In Praise of South Africa Wines

Monday, April 18, Stoneface Dolly’s

Written by Maureen Murphy, Tasting notes by Rod Story

What a tasting! The food and wine were both stars in their own right and even better when served together. Bob Russell, a good friend to the Guild, organized a great evening with Guild Governor Peter Collis and Director Maureen Murphy. Chef Mike Corn prepared a delicious array of “small plates” to match the cross section of South Africa wines. They were not very small—and each plate was more delicious than the last. People were often evenly split on which wine was the best match with the food (hard to tell sometimes, when the plate contained several elements— especially the delicious sambals served with the lamb Bobotie).

Wine and Food

Members enjoying the South Africa event
Members enjoying the South Africa event — Photo by Maureen Murphy


Boschendale Brut 2006 mild acidity with citrus notes. Didn’t leap out of the glass but enhanced the spice of the curry if you were smart enough to save some for the pickled fish.

White Flight

Malaysian Pickled Fish—a flavour- filled curry

  • 2009 Simonsberg Chardonnay sur Lie: Classic Chardonnay with good fruit concentration and well integrated toasty oak.
  • 2008 Reyneke Sauvignon Blanc: A classic Sauvignon Blanc with herbacious and grassy notes.
  • 2009 De Grendel Semillon, Viognier and Chardonnay Blend: Good acidity with some floral. Thought it was a Chardonnay/Chenin Blanc blend but turned out to be a Semillon/Viognier/Chardonnay blend. Appears that Chardonnay dominated even though it was only 26% of the blend.

Red Varietal Flight

Wild Mushroom Confit With Boccinin, Basil Cherry Tomato Skewers, and Chicken Sasoties Lollipops and Crostins

  • 2007 Beyerskloof Reserve Pinotage: A lighter red. Soft tannins and acid, dried herb with light red berry fruit. Wouldn’t have guessed it as a Pinotage.
  • 2002 Three Cape Ladies: Overall favourite of the flight. 35% Cab. Sauv., 33% Merlot, 32% Pinotage, blend. Medium bodied with a bit of tar and leather. Soft tannins. Dried fruit. More characteristic of a Pinotage even though it was only 32% of the blend.
  • 2005 Kumankani Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon: Some green pepper notes in a good way that was consistent with its being a Cabernet Sauvignon. Nice astringency with medium body and a pleasant finish. A good wine with lighter fare.

Talking about South African wines
Talking about South African wines — Photo by Maureen Murphy

Shiraz Flight

Sausage And Lamb Bobotie “Meat Loaf” With Mixed Sambals

  • 2006 Lammershoek Roulette Rouge: Warm palate with dark fruit (plum and currants). Good oak integration with soft tannins.
  • 2006 Delheim Shiraz: Spice and pepper on the nose that followed through on the palate. Fresh acidity and berry fruit on the palate. New world in style.
  • 2006 Radford Dale Shiraz/Viognier: Nose of leather and herbs. Warm on the palate with good astringency but soft tannins. More old world (south of France) than new world.
  • 2007 La Motte Pierneef Shiraz Viognier: Black pepper and blackberry fruit, like a good quality Australian Shiraz. Good astringency with soft tannins that made it food friendly. Drink over the short term.


Flourless Chocolate Cake and Truffles

  • Bergkelder Chenin Blanc Fleur du Cap Noble Late Harvest: Unctuous! Amber/orange colour. Apricot/peach pie in a glass. Wonderful balance between the sweetness and the acid. Nothing cloying here. A wonderful finish to the tasting.