WHEN the entire Eastern Cape sold out of Kumala cab-sav/ shiraz a few weeks back, latecomers were re-directed to its stablemate Intulo. I had already loaded my little "cellar" with six cases of the Kumala so I didn't get around to it.
The omission was rectified last week when I unscrewed a bottle of this 2010 pinotage/ shiraz blend to comfort me through my obligatory assignation with Isidingo.
I won't say it is better than the cab-sav version but it's certainly up there and I would rate both around the three-star level. Perhaps a professional tasting panel would not be as generous but at less than R15 a bottle (case price) this is clearly another of those super bargains with which we have been blessed these past few months (A Vine Time August 25).
The Intulo is a medium bodied fruity wine which does equally well on its own or with food. The winemaker's suggestion is grilled and barbecued meat but I tastefully matched it with a home-made spaghetti bolognese which goes with just about anything.
Feelings of guilt almost overcame me. How could Kumala, a Cape producer now owned by overseas interests, sell a middle-range quality wine for so little? Perhaps, like the Kumala cab-sav/shiraz which had been destined for Japan, these also formed an aborted export order?
But the blurb on the bottle tells us that it is imported (into the UK that is) by Accolade Wines which is Kumala family anyway. So the price conundrum continues.
While all these bargains are around Drostdy-Hof claret is in grave danger of losing its status as my favoured huiswyn. At a price of R125 or more and with a capacity of 6,6 bottles, the Drostdy-Hof 5l box works out R4-R5/bottle more expensive than the Kumalas. And if you buy the Drostdy by the bottle it is more than double the price.
Of course the Unbelievable red, the Old Tunnel, the Lord Somerset and, a little further up the scale, the 1659 from Leopard's Leap, are among several others mentioned in these columns which bear favourable price comparison with the chateau cardboard. What is more box prices are going ever upward, so make hay while you can.
Here's a footnote message for the dozens of folk who kept me busy in September sending copies of the Durbanville Hills recipe for Peruvian chicken. Hope you enjoyed and remembered to match it with the estate's unwooded 2010 chardonnay. If you did let me know how it turned out.