Three top South African wines from new generation of 'fusion winemakers'

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 10 June, 2015, 11:16pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 10 June, 2015, 11:16pm

These are exciting times for South African wines as a new generation of winemakers come of age, according to Siobhan Thompson, chief executive of trade organisation Wines of South Africa.

Master of wine Jancis Robinson agrees, describing what's happening to the industry there as "feeling like a teen coming-of age movie. In the classroom of wine regions, it's the kid who sits alone at lunch, wears weird clothes, but is still strangely confident, and manages to answer the teacher's questions with aplomb."

Thompson describes the new style as "fusion winemaking". Winemakers are creating their own style with confidence, a blend of the old and new worlds which is uniquely South African, she says.

For wine lovers, the country is still over-delivering on price and quality. Here are a few wine producers making a mark in the international wine scene.



David Aristargos 2013 Swartland

David Sadie is locally trained and has winemaking experience from New Zealand, Bordeaux and the Rhone Valley. He is inspired by Mediterranean grape varieties and his wine style epitomises a new and old world approach. Volumes are miniscule with an annual production of a few barrels of wine. Grapes are sourced from organic old bush vines which bear highly concentrated fruit from low yields. Wines have no artificial additives and minimal levels of sulphur are used. Aristargos is a potpourri of white varieties including chenin blanc, viognier, and roussanne from seven vineyards.

Restrained lime, citrus, floral, grapefruit, mineral. Medium body, complex, angular and elegant with a very long finish. HK$250





Kershaw Elgin Syrah 2012

Richard Kershaw is a professionally trained chef, master of wine and winemaker. He makes a chardonnay and syrah, selecting the best clonal varieties. Winemaking uses minimal interventionist techniques and there is no added yeast or enzymes. This is because grapes are picked at perfect ripeness and further additives are not necessary.

Rich black fruit and black pepper on the nose. On the palate is very pure, intense black fruit, medium body with firm underlying tannins and finishing very long. A very elegant expression of a cool climate syrah. HK$300





Newton Johnson Family Vineyards Pinot Noir, Hemel-en-Aarde Valley 2010

About 90 minutes out of Cape Town is the vineyard of husband-and-wife team Gordon and Nadia Newton Johnson, who are creating waves with their pinot noir.

Displaying some tertiary notes with mushroom, ripe red fruit with a meaty nose. On the palate is ripe sweet fruit, balanced acid with fine tannins. HK$300


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