10 Best White Wines for Summer

Wednesday, 15 November, 2017
Eugene Yiga
Summer is just around the corner. So get ready to sit back and enjoy some of South Africa’s best white wines under the sun.

Allée Bleue Isabeau 2014
Allée Bleue Wine Estate is situated in Franschhoek and owes its name to the giant ‘blue’ eucalyptus trees that line the entrance to the farm. The portfolio of wines on offer has become widely known as having with something for everyone, from its upper echelon Premium wines to the easy drinking Starlette range.
The Isabeau 2014 from the Platinum Range is Allée Bleue’s flagship white wine and is a wooded dry blend of Chardonnay (68%), Semillon (21%), and Viognier (11%). The palate is silky with elegant flavours of summer fruits and a lingering lemony aftertaste. Serve this wine with Thai-style duck breast with a ginger jus and stir-fried noodles or chicken and a light saffron sauce with a side salad. www.alleebleue.co.za 

Avondale Anima 2015
Few wines embody the Avondale philosophy of Terra Est Vita – ‘Soil is Life’ – as succinctly as the estate’s acclaimed Anima (‘soul’ in Latin) Chenin Blanc. The 2015 vintage is once again proving to be a remarkable reflection of this pioneering biodynamic estate in the Paarl winelands.
A versatile wine marrying freshness with structure and palate weight, it works beautifully with everything from charcuterie to duck dishes. For guests dining at FABER, Avondale’s acclaimed farm-to-table estate restaurant, chef Eric Bulpitt suggests pairing it with the fennel-cured East Coast hake plated with salted cucumber and fermented chili velouté, or the roasted free range chicken served with organic Lowerland polenta and Avondale corn velouté. www.avondalewine.co.za 

Boplaas Stoepsit Sauvignon Blanc 2017
When you think of the houses of the quaint Karoo towns dotted along the Route 62 and beyond, one striking attribute that all share in common is the presence of a “stoep” or wrap-around patio. These stoeps serve as gathering places for friends, family, and passers-by, where stories are told, problems are solved, and one can take refuge from the day’s toil.
To celebrate Boplaas’s patriarch Ouma Roline’s 90th vintage, her love of Sauvignon Blanc, the innumerable afternoons she entertained friends and family on her stoep and the joy this has brought her, it is only apt that from this vintage the Boplaas Sauvignon Blanc will be henceforth be bottled as the Boplaas Stoepsit Sauvignon Blanc. The tropical fruit mélange of flavours of this wine is best paired with grilled Kabeljou and thick home-style chips, or serve well chilled as an aperitif. www.boplaas.co.za

Kleine Zalze Vineyard Selection Chardonnay 2016
Kleine Zalze has been making wine since 1695 and today, this family-owned winery situated outside Stellenbosch in the heart of the Cape Winelands, continues the tradition of producing wines of outstanding quality. The Vineyard Selection Chardonnay 2016 (one of the driest and warmest vintages in history) is noted to be full of flavour with layers of pear and citrus on the palate.
Along with receiving a coveted gold medal, the Kleine Zalze’s Vineyard Selection Chardonnay 2015 was the only South African entry to make it onto the celebrated Top 10 list of world-beating Chardonnays at the 23rd annual Chardonnay du Monde competition, held at Château des Ravatys in the heart of Burgundy, where more than 780 wines from 30 countries were evaluated by a prestigious panel of international judges. www.kleinezalze.co.za 

Oldenburg Vineyards Viognier 2015
Oldenburg Vineyards, the luxury boutique winery situated in the Banghoek Valley, has launched their maiden Viognier (only 2400 bottles produced) as a great addition to their range of premium wines. The wine sports a lively, apple-yellow colour and the opulently perfumed nose shows ripe peach and rich vanilla aromas. The broad, well-filled palate is perfectly balanced by adequate acidity. The wine has enduring richness, good grip, and a long finish.
Viognier pairs well with spicy dishes with a hint of peach or apricot (echoing the flavours in the wine) or dishes with ginger, saffron, and coconut. Try it with mild spicy noodle dishes, rich shellfish dishes (such as seared scallops, grilled lobster, and baked crab, especially with a hint of spice), or sweet root vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, and spicy butternut squash. www.oldenburgvineyards.com 

