I’m not a huge consumer of South African wine.  I’ve only had one bottle, Two Oceans Chardonnay 2009,  in the last couple years and it was tasty enough to actually recommend.

Considered a ‘cool climate’ region, most of the Western Cape of South Africa has some form of viticulture.  The history behind this wine dates back to the late 1600s when, like in South America, French vineyard workers fled the country with rootstock that had been unaffected by The Blight to prevent hybridization with North American vines.  The Malan family has been refining their wine-making skills since then.

In an attempt to refine my wine-tasting skills, with the help of a vino-friend; I’ve been tasting most of my new entries blindfolded.  I carefully ponder all the non-visual aspects of a vino and as I ramble and consider, my vino-friend takes notes.

At first, I thought this was a Pinot Grigio, the herbaceous scents of green grass and dandelion.  On sipping, I knew I had a Sauv Blanc by its crisp acidity, medium-light mouth-feel and flavors of tangy lime.  The finish turned slightly sour but not entirely unpleasant.

“Where’s this from?” I think to myself.  Aha! “New Zealand!” I proclaim.  “Nope! Try again.” the vino-friend laughs.   I taste carefully, rolling the wine over and around my tongue…  “Can’t be Australia, so I’ll say South Africa.”

Ok, so all things considered, I got the hemisphere correct, the variety correct after the second guess, so methinks I still need some practice blind-tasting.  Between the two of us over a game of Scrabble, we polished off this ~$13/btl bottle.

Not too bad at all.




**image credit – the winery.  published under Fair Use Provisions for review and critique

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