseberry cheesecake

♥♥♥♥ Woolworths Lonely Blue Gum 2012 ripe tropical fruit in a style everyone adores

♥♥♥♥ Dalla Cia 2012 shy nose mineral palate with tropical fruit

♥♥♥♥ Jordan 2012 dusty green peppers and peas, very long finish

♥♥♥ Hidden Valley 2012 icy fresh citrus lemon palate, long finish

♥♥♥ Kaapzicht 2012 chalky minerality, zingy fruit

♥♥♥ Saxenburg Private Collection 2012 rich palate, tangy gooseberries”

♥♥♥ Waterkloof Circumstance 2012 icy freshness, unusual, very elegant, biodynamic style natural with yeasty, almost beer-like nose

♥♥♥ Helderberg Wijmakerij 2011 extreme asparagus explosion

♥♥♥ Miravel 2011 precise flavours long palate

♥♥♥ Thelema 2011 cat’s wee nose, peardrops, lemons and limes palate

♥♥♥ Avontuur Sarabande 2010 cream soda, fynbos, herbal, rooibos tea

Beau Joubert 2012 cat’s wee and tropical and lemon rind

Bilton Bonnie Anne 2012 zingy fruit hits the sweet spot

Hoopenburg 2012 fresh peaches, easy drinking

Clos Malverne 2011 rich and creamy pear drops and honey

A Dozen Chenin Blancs

♥♥♥♥♥ Oldenburg Vineyards 2011 grippy, long, fabulously creamy flavours, toasty oak, spicy minerality

♥♥♥♥♥ De Trafford 2011 completely different style: almond and lemon cheesecake, honey, persistent

♥♥♥♥♥ Waterkloof Circumstance 2011 coffee mocha toasty sweet fruit, yeast, citrus and nuts

♥♥♥♥ Morgenhof 2011 rich nuts, toasted almonds and hazelnuts, Frangelico style

♥♥♥♥ Woolworths Classic 2011 ample tropical fruit and peaches, superior oaking, rich and ripe

♥♥♥ Villiera 2012 ripe stone fruit, some jam and minerality

♥♥♥ Jordan 2011 fresh and limey, toast and nuts

♥♥♥ Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection 2011 Asian all spice exotic honey and chalk

Kaapzicht 2012 tangy boiled sweets, ripe pears

Mooiplaas Bush Vines 2011 green bananas, vanilla milkshake

Zevenwacht 2011 baryardy nose, spicy, rustic palate

Villiera Barrel Fermented 2010 nutty stone fruit cheesecake

Seventeen Chardonnays

♥♥♥♥♥ Jordan Nine Yards 2011 top of the pops, icy fresh yellow fruits, world class

♥♥♥♥♥ Rustenberg Five Soldiers 2010 a blockbuster. Fantastic intensity and elegance

♥♥♥♥♥ Oldenburg Vineyards 2011 intense, fine flavours, elegant and minty

♥♥♥♥♥ Jordan Barrel Fermented 2010 fresh, sweetly fruited, overripe oranges and nuts

♥♥♥♥♥ Grand vin de Glenelly 2011 fresh yellow fruits, persistent creamy palate

♥♥♥♥ Eikendal 2011 wonderful balance, tangy fresh fruit, citrus and chalk

♥♥♥ Bartinney 2011 attractive oaky nose, sweet cheesecake, icy fresh

♥♥♥ Journey’s End 2011 finely fruited, chalky minerality

♥♥♥ Journey’s End Destination 2011 big and buttery, fat, toast and nuts

♥♥♥ Lanzerac 2011 fresh and floral with a nutty palate

♥♥♥ Brennaissance Knight of White 2010 chary oak, sweet fruit, popcorn, nuts and spice

Neil Ellis Stellenbosch 2011 spritzy yellow fruit and pear drops

Overgaauw 2011 big heavy palate with extra cream

Rustenberg Stellenbosch 2011 elegant, sweetly fruited, fine and long lasting with a grip

De Meye unwooded 2012 clean yellow fruit, easy going

Jordan unwooded 2012 intense, piercing pears

Hartenberg 2009 limes and citrus with a silky palate

A Matching Pair of Dry Rosés

♥♥♥ Delheim Rosé 2012 muscat cherries and plums, green banana with a touch of lime

Kanonkop Kadette 2011 firm tannins, intense prune and plum flavours

A Pinot Noir

♥♥♥♥ Peter Falke 2011 perfumed cherries, tangy plums and creamy melon, dry finish

A Sangiovese

Morgenster Caruso 2011 roses and crisp mulberries with candied stone fruit

A Nebbiolo

♥♥♥♥ Morgenster Nabucco 2009 exotic resinous, almost veggie nose with mossy oak but wow, what an intense palate