Paul Cluver Sauvignon Blanc 2017
With the onset of long lazy days and breath-taking sunsets, the new release Paul Cluver Sauvignon Blanc 2017 is guaranteed to make the warmer weather so much cooler. Already regarded as one of SA’s leading producers, Paul Cluver Wines received further credibility for its stellar range when internationally acclaimed wine journalist Tim Atkin rated the Sauvignon Blanc 2017 as the best he’s tasted from this producer. This momentous ‘stamp of approval’ from one of the industry’s leading authorities was confirmed in his South Africa 2017 Special Report, in which the wine scored an impressive 91 out of 100 points.
The Sauvignon Blanc is clear and bright with a hint of green. The flavours on the nose are refreshingly clean, alluding to aromas of granadilla, grapefruit, gooseberry, and blackcurrant. Not stopping there, these flavours continue to the palate, delivering a superb creamy texture, which is due to the extended lees contact and inclusion of some Semillon. It’s the perfect aperitif and enhances the flavours of a fresh summer salad as well as lighter meat dishes. It also pairs beautifully with richer seafood dishes and even cheese platters. www.cluver.com 

Slanghoek Private Selection Chardonnay 2016
Slanghoek Cellar, situated along the increasingly popular Breedekloof Wine Route, has once again proved why its wines are worth seeking out among many other wine brands: top class drinking at a fraction of the price. This winery has steadily been gaining a reputation for producing wines that provide enthusiasts with quality drinking, no matter the price range, variety, or style it is made in. It recently added weight to this claim by taking home the title of Best Value Chardonnay at the annual Getaway Best Value Wine Awards.
The Slanghoek Private Selection Chardonnay 2016 scored an unbeatable four-star rating and trades for only R50 from the cellar. The wine is slightly oaked, with delicate whiffs of lemon on the nose with subtle lime and grapefruit notes on the palate. It is remarkably refreshing on its own, but makes for an amazing food partner to seared fish. www.slanghoek.co.za 

Steenberg Sphynx Chardonnay 2017
Steenberg Vineyards has launched a new range of generous, super-premium wines named after three tall ships in the Royal Navy fleet that defeated the Dutch in the Battle of Muizenberg in 1795. Setting sail for the first British occupation of the Cape of Good Hope, the Ruby, Stately, and Sphynx were part of the fleet that advanced on Dutch strongholds in Muizenberg. Skirmishes ensued as the Dutch retreated including clashes on the Steenberg foothills.
Steenberg Sphynx Chardonnay 2017 is a lightly barrel-fermented Chardonnay that stems from specially selected vineyards in Robertson and Bonnievale. The wine teems with orange blossom, butterscotch, and yellow stone-fruit supported by a richly structured palate with nuances of quince and pear. Eminently drinkable now, it will age beautifully for a further two to five years. Enjoy it with shellfish, creamy soups, or grilled fish. www.steenbergfarm.com 

Vriesenhof Vineyards Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2015
Nestled at the foothills of the Stellenbosch Mountain is where you’ll find Vriesenhof Vineyards, home to a range of superb wines suited to any occasion. Consumers can now experience a ‘refreshed look’ range that reflects an exciting new chapter in the Vriesenhof story. Throughout the years the brand has built up a strong reputation and following, offering consumers a range of wines that promises excellence and a discernible regional expression.
Aiming to provide true enjoyment of one of nature’s finest offerings, all Vriesenhof wines are now bottled under one label. The new look range comprises seven wines, including the Barrel Fermented Chardonnay with its sublime aromas of white peach and dried pear. www.vriesenhof.co.za 

Waverley Hills Chardonnay 2016
Waverley Hills Organic Wine & Olive Estate has announced the birth of new heirs to join its portfolio reserved exclusively for the best of the best. Produced from the 2016 vintage, this outstanding pair includes a chardonnay and special red wine blend of grape varietals traditional to the famed French wine region of Bordeaux.
The Waverley Hills Chardonnay 2016 is dominated by the varietal that is also used for the making of the farm’s MCC bubbly, but there’s a smidgen of Semillon “for added freshness and fruit”. There’s white tropical fruit and lemon peel on the nose, along with dried banana and nutty oak. An aromatic flinty character gives extra complexity to the wine, which will complement rich fish and poultry dishes. www.waverleyhills.co.za 

Avondale Anima 2015
Avondale Anima 2015

Boplaas Stoepsit Sauvignon Blanc 2017
Boplaas Stoepsit Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Oldenburg Vineyards Viognier 2015 and Paul Cluver Sauvignon Blanc 2017
Oldenburg Vineyards Viognier 2015 and Paul Cluver Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Slanghoek Private Selection Chardonnay 2016
Slanghoek Private Selection Chardonnay 2016

Vriesenhof Vineyards Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2015 and Waverley Hills Chardonnay 2016
Vriesenhof Vineyards Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2015 and Waverley Hills Chardonnay 2016

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