Two new-release red wines from Franschhoek cellar Allée Bleue are the sort of stuff to have Swartland hipsters recoiling in horror on account of their unrestrained fruit power but the market is not monolithic and they will have their fans.
Allée Bleue Pinotage 2014
Combination of Franschhoek and Piekenierskloof grapes. Maturation for 16 months in 90% French and 10% American oak, 50% new. 14.8% abv. Red and black cherries plus plenty of oak-derived character including vanilla and spice, cloves in particular. Rich and full with sweet, ripe fruit offset by fresh acidity and firm tannins. Demanding to drink.
Allée Bleue L’Amour Toujours 2012
W.O. Banghoek. 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Cabernet Franc 35%, 20% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot. Maturation for 16 months in French oak, 60% new. 14.8% abv. Blue and black berries, an attractive herbal note and subtle oak spice. Concentrated fruit with bright acidity and firm but fine tannins. It’s forceful but does manage to retain some balance and character.