A Trio of Cabernet Francs

♥♥♥♥♥ Oldenburg 2009 silky tannins, huge persistence, some veggie notes with spicy toast and chocolate berries not overripe, good wooding

♥♥♥ Avontuur 2009 hints of tropical fruit and eucalyptus, strawberries on nose and palate

Audacia 2010 stalky nose, intense woody green fruits, with a touch of earth, drink now

Twenty Merlots

♥♥♥♥♥ Thelema Reserve 2009 spicy sweet oak nose, creamy elegant palate, persistent, world class

♥♥♥♥♥ Saxenburg Private Collection 2009 salty minerality, liquorice and grilled peppers

♥♥♥♥♥ Yonder Hill 2009 elegant, persistent, minty cherries and plums

♥♥♥♥ Groenland Premium 2009 sweet and spicy berries with dense flavours and huge persistence

♥♥♥♥ Eikendal 2010 savory plums and spearmint, tangy fruit and long finish

♥♥♥ Fleur du Cap Unfiltered 2010 extra toasty, chunky tannins and powerful minty berry flavours

♥♥♥ Brennaissance Queen of Hearts 2010 ripe black plums, savory spice, olives

♥♥♥ Woolworths Koffie Klip 2010 exotic oak and spice, silky palate

♥♥♥ Morgenhof 2009 dense cherry and plum flavours, cinnamon spice

♥♥♥ Spier Cape Winemakers Guild 2009 elegant red plums and chocolate

♥♥♥ Thelema 2009 juicy red and black plums and mint

♥♥♥ De Trafford 2008 super savory and spicy, tongue-coating tannins, peppery leather

♥♥♥ Journey’s End 2008 meaty, fynbos, pepper and mint

♥♥♥ Muratie Alberta Annemarie 2008 incredibly fresh and lively, tangy, red fruits and spicy oak

♥♥♥ Annandale Chalbert 2005 complex plums, prunes and leather

Remhoogte Reserve 2007 black stone fruit and chutney

Overgaauw 2010 sweet red and blackberries, spicy sweet oak

Rust en Vrede 2011 intense sweet red plums and mint

Jordan 2009 lively sweet red berries and plums

Villiera 2010 green pepper nose, candied berry palate

Twenty Nine Cabernets

♥♥♥♥♥ Brennaissance King of Clubs 2009 world class cabernet: chocolate and chalk, spicy deluxe

♥♥♥♥♥ Guardian Peak Lapa 2009 huge wine with a long road ahead, spicy chocolate and chalk

♥♥♥♥♥ Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection 2009 stunner, long, dense red fruit and chocolate, superb oak management

♥♥♥♥♥ Stark-Condé Three Pines 2009 intense floral, cassis and red stone fruit chutney

♥♥♥♥♥ Thelema The Mint 2009 tangy berry fruit silky palate, oh, and there’s some mint

♥♥♥♥♥ Waterkloof Circumstance 2009 round mouth-filling, dense and long

♥♥♥♥♥ Kleine Zalze Family Reserve 2007 tobacco spicy, peppery red and black fruits with intense sucrosity

♥♥♥♥♥ Rustenberg Peter Barlow 2007 intense elegance, cassis and minerals. Catherine Deneuve elegance

♥♥♥♥♥ Stark-Condé Oude Nektar 2008 elegant concentration, black berries, chocolate and red stone fruit, persistent

♥♥♥♥ Thelema 2008 xmas cake nose, baked stone fruit chutney and mint

♥♥♥♥ Oldenburg 2009 cherries and meat, tobacco and spice

♥♥♥♥ Stark-Condé Stellenbosch 2009 fine berries and mulberries and spice

♥♥♥♥ Bartinney 2009 good concentration, bell pepper chutney, ripe red and stone fruit peel and pulp, elegance

♥♥♥ Eikendal 2010 coffee chocolate, tangy blackcurrant fruit and mushrooms

♥♥♥ Fleur de Cap Unfiltered 2010 concentrated red and blackcurrants

♥♥♥ Glenelly Lady May 2010 very youthful, silky tannins, good flavour concentration

♥♥♥ Rust en Vrede 2010 fresh and lively, tomatoes and khakibos

♥♥♥ De Trafford 2009 concentrated, fine wine with a touch of barnyard

♥♥♥ Neil Ellis 2009 tomato paste, ripe plums, fresh and lingering

♥♥♥ Kaapzicht 2008 clean, ripe berry style, silky palate with eucalyptus menthol tobacco flavours

♥♥♥ Amares 2007 overripe baked fruit and spice in a Port style

♥♥♥ Saxenburg Private Collection 2007 peas and mint, spicy toast and sugared dried fruits

