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Rosé for the win in Stellenbosch


13 February 2017  -  The Wine Girl Cape Town

Rosé wines are making a fashionable comeback – especially when you are looking for a cold, refreshing drink for these hot summer days. I recently explored the Stellenbosch Wine Route to find some great dry Rosé wines just for you.

Rosé wines are making a fashionable comeback – especially when you are looking for a cold, refreshing drink for these hot summer days.  I recently explored the Stellenbosch Wine Route to find some great dry Rosé wines just for you.

Rosé wines in South African middle to upper class social circles were always frowned upon. Why? Well there was very much a stigma of it being a cheap, sweet and “common” wine. For me, there is nothing wrong with a Rosé that at a braai or party when you are 18-23 years old but if you ever brought it to a dinner in your 30’s for instance, you would probably experience some rather embarrassing stares.  #speakingfromexperience. 

I would often hear things like “urg, its a blend of all of the left over wine and then they add sugar to make it taste better”.  That is not the case at all! In fact, it is very rare that red wine is added to a white wine to make a Rosé. Most Rosé wines are made from red wines which have had very little time in contact with the skin of the red grape. Remember, red grapes have a red skin, but still a white centre.

Isn’t it funny how social circles and peer pressure can influence your wine buying behaviour? Even if it is not that, the longer you drink wine, the more mature your palate becomes and sometimes sweet wine just doesn’t cut it anymore.

In recent years, dry Rosé wines are quickly becoming a fashion essential and they taste surprisingly good too! They are made from some awesome grape varieties like Pinotage, Shiraz, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache Noir or Muscat. Pretty classy! So the next time you are at a dinner, be sure to make sure you have some of the best Rosé wines out there.

So, I explored the Stellenbosch Wine Route in the look out for some of the best dry Rosé wines. You should definitely try them out…here they are:

CAVALLI

The Cavalli Pink Pony Rosé 2016 has just been awarded as one of the top 10 Rosé wines in South Africa at the Rosé Rocks Wine Competition 2016. It is a Grenache Noir wine made in a very fresh style. Raspberries, with earthy notes and a touch of honeysuckle. A beautifully crisp mouth-feel and refreshing finish. R125 a bottle.

The estate is extremely classy! I would suggest making a booking, buy a bottle and enjoy some lunch.

The food is exquisite!

It is right opposite Eikendal Estate on the R44.

Situated about a 40 minute drive from Cape Town on the R44 road.
 

HIDDEN VALLEY

The Hidden Valley Hidden Treasure Rosé has a very unusual bottle shape. It is especially produced for the estate overseas. This Rosé has got to be the best Rosé wine I have tasted to date. I could clearly smell and taste distinct cherry flavours. I have never tasted a Rosé with this type of blend either: 72% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 13% Shiraz. It is only 13.50% alcohol and 1.57 g/l sugar. It is incredibly modern, fresh and sophisticated. It will sure get your guests talking. R113 a bottle.

The views at this farm are out of this world amazing! But if you cannot make it to the farm, you can buy this bottle at Tops as Spar. Situated about a 50-60 minute drive from Cape Town.

Take the N1, the R300, Stellenbosch Arterial and then Annandale road.
Google Map
 

WARWICK

Warwick –  The First Lady Dry Rosé at R80 a bottle is made from Pinotage and is incredibly refreshing. Delicately pink, bursting with pomegranate, strawberry and watermelon. Bone dry, yet soft with good acidity.

If you are at the farm, why not have a picnic too! This Rosé pairs perfectly with bread and spreads or salads. The setting is pretty relaxed too.

Situated about a 40 minute drive from Cape Town. Take the N1 and then the R44 turn-off towards Stellenbosch. Click here for the Google map.
 

L’AVENIR

The L’Avenir Rosé from the Far and Near range is 100% Pinotage with 4-6 hours skin contact.

It is fermented in steel tanks for three weeks with no maturation in the barrel. The result is a dry, fruity wine with floral notes, only 1.2g/l sugar and 13% alcohol. I could pick up distinct notes of watermelon. So refreshing at R65 a bottle.

Have you ever seen a wine bottle with a glass cork? This is the most beautiful bottle from L’Avenir called the Glen Rose from their Single Block range, 100% Pinotage. Only 1-2 hours skin contact resulted in a beautifully light pink salmon colour. Strawberries, rose petals and citrus notes are is what you will experience on the nose. On the palate I enjoyed fresh acidity similar to strawberries, with a dry finish. R200 a bottle.

