The South African wine scene is on fire! Blink and you may miss an exciting new release that challenges the status quo. With the industry wide open to opportunity, maverick Krige Visser has taken to winemaking for the first time with a foray into Botriver and Arcangeli. Read more here.
His first set of releases is just spectacular. In fact, we think the Verdelho and Nebbiolo are the finest versions we have ever tasted from SA! We were dumbstruck when tasting the Romulus Nebbiolo 2016. It has such purity, poise and perfume so typical of the variety, along with beautifully dry and textured tannins. Although not as profound as its Italian counterparts, it’s reminiscent of Piedmont with a South African twist. Try it against a classic Nebbiolo, the Produttori del Barbaresco 2013, if you don’t believe us.
While Nebbiolo is likely to remain a periphery variety, there is no doubt that Verdelho is on the rise in SA. With roots in Madeira, it is known for its high acidity and performs well in warm climates. Used highly successfully in the Momento and Solms Delta blends, the Feiteiras Verdelho 2016 is made a bit more naturally. Whiffs of baked apples, lime and spices tease the nose while the finish is extremely long and textured.
Both excellent varietal examples, these are two brilliant releases.
Arcangeli, Romulus Nebbiolo 2016 – R 235
Light in colour and body, it is still very youthful and tight, only opening up on the 2nd day. Red cherries, fragrant spice and a hint of roses line the nose, so deeply delicate, fine and layered. The palate is composed, fresh and vibrant. Perfumed red fruits, spice and perhaps even dried herbs fill the palate. The beautifully dry, textured tannins will knit together over the next few years but it pairs well with Italian cuisine already. Wine of Origin Dagbreek, Breede River Valley. – Roland Peens (August 2017)
Arcangeli, Feiteiras Verdelho 2016 – R 190
Slightly golden in colour, there is a natural slant to this wine with notes of baked apples, fennel, spice and lime. The palate is rich and exotic, tightly bound by a high acidity and an incredibly deep, textured mouthfeel. Hints of honeysuckle and Granny Smith line the finish. The fine acidity will keep it for years to come. Wine of Origin Botriver. – Roland Peens (August 2017)
Produttori del Barbaresco, Barbaresco 2013 – R 475
The 2013 is a tasty, easygoing Barbaresco to drink over the next decade or more. There is good depth in the glass, with pretty notes of tobacco, liquorice, herb and worn-in leather that add nuance. Sweet red cherry, pomegranate and a closing burst of acidity meld into the finish. The tannins are present, but they are also pretty much buried by the creaminess of the fruit. A lovely impeccably balanced, understated wine that offers considerable regional and varietal expression. In other words: textbook. The Produttori’s Barbaresco has a track record of ageing well, but the 2013 is also surprisingly accessible. It should drink well with minimal cellaring. – Antonio Galloni, 90/100