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South Africa Wines

This is the first blog I’ve ever written, quite a feat as I am now 66 years old! I was asked to join the WMWS committee earlier this year. My wife Sue & I have lived in West Meon since 2007. I have a long fond interest in wine & even spent 2 years studying part-time for the Diploma of Wine in London. Word must have got round!.

Jerry Berry & I were asked to suggest some South African (SA) wines, for a tasting with committee members so that we could put forward some recommendations to other WMWS members. Both of us have visited S.A. on a number of occasions & spent many a day in quite a few vineyards there tasting wine and having lunch. I’ve always preferred the white wines, & Jerry prefers reds, so we make a good team.

The SA wine industry has been going through several years of turmoil with reduced harvests due to droughts & the more recent Covid-induced restrictions on moving, selling & even drinking alcohol.

We came up with a lovely varied selection of whites & reds. My favourite white was a Cederberg Chenin Blanc 2019 which exhibited all the classical chenin characteristics one would expect & so typical of Cape wines. Another new one for us was the Blankbottle ‘Moment of Silence’ 2017, a wonderful name for a wine. This was made from Chenin Blanc, Grenache Blanc & Viognier. It was aromatic, spicy & full bodied.

The reds blew me away, especially as I’ve always scoffed at most of them. The False Bay Pinotage, Western Cape 2018 was full bodied, very fruity with a lovely deep ruby colour & very reasonably priced. The Secateurs Red from Badenhorst 2018, made from Cinsault, Syrah & Grenache was all red fruits on the nose, spicy with balanced acidity. Not at all tannic for such a young wine. This reminded many of our tasters of a Southern Rhone style wine.

A late comer into the selection was Vriesenhof GSM 2017 (Grenache, Syrah & Mourvedre). This was a lovely dark ruby in colour, fruity & well balanced & very drinkable now.

We both hope you will enjoy experiencing some new & exciting SA wines. Just remember that the committee members had to taste 24 different wines for this selection! Well someone has too!

Peter Fowler

West Meon Wine Society

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