Webersburg 2007 meaty, minty black berries and chocolate

Journey’s End The Cape Doctor 2007 spice sweet oak, dense and silky palate

Villiera 2010 rhubarb, toast and spice

Zevenwacht 2010 chocolate and chalk with firm tannins

Helderberg Wijnmakerij 2011 fresh bell peppers,

De Meye Little River 2010 sugary fruit, fresh and lively

Jordan 2009 toasted plums and grilled bell peppers

Twenty Eight Shirazes

♥♥♥♥♥ Rust en Vrede Single Vineyard 2009 dense flavours, an adamastor, totally world class, dense, intense, long, superlative syrah, long legs

♥♥♥♥♥ De Trafford 2010 mineral monster, solid as a lump of oak, liqueur-like intensity

♥♥♥♥♥ Rust en Vrede 2010 spicy chocolate and berries, silky style, typicity and elegance very long

♥♥♥♥ Graceland 2011 good concentration, fresh and rich chocolate stone fruit, long

♥♥♥♥ Hartenberg Doorkeeper 2010 brambles and raspberries on the nose and palate, red fruits dominate, freshness a feature

♥♥♥♥ Stark-Condé Three Pines 2009 tomato leaf and paste, milky red fruit fresh

♥♥♥♥ Mooiplaas Watershed 2008 wine gums, intense dried fruit flavours, blockbuster style with mint

♥♥♥♥ Rust en Vrede Cirrus 2008 herbal monster, fynbos fiend, spicy toast and minerals

♥♥♥♥ Annandale 2004 fynbos tea, silky, complex fynbos notes

♥♥♥♥ Zevenwacht 2008 Rhônish nose, savory and spicy, tangy red fruit elegant

♥♥♥♥ Amani Forest Myers 2007 perfumed, fresh, lively palate, tangy dried fruit

♥♥♥♥ Amani Forest Myers (red label) 2007 fresh and lively, red spectrum of flavours, wax and toast with a lingering finish

♥♥♥ Stellekaya 2008 milky and silky with Viognier perfume, feminine style

♥♥♥ Thelema 2009 coffee chocolate some mushrooms and milky, minty red fruit

♥♥♥ Amani Pendana 2008 red berry tea, ripe and leafy fynbos, elegant

♥♥♥ Kaapzicht 2008 tobacco and leather, juicy red berries and mint

Amares 2007 popular commercial style, jammy dried fruit, rich and toasty

Journey’s End 2007 earthy palate, chunky red fruit

Groenland Premium 2008 smoky raspberries and dried cherries

Kleine Zalze Family Reserve 2007 ripe blackberries, toast and toffee

Saxenburg Private Collection 2007 jammy fruit, spicy and toasty

Remhoogte Valentino 2010 toasty oak, plums and prunes and chewy tannins

Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection 2009 overripe, jammy tropical fruit, bananas and leather

Muratie Ronnie Melck 2009 earthy palate, jammy fruit with grippy tannins

Oldenburg Vineyards 2009 oxidative style baked fruits and chocolate, silky palate

De Meye Little River 2011 juicy sweet red berry fruit

Rustenberg Stellenbosch 2009 green nose, chunky tannins, red fruit savoury

Stark-Condé Stellenbosch 2009 bacon toast and spicy red plums

Six Pinotages

♥♥♥♥♥ Kanonkop 2010 intense, dense, classy, huge length, pastille style

♥♥♥♥ Lanzerac Pionier 2009 the perfect pinotage: intense red cherry flavours, dense and spicy

♥♥♥♥ Neil Ellis Vineyard Selection 2010 toasty oak, redcurrants and mulberries, raspberry jam and chocolate

Spier Cape Winemakers Guild 2009 chocolate, ripe bananas and liquorice

Spier 21 Gables 2010 powerful and extracted, banana jam

Hidden Valley 2011 coffee mocha chocolate red berries

Five Stickies

♥♥♥♥ Thelema Vin de Hel Muscat Late Harvest 2008 rich and ripe, abundant apricots, litchi and intense granadilla

♥♥♥♥ Dornier Froschkönig Natural Sweet 2009 freshly baked apples and pears, good balance between acid and sugar

♥♥♥ De Trafford Straw Wine 2010 creamy cooked apricots, cooking apples with a zingy minerality

♥♥♥ Jordan Mellifera Noble Late Harvest 2011 intense and piercing peaches, pineapple and pear jam

Vergenoegd Limited Edition Tawny Port 1999 rancio and nuts, cinnamon, chocolate and raisins

Thirty Three Red Blends

♥♥♥♥♥ Rust en Vrede 1694 Classification 2007 peach peel of Shiraz, toasty coconut, huge length, intensity, wow! Superlative oak management balance ripeness and extraction with silkiness; the nose is perfect

♥♥♥♥♥ Thelema Rabelais 2008 floral, violet aromas, incredibly fresh peach peel and violets world class wine

♥♥♥♥♥ Rust en Vrede Estate 2009 chalky minerals and chocolate, intense, rich and silky, long and densely flavoured

