12 best red wines for winter

Friday, 24 May, 2019
Eugene Yiga
Winter is coming. If you want to fight off the cold, here are twelve of the best red wines from South Africa’s top wine estates.

Allée Bleue Blue Owl Merlot

Allée Bleue, the renowned estate in the Franschhoek Valley, celebrates the beauty of nature with the Blue Owl range of easy-drinking wines. The name comes from the discovery of an owl and pair of owlets, nesting in the rafters and found when renovations on the farm buildings began in 2016. The Merlot, which suits even the most informal occasions such as an evening around the braai, pairs well with fresh pasta topped with basil, roasted cherry tomatoes, and slivers of parmesan drizzled with olive oil. http://alleebleue.co.za/

Alto Cabernet Sauvignon

Situated along the elevated northern slopes of the Helderberg Mountain, Alto has earned its reputation over close to a century. Precise understanding of the terroir and the vines that thrive there has been shaped over generations and has led to just five varieties being grown on the estate. The rugged tannic structure of the Cabernet Sauvignon makes it a perfect fit for salty, naturally-cured biltong with a trace of fat. For Bertho van der Westhuizen, only the fifth winemaker in Alto’s long history, the latter softens the tannins and enhances the red, plum fruit and sweetness in the wine. https://www.alto.co.za/

De Toren Délicate

With an unwavering focus on crafting superlative Bordeaux blends, the wines of De Toren Private Cellar have become coveted worldwide, raising the profile of high-end South African wines across the globe. De Toren Délicate is a refreshing Malbec-dominated wine that is a light style red blend of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc, and is the perfect balance of upfront fruit and gentle tannins. To ensure this wine’s packaging reflects its finesse, striking new labels were crafted to match its unique blend. https://www.de-toren.com/

Delheim Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon Blend

There’s a new edition of everyone’s favourite go-to wine from Delheim. Crafted by the Stellenbosch estate for decades, the blend of Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon is much loved for being both delicious and a likeable all-rounder that suits any event. No surprise then that the blend of Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, which is part of the estate’s Lifestyle Range, is Delheim’s top-selling wine. The wine vegan-friendly is also a good partner to dishes featuring mushrooms – an ingredient Delheim has also become famous for.https://www.delheim.com/

Nederburg’s The Motorcycle Marvel

Nederburg’s The Motorcycle Marvel, a Rhône-style red blend, was announced winner of the “best wine from South Africa” trophy at the 10thannual Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition. The Motorcycle Marvel honours legendary winemaker Günter Brӧzel, who was cellar-master at Nederburg from 1956 to 1989. Getting around on a 250cc BSA motorcycle, he checked on everyone and everything to ensure his exacting demands were met. In 1985, he became the first in South Africa to earn the International Wine & Spirit Competition Winemaker of the Year Award. https://nederburg.co.za/

Neethlingshof Caracal

The Neethlingshof Caracal is an elegant Bordeaux-style red https://shop.wine.co.za/Wine.aspx?WINEID=44103blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, and Cabernet Franc. This acclaimed blend forms part of the Short Story Collection, a portfolio of reserve wines that celebrate both the history and conservation successes of the estate. The Caracal is a full-bodied and powerful wine that boasts firm but supple tannins and notes of blackcurrant, cherry, oak, and vanilla. It pairs well with steak, oxtail, beef stroganoff, roasts, casseroles, stews, game, charcuterie, and mature cheeses. https://neethlingshof.co.za/

Plaisir de Merle Cabernet Sauvignon

Established by the French Huguenots in 1693, on the slopes of the Simonsberg Mountains between Paarl and Franschhoek, Plaisir de Merle is a rare gem. It has also become renowned as a producer of exceptional wines. The secret of its consistent appeal lies in a unique combination of sublime terroir, meticulous viticulture with the gentlest winemaking, along with a sustainable purpose, and acknowledging a proud heritage reaching back to the beginning of wine at the Cape. The Cabernet Sauvignon is a full-bodied, fruit-driven wine with blackberry fruit, dark chocolate, and sweet notes of vanilla. It is also a versatile wine that complements red meat dishes well. https://www.plaisirdemerle.co.za/

Steenberg Merlot

Concentrated berries with savoury notes of dried fynbos, lavender, and fresh rosemary make Steenberg Merlot the ideal fireside comforter on chilly winter days. Crafted from vines on the cool Steenberg foothills, the fresh and vibrant wine vintage is richly rewarding with a mouthful of plum, dark chocolate and black olives.Chef Kerry Kilpin of Steenberg’s popular Bistro Sixteen82 recommends pairing it with a grilled sirloin drizzled with a whisky and black pepper jus and a green pea and tomato salsa. https://www.steenbergfarm.com/

Survivor Wild Yeast Syrah

Survivor takes its name from the tale of a fearless Nguni cow that jumped off an open bakkie while being transported from one Swartland farm to another, landing unscathed in the middle of a vineyard. A metaphor for brave choices, the story of the Nguni cow continues to inspire this intrepid wine range from Overhex Wines International. The Wild Yeast Syrah is a dark, full-bodied wine with luscious layers of blackberries and spice. Made without the use of commercial yeasts, itentices with soft, supple tannins. Winemaker Ben Snyman suggests enjoying it with spicy stir-fry pork, leg of lamb, or chicken and spare ribs on the braai. https://www.overhex.com/

Sutherland Grenache

Sutherland, the Elgin property belonging to well-known Stellenbosch winery Thelema Mountain Vineyards, released its first Reserve Range of wines showcasing the finest elements of this farm that has been owned by Thelema since 2002. Consisting of three premium wines, the Sutherland Reserve Range includes a Grenache, a cultivar not normally associated with Elgin. The wine comes to the market at a time when the interest in Grenache is increasing due to the quality of South African expressions of this variety as well as the juicy, spicy drinking enjoyment it offers consumers. https://www.thelema.co.za/

Thelema Mountain Vineyards Rabelais

Rabelais is a blend of the best Bordeaux components. The wine shows concentrated aromas of dark berries, hints of mocha and cedar wood on the nose. The palate has lovely sweet fruit notes, polished tannins and a long, refined finish.The carefully selected components of this wine lend themselves perfectly to long term cellaring.This complex and full-bodied wine also complements beef and game dishes well. https://www.thelema.co.za/

Waverley Hills Grenache Noir

The wines of Waverley Hills Organic Wine & Olive Estate have new labels and Fynbos is the heart of these new designs. But more than a mere upgrade, the transformed pack cuts to the very essence of the boutique Tulbagh farm’s superlative, crafted wines made in a natural, sustainable way. A bright red colour invites you to this medium bodied and easy drinking style of wine. Flavours of watermelon, tropical fruit, violets and strawberries are integrated to give this wine a fresh complexity. With smooth and grippy tannins, it’s the perfect food wine for all occasions. https://waverleyhills.co.za/