Sit back and relax to enjoy these views by the dam. And while you are at it, tuck into this divine platter!

Situated about a 40 minute drive from Cape Town. Take the N1 and then the R44 turn-off towards Stellenbosch.
 

JORDAN

The Jordan Chameleon Dry Rosé is 50% Merlot and 50% Syrah (Shiraz). It has spent quite a good time in contact with the skins before the free run juice is used. That is why you get such a deep vibrant cherry pink colour. It is probably the darkest Rosé I have ever seen. On the palate, this wine had depth with strong acidity resembling Strawberries and dried cranberries, yet it also had a delicate spiciness. Can you imagine this wine with flash fried prawns overlooking the ocean. WOW!

For only R63 a bottle, you could enjoy this wine for any occasion.

The Jordan Chameleon range of wines has quite an interesting purpose. All proceeds from the wine are donated towards PhD students. This will have a huge conservation benefit for the Cape Dwarf Chameleon.

Situated about a 40 minute drive from Cape Town.
Take the N1, the R300 or the Stellenbosch turn off and then the Stellenbosch Kloof road.
Google Map
 

DELHEIM

This was a great Pinotage Rosé by candlelight. I enjoyed the depth and fresh acidity of this wine, 96% Pinotage and 4% Muscat de Frontignan. I was surprised to find out that it is Vegan friendly – as in no animal proteins were used during the fining processes. That is a thing?  On the nose you will pick up notes of raspberry, strawberry and pomegranate with floral undertones. R60 a bottle.

I later found out that Animal products are seldom used in white wine or rosé production. The most common fining agent is bentonite, a natural clay that stabilizes the proteins. Gelatine or egg whites are quite commonly used in red wine production to soften the tannins.

What makes Delheim famous is the Cupcake and Wine pairing. I think it is the only farm in Cape Town to do this.

For R75 per person, you get:
1. Pinotage Rosé paired with a Pomegranate and vanilla cupcake with grenadine cream cheese icing,
2. Chenin Blanc with a Rooibos cupcake and cream cheese honey infused icing,
3. Pinotage with a spicy pumpkin and cinnamon cupcake
4. Gewürztraminer with a wild melon (Makataan) cupcake with syrup infused cream cheese icing.

Yum! I really enjoyed this and the staff were very good at checking in if we wanted anything else. I hear that their cheese platters are amazing too! PLUS they have tasty chocolate!

Situated about a 40 minute drive from Cape Town.

Take the N1 and then the R44 turn-off towards Stellenbosch. You will drive through Muratie to get to Delheim.
Click here for the Google map.
 

BEYERSKLOOF

This Pinotage dry Rosé from Beyerskloof was well balanced and medium bodied – pick up hints of Strawberries with a good acidity on the palate. It has good depth of flavor from the Pinotage. It had 6 hours skin contact and was left on the lees for 3 months. R55 a bottle. Great value for money.

Just look at that beautiful colour, when the light shines through it you get gleams of golden tangerine hues. Enjoy it with some Salmon from the restaurant and you are in for a winner!  Click here to read more about the Beyerskloof restaurant.

Situated about a 40 minute drive from Cape Town.

CLICK HERE to view the Google map.  
 

EIKENDAL

This is the Eikendal Merlot Rosé which you can purchase for only R360 a case! Enjoy tight berry flavours with fresh acidity that is perfect for the warmer summer months. Best served ice cold and paired with salmon sushi.

Why not enjoy it with a pizza and wine pairing for only R40. 

Situated about a 40 minute drive from Cape Town on the R44 road.
Google Map

STELLENBOSCH VINEYARDS

The Welmoed Rosé from Stellenbosch Vineyards had good red and blackberry flavours. This Rosé is 100% Shiraz and has had 8-12 hours skin contact.It is a fresh, easy drinking wine that is crisp and has good acidity that resembles strawberries and it will simply make your mouth water.
Only R45 a bottle.

Situated about a 40 minute drive from Cape Town.

Take the N1, the R300 or the Stellenbosch turn off and then Baden Powell Dr.
Google Map
 
I hope you enjoy trying some of these Rosé wines from Stellenbosch.