I have always been at best ambivalent about South African wines. I have had some good ones and I have had some that weren’t so nice. I avoided them for many years as I always managed to find other wines, usually from France or Australia that attracted me more at wine buying time, but in the spirit of adventure and really to make up a sufficient value to “spend” my Majestic voucher, I picked this one up. At £8.99 (£6.99 as I was buying more than six bottles) I wasn’t risking much if I didn’t like it right?
Well, I apologise to the producers here and now that I had such low expectations for this wine; what a revelation! My wife and I (she always insists on helping with my research) both loved it. Now, before I go off waxing lyrical about how I have just discovered the nectar of the gods for less than £7.00, I have to say that although we loved it, it doesn’t meet with universal approval. It has strong a barbecue, hickory smoke nose and palate which according to the reviews on Majestic’s website isn’t everyones cup-of-tea. As well the smoke, there are the aromas of Coffee, chocolate, plum and mulberries all intermingled to create a wonderful experience. I shall buy more of this without a doubt.
Producer: Val de Vie wine estate.
Jan Van Riebeck
Winemaker: Bertus Fourie.
Country/region: South Africa/Western Cape.
Alcohol Content by volume:13%
Bouquet/nose: Smoked “Bavarian” sausage, Barbecue “Hickory” smoke, Ripe red berries, Coffee and chocolate.
Taste/Palate: Barbecued steak, Ripe red berries (Cherry/Mulberry/Plum) Coffee and Chocolate – very complex and intense.
Finish: long and lingering – the smooth chocolate, the coffee and the smokey taste stay with you for some time in a very pleasant combination. This is not a wine that you would want to or even feel the need to hurry.
According to Majestic, it can be enjoyed on its own or with red meat dishes, whereas the winemaker, Bertus recommends “a blue-cheese-filled brandy snap with chocolate and roasted coffee beans” although, I think that he is really describing the flavours in the wine!
This is a very different and very pleasant wine which we enjoyed immensely. It is certainly worth a punt at £6.99 to £8.00 (depending on whether you buy six bottles – mixed – at a time). It will be one of my collection of purchases next visit.
You can see the Majestic Wine “Barista” page together with reviews from other customers here: