BY HAPPY coincidence, heritage and history emerged as the theme this week – not surprisingly, given South Africa's 350-year winemaking history.
Nederburg's limited edition "Heritage Heroes" range was conceived by cellar master Razvan Macici to pay tribute to his predecessors and their role in shaping the estate's centuries-old legacy.
Each vintage-look (and very "un-Nederburg") label tells a story, such as that of the legendary Günter Brözel, cellar master from 1956 to 1989, who inspected the vineyards at dawn every day on his motorbike and is remembered with the Motorcycle Marvel 2009. It's a smooth, spicy grenache- carignan-shiraz blend that calls for full-flavoured meaty dishes, and would probably be especially good with venison.
The Brew Master 2009 blends cabernet sauvignon, merlot, petit verdot and cabernet franc in layers of flavour and complexity, honouring German brewmaster and tea specialist Johann Graue. He bought the estate in 1937 and is credited with laying a foundation for excellence through his focus on selecting the best vines.
Handcrafted in small quantities, the range is available only at specialist stores and fine- dining restaurants, with Prestons in Main Road, Walmer, the only stockist in the Eastern Cape. Both reds are R99.90.
At Overgaauw in Stellenbosch, they've been making wine for four generations and just more than 100 years. The estate was the first to bottle merlot as a single-cultivar wine, in 1982, and their newly- released 2011 edition (R95.90) lives up to its legacy. Unlike the wishy-washy merlots that give the cultivar a bad name, this is medium-bodied, smooth and rounded, richly fruity with hints of chocolate and oak.
The find of the week has to be the Dimension Nebbiolo 2010 from Du Toitskloof.
Nebbiolo is an Italian grape, the name coming from "nebbia", meaning mist, but don't expect a misty, insubstantial wine. The Du Toitskloof wine-makers have produced a big, bold, full-flavoured wine, deep red, with a floral, berry nose and an earthy, spicy, nutty taste with a lingering finish.
Pay tribute to its Italian roots by serving it with a meaty bolognaise or lasagne, or pair it with braaied steak, roast beef or strong cheese. Best of all, it's currently on special at Preston's for R64.90.
THE winners of the Weekend Post Wine Show competition were Susan Robertson, Doodie Candasamy and Dawn Humphries.