Let our trusty guide Greg Sherwood MW help with this, his 8th edition of An Informed Opinion.
Trust him to keep your wine selection relevant, nuanced, and engaging, which in these trying times, is a necessary service. Keep an eye out and see what appeals on the day, be it an investment, something eclectic, or a sure thing midweek wine – you’re bound to find something to suit your mood (and pocket). Or even discover something NEW.
An Investable Wine
These are showstopper wines worthy of their price tag, and something to invest in.
“The Stellenbosch region has arguably the finest terroir in the Cape for growing the famed Bordeaux varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot. Often attributed to a combination of poor sandstone or decomposed granite topsoils that make the vine struggle, ideal aspects, and the important, however cliched, cooling influence of the coastal breezes off the False Bay. The wines the Cape’s most intelligent and intuitive winemakers are now able to produce are certainly capturing the attention of the world’s top red wine connoisseurs.”- Greg Sherwood MW.
95 Points – Greg Sherwood MW | 95 Points – Decanter | 95 Points – Tim Atkin MW
“Located in one of Stellenbosch’s nine wards, Uva Mira has grown to become one of the most respected producers in the Helderberg, the ward closest to the cooling Atlantic Ocean. This super premium O.T.V. blend is a classy mix of 59% Cabernet Franc and 41% Cabernet Sauvignon, two of the most successful red varieties grown on the estate. This flagship blend commemorates the current owner’s father, O.T.Venter Senior, with an inspirational and prestigious cuvee that spares no expense in the pursuit of greatness. The rigorous selection of fruit has yielded a beautiful red wine with clarity, purity, precision, and distinction. The aromatics are packed full of perfumed pressed violets, sweet cedar spice, saline crème de cassis, red currants, and hints of freshly tilled earth. On the palate, it is every bit as cool and seductive as you would expect from a flagship blend like this, boasting a dense silky texture with tannins of velvet, classical layers of picante black currant, and black cherry fruits all wrapped in a considerately oaked, vibrantly fresh, intensely luxurious package. Like the other 2018 reds in the Uva Mira range, they nailed the vintage in 2018, producing some of the most attractive wines in the region. Drink now, after an hours decant, if you feel like spoiling yourself, or else bury a case in your cellar for 8 to 10+ years to experience the wine’s true inner class.” – Greg Sherwood MW.
A Mid-Week Wine
A wine to elevate any random Tuesday without breaking the bank.
“Gone are the days of Champagne for birthdays and Christmas and Rosé wines only around the pool in the summer. Consumers globally have fallen in love with Rosé’s unique offering of lightweight concentration, lighter alcohol levels, and their vibrant freshness together with that little bit more textural interest than many unoaked, crisp, dry white wines. Add in the incredible versatility of food pairing, and Rosé wines seem an obvious year-round drinking phenomenon that was simply waiting to happen. But if you are going to drink, why not choose one of the best!?”– Greg Sherwood MW.
92 Points – Greg Sherwood MW
“Owned by a family of Provençal winegrowers since 1953, Château l’Afrique is today run by the descendants of vigneron Gabriel Sumeire. With Rosé wines never more popular than today, consumers need to be a little more discerning when selecting their pink tipple of choice, with, sadly, many underperforming big brands grabbing the headlines. While the red and white wines of Provence can be more of an acquired taste, Rosé is still what they do best, and this beautifully expressive wine is fabulously fresh on the nose boasting notes of strawberries and ice cream, red cherries, white peaches, acacia and pressed rose petals. The palate is cool, crystalline, and superbly lithe with a taut, weightless linearity on the entry, a light touch concentration, and plenty of irresistible charm. Finishing with a delicate kiss of crushed red summer berries, one sip beckons the next, as it should with a classy, finely tuned Provencal Rosé.”– Greg Sherwood MW.
An Eclectic Wine
A story wine worthy of its salt, and your cellar.
“Its name is the diminutive of the Spanish temprano (“early”), a reference to the fact that it ripens several weeks earlier than most Spanish red grapes. But we were told for years that for Tempranillo to show at its best, it had to be aged in old French or American oak barrels until it had acquired an alluring, mellowed, tertiary complexity. That was the scenario until the premium Northern Spanish DOC region of Ribera del Duero started to break the mould with its deliciously rich, ripe, opulent expressions of Tempranillo that simply expresses the grape’s natural strawberry fruited intensity enlivened by its vivacious acidity. What not to love!?”– Greg Sherwood MW.
93 Points – Greg Sherwood MW
“This is pure, unadulterated Tempranillo joy from the Ribera del Duero in Northern Spain. Spending only 6 months in barrel, this ‘Roble’ expression of Tempranillo displays an intense, dark, deep ruby colour with an opaque core and an alluring purple rim. The aromatics jump out the glass and wrap their arms around you, offering a plush, opulent fruity nose of stewed black cherries, fresh summer berries with hints of warm toffee apples and subtle hints of Christmas spices, salted liquorice, vanilla pod spice and buttered brown breakfast toast nuances. The palate follows with a confidently rich, creamy elegance, layered with silky textured red and black cherry fruits, strawberry compote and vanilla pod spices. The concentration and intensity on the palate are quite breath-taking for a wine of this price and the mouth-watering acids are simply the proverbial cherry on top of the cake from these high-altitude vineyards. Silky with incredible accessibility and polished tannins, this wine finishes with a long, creamy opulence embellished with complexing notes of grilled nuts and vanilla pod spice. Enjoy this Spanish beauty over the next 2 to 3 years.”– Greg Sherwood MW.