The South African wine growing region dates back to 1655, when the first vines from Europe were planted. The first wines were made soon after in 1659. The southwest area around Cape Town has a Mediterranean climate that is well suited for grape growing.
South Africa’s signature grapes are Chenin Blanc, locally known as Steen, and Pinotage, South Africa’s very own grape variety developed from cross-fertilizing the Pinot Noir and Cinsault grapes.
This Saturday at TasteVin we will be featuring wines from the Fleur du Cap winery. All of their wines are wonderful and over-deliver for their price point. That said, I did have to select just four for Saturday’s tasting. They are the Chenin Blanc and Pinotage, along with a Chardonnay and Merlot.
2015 Fleur du Cap, Chardonnay, Western Cape, South Africa
Chardonnay is one of the most popular white grape varieties in the world so we had to include this one from the Western Cape of South Africa. It has the classic apple and pear flavors of Chardonnay with a touch of oak.
2016 Fleur du Cap, Chenin Blanc, Western Cape, South Africa
When I tasted through the Fleur du Cap lineup, I had the 2015 Chenin Blanc and thought it was stunning! Minerality, racy acidity, floral aromas and a beautiful finish. Fleur du Cap just relased the new 2016 vintage and I will be trying it along with you on Saturday. I am expecting it to be just as good as the previous vintage.
2014 Fleur du Cap, Pinotage, Western Cape, South Africa
The Pinotage was another superstar of the Fleur du Cap lineup. Beautiful red and black fruit, soft tannins and just a touch of earthiness.
2014 Fleur du Cap, Merlot, Western Cape, South Africa
Merlot is another popular international grape variety and Fleur du Cap’s Merlot is easy to drink with plum fruit flavors, savory smokiness and some velvety tannins.
About Fleur du Cap: “Our wines harking back to more traditional, hands-on winemaking practices, the Fleur du Cap team manages to unlock the natural expression inherent in the grapes from select parcels of vines grown in diverse locations throughout the Western Cape region. Each site is selected for its unique combination of soils, climate, aspect and orientation best suited to the particular grape variety. This philosophy and affinity to nature sets Fleur du Cap apart with richly layered wines of great complexity and finesse, true to their origins and varietal character.
Annually less than 2 500 tons of grapes are vinified for these site-specific wines. Stellenbosch is the heartland of these vineyard sites, followed by neighbouring areas such as Somerset West, Sir Lowry’s Pass and Elgin, along with Robertson, Darling and the cool-climate Gansbaai. Fleur du Cap works closely with a well- established network of growers who share a single minded vision of refinement and fruit purity.”