“And all the lives we ever lived, and all the lives to be, are full of trees and changing leaves… and delicious MCC.” — Virginia Woolf (… we may have added that last bit).
But, yes, autumn is upon us, which means warm days that are perfect for crisp, biscuity Cap Classique and cool evenings that clamour for rich, robust cabernets. Or you can throw the rule book out the window and drink whatever you like. Just make sure you add these must-try wines to your menu this season.
Waterford Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
From the optimal terroir on the slopes of the Helderberg Mountain in the Cape’s “golden triangle” comes Waterford Estate’s new vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon 2018. The wine delivers pure, concentrated fruit and a pleasing earthiness—having been bottled during a drought year—underscored by classical graphite aromas, all embraced by a tight tannin structure and fresh acidity.
R356 per bottle
Krone ‘Twee Jonge Gezellen’ Blanc de Blancs 2019
In 2016, Krone set out on a mission to craft site-specific, vintage-only Cap Classiques from only the choicest vineyard sites. Today, the ‘Twee Jonge Gezellen’ Blanc de Blancs 2019 embodies that mission. Hailing from the eastern slopes of the Saronsberg Mountain in Tulbagh, this 100% brut Chardonnay MCC packs aromas of fresh green apples, white flowers, and brioche with a fine mineral backbone and gossamer-like mousse.
R570 per bottle
Elethu ‘Skalie’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2020
Sprawling on fecund riverfront land in the Breede Valley, Elethu Wines has proudly released its ultra-premium ‘Skalie’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2020, which has already landed a Double Gold award in the Gilbert & Gaillard International Challenge. On the nose, this garnet-coloured red delivers blackberries and heady spices, followed by a balanced, structured palate of complex, layered fruit, black pepper, and velvety tannins.
R200 per bottle
Delheim’s ‘Wild Ferment’ Chenin Blanc 2021
Delheim’s ‘Wild Ferment’ Chenin Blanc may have been made from a single vineyard located high up on Simonsberg Mountain, but its ferment took place in multiple vessels, including French oak barrels and concrete, egg-shaped tanks. The result is a complex array of beguiling characteristics: dominating notes of stone fruits, orange peel, and subtle honeysuckle, followed by a rich, fruity palate, a voluptuous mouthfeel, and a lasting finish.
R170 per bottle
Diemersfontein ‘Clockmaker’ Old Vine Chenin Black 2021
With its maiden vintage consisting of only 800 bottles, the single vineyard ‘Clockmaker’ Old Vine Chenin Blanc 2021 is a special addition to any cellar. Made from 35-year-old vines that have been ripened in the heat of the Wellington sun, this medium-bodied wine delivers opulent aromas and flavours of yellow peaches, pineapple, honey, and spice, all borne aloft on a pleasant, fresh acidity.
R280 per bottle
Terre Paisible ‘Isabelle’ Rosé 2022
As striking, complex, and beautiful as the woman who inspired its making, the Terre Paisible ‘Isabelle’ is crafted from fruit sourced from a dry land farm in the Paradyskloof Valley between the Helderberg and Stellenbosch Mountains. This vibrant, floral blend of Grenache and Mourvèdre delivers complex yet elegant aromas of rose petals, pomelo zest, and stone fruit, delicately complemented by marzipan.
R265 per bottle
Tokara TELOS 2017
The ‘TELOS’ 2017 from the award-winning slopes of Stellenbosch farm, Tokara, is a limited-release thoroughbred Cabernet Sauvignon that has garnered international praise for its complexity and class. Hailing from a drought vintage widely regarded to be among the best-ever in the Cape, this harmonious and seductive red perfectly embodies Tokara excellence with great potential to further evolve over the next 20 to 30 years.
R4 800 per bottle
Allesverloren’ Fanie Malan’ Fine Old Vintage Reserve 2014
Released in commemoration of the winery’s 150th birthday in 2022, the ‘Fanie Malan’ Fine Old Vintage Reserve is a port-style wine named after the father of current cellarmaster and fifth-generation owner, Danie Malan. Heady aromas of blackberry, chocolate, and dried fruit intermingle with rich oak spice. The palate is complex, well-integrated, and velvety smooth, with a finish that extends decadently for miles.
R499 per bottle
Gabriel & Gysbert ‘Ijsland’ Chardonnay 2021
A pale gold in colour, the Gabriel & Gysbert ‘Ijsland’ Chardonnay is the progeny of vineyards that sprawl across the foothills of the Stormsvlei mountain range, where cool, maritime winds offer respite from Bonnievale’s summer heat. The wine serves up vibrant aromas of citrus and rich yellow fruit, followed by flavours of pineapple and peach and lighter notes of lime and lemon sherbet.
R250 per bottle
Knolfontein Chenin Blanc 2021
Few wine regions in the Cape can produce the calibre of Chenin Blanc for which the Swartland is famous, and the Knolfontein Chenin Blanc 2021 is a loving ode to this wisdom. The nose’s zesty citrus notes unfurl on the palate into rich, tropical fruit flavours, with softer herbaceous notes and chamomile on the finish. This aromatic, vivacious, and well-balanced wine stands up to a wide menu of dishes.
R120 per bottle
Klein Roosboom ‘My Way’ Brut Nature and Brut Rosé MCC 2019
From the cellars of Durbanville’s hidden gem, Klein Roosboom, come two must-try MCCs this season, both from the boutique winery’s ‘My Way’ range: the Brut Nature 2019 and the Brut Rosé 2019.
The Brut Nature 2019 is a zero dosage Cap Classique, bright yellow in colour, with lemon curd, roasted nuts, and caramel popcorn on the nose, followed by a silken palate, well-balanced acidity, and subtle flavours of nectarines.
The Brut Rosé MCC 2019 is like a sunset in a flute with rich notes of raspberries and nuttiness, followed by a palate of pomegranates and blueberries with medium acidity.