Circle of Life White from the Waterkloof Estate, South Africa is a delicious blend of Chenin Blanc, Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc . Waterkloof operates a ‘hands off’ policy by which the winemakers see themselves as facilitators rather than winemakers, allowing the grapes to ferment as naturally as possible. The resulting wines are elegant and restrained with an incredible intensity of flavours. The Circle of Life is their flagship wine; the best parcels of fruit are selected each year to create a wine that reflects the true essence of the vineyard. Complex and rich with hints of melon and tropical fruit, it also has fantastic length and the taste just keeps giving. It will complement a wide range of foods: a meaty fish like tuna or monkfish, mushroom risotto, chicken.
Were you aware that Majorca is a base for some delicious wines? Macia Batle Blanc, Binissalem is Majorca’s second largest producer and is also responsible for some of the island’s most interesting wines. This Prensal Blanc / Chardonnay is a particularly good example. It has concentrated flavours of pineapple and honey with a hint of spice. A great aperitif that also complements those soft cheeses on your cheese board.
Don’t write off the rosé just because winter is approaching, but try looking for fuller styles to combat the cold. False Bay Rosé from False Bay Vineyards in South Africa is a blend of old bush vines Cinsault (old vines mean more concentrated flavours in the fruit) and Mourvèdre (a grape widely used in Provence roses) has plenty of body and sits well with foods that are slightly spicy, perhaps a Thai Curry or a large bowl of juicy pan fried garlic prawns.
And now for the reds – you need a good stock of an everyday quaffer that won’t break the bank. I know it’s a cliché but Dry River Shiraz from South East Australia hits the spot every time, yielding plenty of rich black fruit with a slight sweetness. This is easy drinking to while away an evening in front of the fire and is also great served up to friends with a bowl of chilli or your Sunday roast beef.
If you are feeling flush, then treat yourself to Hope Estate’s ‘The Cracker’, a Cabernet / Merlot from Hunter Valley, Australia; it doesn’t matter how many times I show this wine at a tasting, everyone always loves it, it’s an amazing wine. Sweet blackberry and blueberry fruit explode in your mouth followed by hints of vanilla oak, mint and eucalyptus. I find it quite difficult to partner with a savoury dish but it’s never difficult to drink on its own and chocolate desserts are a must.