♥♥♥♥♥ Warwick Trilogy 2009 red and blackcurrants, elegant fresh oak with impressive balance

♥♥♥♥♥ De Toren Fusion V 2010 a vinous black hole, elegant, long, silky, balance, mineral chalk and toast

♥♥♥♥♥ De Toren Z 2010 light and elegant, intense, fresh and lively, chocolate and stone fruit

♥♥♥♥♥ Guardian Peak SMG 2010 silky, density, extreme spice, length and balance

♥♥♥♥♥ Lanzerac le General 2008 dense, intense, silky, tangy fruit (bananas plums and spicy peaches)

♥♥♥♥ The High Road Director’s Reserve 2008 bacon and sweet raspberries, milky pastries, sugary

♥♥♥♥ The High Road Reserve 2008 palate intensity, milky, silky palate

♥♥♥♥ Dalla Cia Georgio 2007 green peppers tangy tomato leaf, fresh and vibrant

♥♥♥♥ Eikendal Charisma 2009 spicy and dry stone fruit plus savoury orange marmalade

♥♥♥♥ Overgaauw Tria Corda 2009 attractive nose, minty chocolate stone fruit, long

♥♥♥♥ Graceland Strawberry Fields 2010 attractive berry nose, dense vanilla palate, silky

♥♥♥♥ Clos Malverne Auret 2009 tangy, grippy, red berries and licorice, very woody

♥♥♥♥ Kaapzicht Steytler Vision 2008 creamy, rich, sugary, with a hint of leather

♥♥♥♥ Bartinney Noble Savage Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot 2009 tomato paste style fresh and zippy, a bargain gourmand wine

♥♥♥♥ Dornier Donatus Red 2009 tropical fruit, very dry, mint and spice

♥♥♥♥ Muratie Ansela van de Caab 2009 clean and ripe, sweet berry flavours with extra toast

♥♥♥ Villiera Down to Earth Touriga Naçional/Shiraz 2011 spicy bergamot and violets on the nose, fresh juicy sweet fruit palate

♥♥♥ Overgaauw Touriga Naçional/Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 ripe mulberries with tangy intensity and grip

♥♥♥ Remhoogte Woodbrook Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz 2011 grippy tannins, dusty vanilla, dense flavours

♥♥♥ Avontuur Vintners Red 2010 sweet plummy fruit and chocolate

♥♥♥ Zevenwacht Tin Mine Red 2010 spicy toast, young and tropical fruit, lively palate

♥♥♥ Remhoogte Aigle Noir Estate 2010 spicy berry fruit, chewy tannins

♥♥♥ Remhoogte Estate Blend 2007 wonderful nose, toasty bell peppers

♥♥♥ Yonder Hill Inanda 2009 sweet fruit, clean and fresh

♥♥♥ Bilton Sir Percy 2008 spicy mourvèdre gives it a lift to all that spicy oak

♥♥♥ Kaapzich Steytler Pentagon 2008 herbal nose, sweetly fruited palate, fynbos, methol, eucalpypt, Port style

♥♥♥ The High Road Classique 2008 coffee, very fresh fruit, tangy

♥♥♥ Romond Rebus Cabernet 2007 minty, ripe red berries, long and fresh

♥♥♥ Brennaissance Full House 2010 density, minty, sour cherries

♥♥♥ Rust en Vrede Stellenbosch Ridge 2010 huge wine, fine and precise flavours, rustic tannins

♥♥♥ Rustenberg John X Merriman 2010 rich and ripe, big tannins, booming finish

♥♥♥ Beau Joubert Ambassador 2009 elegant and fresh, spicy eucalyptus

Vergenoegd Runner Duck Red 2010 toasty green peppers and orange marmalade

Avontuur Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot 2008 lively red fruit in balance with oak

Neil Ellis Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot 2009 fresh, zippy acids, charming

Beau Joubert Oak Lane Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz 2011 chewy red and black berries plus spicy chocolate

Jordan Chameleon Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot 2010 fresh and light, tangy fruit

Dornier Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot 2009 ripe and juicy, bell pepper chutney

Kaapzicht Kaleidoscope 2010 smoky, sweet and juicy

Kaapzicht Estate Red 2010 super toasty, sugary finish

Stark Condé Lingen Jonkershoek 2010 juicy red fruits, tangy, silky palate

Kanonkop Kadette Red 2010 ripe bananas, grippy palate and chocolate

Eikendal Classique 2009 whisky-style malted cereals, extra spicy dry finish

Clos Malverne Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz 2010 toasty oak and berries

Rustenberg Stellenbosch RM Nicholson 2009 ripe berries and generous tannins, grips like a vice

Waterkloof Circle of Life 2009 sweet red fruit jam on toast

Stellekaya Boschetto Red 2009 exotic berry flavours, sweetly fruited, some mint

Kaapzicht Bin 3 2009 meat and tangy plums