South African wines sometimes get a bit of a bashing in this country, things you hear about the wines are ‘harsh, alcoholic, burnt etc.’ and indeed some of the cheaper South African wines could hardly be described as attractive.
However the more serious estates have always made great wines, wines that win trophies all over the world and are widely considered among some of the most exciting and individual wines made in the southern hemisphere.
less lofty but nevertheless a producer of stellar quality and their Bordeaux style Glen Carlou Classique is well worth seeking out. However these wines don’t come cheap and below these pricier wines South Africa didn’t really seem to be able to rival some of the world's other wine regions.
That is until now. Prepare to look on South Africa with “wow” tinted lenses because innovative, modern company Man Vintners have produced a range of stunning reds and whites that fly the flag of quality and affordability like never before for this wine nation.
Bellow’s Rock Shiraz €9.99 (was €14.99) is a sensational, I can think of no other wine in the last few years that has come close to this at €9.99. This is proper, grown-up Shiraz; fabulous, sweet, black fruit - fresh not jammy- fine oak from 14 months in barrel and a long beautifully balanced finish.
This easily rivals premium Australian Shiraz and with the Aussie dollar the way it is now there is simply no Australian import that can compare. Buy it now and buy a stash to put away.
The white is almost as ground-breaking; Bellow's Rock Chenin Blanc is made from older vines from the Agter-Paarl region and despite the fact that no oak gets near this wine there is a creamy, richness to it and remarkable complexity on the finish. Again a seriously grown-up wine and if you poured this from a big heavy bottle marked €30 you would not be in the least surprised by the quality per euro!
Keep an eye out for the Bellow’s Rock Sauvignon (€14.99) which we are expecting the 2013 vintage to reach our shores sometime in August.
These are wines that I believe will convince anyone who turns their nose up at South African wines that to do so is to miss out on some truly fantastic taste experiences.