Five Robertson Valley wines under R50 you just gotta try…
So I just returned from a fact-finding sortie on the ‘other side’ of the Huguenot tunnel with a boot full of treasure – and change in the wallet. The main reason for being there was simple: follow up on the Best Value ratings for 2013 by driving around for three days tasting wine, sampling the best restaurants in the valley and meeting the locals. Tough job, but someone has to do it!
It turns out Robertson still punches way above its weight. To get the full story about the ‘best value wine route’ in the country, you’ll have to wait until it gets published in October issue of Getaway magazine, but until then, here’s a taste of Robertson Wine Valley wines under R50 that are worth tasting …
- Danie De Wet Limelight Chardonnay/Pinot Noir 2011. At R45 a bottle, this easy-drinker was a Best Value winner last year – and it’s still worth every cent. Ever since Haute Cabriere made this particular pink blend famous (and then priced themselves out of the ‘value’ range), we’ve been hoping for a contender. This is it.
- Bon Courage Cape Vintage Port 2011 is a concentrated, feisty, fortified Tinta Barocca that smacks of wintery evenings in front of the fire. And for R40. Silly, really.
- Excelsior Purebred Red 2012. If you visit the farm, you’ll be able to make and bottle your own blend for a mere R50 and take home a momento. Or, you could just buy a case of pre-blended, juicy, black fruit and cherry tinged Purebred at R186 a case. That’s R31 a bottle – t.h.i.r.t.y-o.n.e.
- Arabella Viognier 2012. Yes, it’s the yellow label with the leaping horse– but you probably know the Chenin and the Sauvignon Blanc. The Viognier, at R38 a bottle, was one of my best finds. Maybe not the best-understood varietal in SA, most of our Viogniers seem overtly floral and oily, but in Robertson, they are more experimental. This little filly is on the fruity, lemony side and just gagging to have it off with a bowl of Thai noodles and roasted chilli paste.
- Goedwerwacht Crane Red Merlot 2011. The pick of the bunch from a small cluster of farms on the Bonnievale side of the Valley, this is a truly tasty tipple, made from juvenile 8-year-old vines. The plummy, soft character of the juice will surprise you – but not as much as the bill for, er, R25. They have a second wine, the 2011 Sauvignon Blanc that’s equally delicious. How much? Also R25.
NB: prices above are cellar door.
NNB: When I say this is a random listing, I mean it. The Roberson Valley, encompassing Ashton, Bonnievale and McGregor is delivering extraordinary value at almost every one of the 50-something wine farms that fall into ‘the valley’. It’s a mix of boutique and nouveau style wineries, intermingling with co-ops, massive Van Loveren type operations, old family farms and enough cowboys and mavericks to keep everyone on their toes. I had to go in winter (I love David Lynch landscapes) but if I were you, I’d plan a trip in early summer when jacaranda, anannas et al are in bloom and it lives up to it’s billing as “the valley of wine and roses”.
NNNB: If you want a full listing of what’s on in the valley, their website is comprehensive: www.robertsonwinevalley.com
Tagged arabella, best value, bon courage, danie de wet, excelsior, goedwerwacht, robertson wine valley, robertson. wine, value