This month, our value Insiders’ pack has it all. We’ve got a Viura from Rioja, Spain made by one of our very first Young Guns and a ‘tasty’ local white blend featuring Clairette Blanche. As for the reds, we’ve included 2 Cinsault blends – an old-vine Pinotage Cinsault from the Hamilton Russell stable and a Cabernet Cinsault from master blender Tinashe Nyamudoka. The pack is rounded out by 2 Wine Cellar favourites – a Walker Bay Syrah from Julien Schaal and the new vintage of Kleine Zalze’s Vineyard Selection Cabernet.
* While we are still unable to deliver wines in SA, we’re still taking orders and will deliver your packs as soon as we can!
Ex-Young Gun Bryan MacRobert moved to Rioja 7 years ago and started Laventura. After tasting his new releases over Zoom in July, his 2018 Viura was a stand-out for us. The nose is fresh with pear and citrus and some nuttiness from the lees contact. The textured palate makes it a great drink on its own or with food. The 2017 A&B’s Blend from Wightman & Sons is 70% Chenin Blanc and 30% Clairette Blanche. ‘Very tasty indeed,’ writes Christian Eedes and, with his 92-point score, it’s clearly a great value local white!
Julien Schaal makes wine both here and in Alsace, France. He started his career in Châteauneuf-du-Pape and now makes wines under his own label in SA. His 2018 Walker Bay Syrah is rich and well-balanced, with a nose of mixed spices and black fruit on the palate. The 2019 Ashbourne Pinotage Cinsault, produced from old vines planted in the 70s, was fermented separately and left unwooded. Tim Atkin MW describes it as ‘very pure and refined’ and gave it a solid 92 points.
Kumusha, meaning ‘your origin’ in Shona, is the wine brand created by leading sommelier Tinashe Nyamudoka. His wines are made with minimal intervention to honour their roots. The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Cinsault blend is the perfect all-rounder and, for the price, a great value red. Finally, we’ve included the Kleine Zalze 2018 Vineyard Selection Cabernet Sauvignon. We say this with every new vintage, but it competes with Stellenbosch Cabernets at twice the price or more. We cannot think of a better value Cabernet.
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Wightman & Sons, A&B’s Blend 2017
70% Chenin Blanc and 30% Clairette Blanche. Matured for nine months in old oak. The nose shos flowers and a particular herbal note before white and yellow fruit, a touch of spice and some yeasty character. Great fruit concentration and snappy acidity before a slightly grippy finish – very tasty indeed. – Christian Eedes, 92/100
Laventura, Viura 2018
This wine has a lemon colour with primary fruit aromas such as apple, pear, lemon, lime, peach and apricot. Secondary aromas of brioche and nuts are present due to the lees contact and barrel ageing for one year. The palate is textured and layered. Good acidity, body and length. – Bryan MacRobert, winemaker
Kumusha, Cabernet Sauvignon & Cinsault 2019
Bright, dark and red fruits dominate the nose. Ripe cherries, plums and mulberries. Fresh on the palate with flavours of pomegranate and strawberry coming through. Subtle tannins giving you a dry and gripping finish. – Tinashe Nyamudoka, winemaker
Julien Schaal, Walker Bay Syrah 2018
We pursued a single goal: making Syrah with voluptuous fruit that reflect Terroir and Passion. Syrah African Dream detaches itself from the standard of South Africa. Rich and well-balanced, this wine possesses a perfume of mixed spice and a palate of soft blackberry flavours. – Julien Schaal, winemaker
Ashbourne, Pinotage Cinsault 2019
Planted in 1972 and 1974, with Old Vine Project status on the cards, this is an unwooded, separately fermented cuvée of Pinotage and 18% Cinsault. Aromatic, very pure and refined, it has racy acidity, some granitic backbone and layers of summer pudding fruit. Drink 2020-25. – Tim Atkin MW, 92/100
Kleine Zalze, Vineyard Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
Initially showing quite a robust nose with lots of ripe dark berry fruits giving way to notes of cedar wood and spice. A dense palate which is packed with ripe fruit give one idea to expect a burley heavy wine, however, the fine grained tannins and lively acidity ensure a very elegant palate that dances for a long lingering finish. A fantastic companion to most meat dishes and will also reward careful cellaring for at least 8 years. – Kleine Zalze