Top 12 Dry Reds – Private Tasting in Cape Town
The results of our Top12Wines Dry Reds tasting in Cape Town are now available!
All types of red blends and all red single varietals were included in this tasting. All the wines entered were produced in South Africa and show a residual sugar level below 5 g/l as they’re all “dry” wines.
Find out below which wines were ranked the best:
1st: Nitìda Calligraphy (2014) 2nd: Hermanuspietersfontein Swartskaap (2013) 3rd: Mont du Toit (2012) 4th: Avontuur Dominion Royale Shiraz Reserve (2014) 5th: Anthonij Rupert Optima (2013) 6th: DeMorgenzon Maestro Blue (2015) 7th: Cloof Crucible Shiraz (2014) 8th: Druk My Niet Mirus (2014) 9th: Peter Falke Shiraz (2015) 10th: Oldenburg Rhodium (2013) 11th: Dorrance Syrah (2015) 12th: Springfield The Work of Time (2011)
1st: Nitìda Calligraphy (2014)
Let’s have a look at Nitìda Wine Farm!
Nitìda Wine Farm was funded twenty-eight years ago by Bernhard and Klass. They now grow many varietals of grapes such as Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Pinot Noire, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc… This small Durbanville property grew into one of South Africa’s most successful small wine cellars thanks to the “day to day thoughtful management” of the estate. Nitìda is dedicated to handcraft winemaking and to perfecting every step of the production to ensure optimal ripening, color and flavor of each grape varietals. Leaves are meticulously removed around each bunch to allow better sunlight penetration and only the best grapes are handpicked for the wine making.
A Bordeaux Blend made up of Merlot (50%), Cabernet Sauvignon (23%), Cabernet Franc (21%) and Petit Verdot (6%). Durbanville’s climate contributes to Calligraphy’s singular and excellent taste.
The blend gives the wine delicious hints of plums, spicy liquorice root and umami. Even as it evolves it maintains a velvety smooth, comforting mouthfeel, bewitching you into further indulgence.
Did you notice? Label illustrations were hand drawn using inks made from their Nitida tree leaves. Inspired by protea nitidus in the Nitìda garden, they also feature local Renosterveld plants and some of the creatures living on the farm.
2nd: Hermanuspietersfontein Swartskaap (2013)
Named after the founder of Walker Bay’s prized town Hermanus, Hermanus Pieters, Hermanuspietersfontein is one of the most exciting wineries in this area. It’s the only one situated in the Sondagskloof sub region, just above the coast, which is cooled by the nearby ocean.
The vineyards are perfectly situated with an altitude of up to 300 meters and benefit from both a Mediterranean and a Continental climate. This perfect setting allows the production of nutrient-rich, elegant, perfumed and fresh wines.
The success of Hermanuspietersfontein also relies on their vision : don’t take yourself too seriously but be serious with wines-making.
The Swartskaap features and tasting notes:
The Swartskaap or Black Sheep in English, is a full-bodied red, pure Cabernet Franc and the only single varietal wine in their range (and in the region), hence its name. First, a huge blackcurrant nose will wake you up. Then, you will enjoy juicy black berries and red fruits along with a touch of tobacco, licorice and spices; the whole dancing in your mouth and caressing on your palate. The Swartskaap stands out with its style and character.
Did you notice? Hermanuspietersfontein is the longest Afrikaans name for a cellar worldwide. Their wines are just as uniquely named, with the HPF brand being the only wine cellar in South Africa to use Afrikaans-only names.
3rd: Mont du Toit (2012)
Wine farming has been a du Toit tradition for more than 300 years in the Western Cape. The farm was established by a French Huguenot in 1691 near what is now Wellington. Today, Stephan du Toit manages 28 hectares of vineyards lying at the foot of the Hawequa mountain.
Mont du Toit is tied with its vineyard. It takes part in the Integrated Production Wine Program which promote eco-friendly practices. Mont du Toit’s philosophy is to prefer a “traditional approach” to a “technical intervention” in the wine-making process to produce full-bodied red wines characterized by balance, fruit and elegance.
The Mont du Toit wine:
It is their flagship wine. Grapes are handpicked and meticulously sorted to keep only the best fruits. Each variety used in the famous blend is vinified on its own: Cabernet Sauvignon Alicante Bouschet, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Merlot.
With its long aftertaste, you will be seduced by complex flavors of red fruit and impressive full-bodied blend. It is a delicious Bordeaux blend to keep and grow for a couple of years.
Did you notice? The mountain silhouette on the label represents the Hawequa Mountain which has also inspired the names of the wines they produce (The mountain, The slopes and The summit). The French names and the Khoi figures represented are nods to the founder and Africa.
Let us know what you think of the wines above if you tried one of them and contact us if you would like to organise your own private Top12Wines tasting !
Happy Friday !