A few days after the end of the school term we always head off on an end-of-year family camping holiday. This involves days spent packing the trailer and checking off lists to make sure we have everything we need for the 8 days of home-away-from-home!
While camping is not glamorous, nor necessarily comfortable, it is memorable – and that is exactly why we go. It’s an anchorpoint in our year for family memories made up of braais, good mates and the sound of kids frantically running around the campsite playing ‘wave’ or ‘virus’ or any other weirdly named game. They don’t shower for nights on end while sweating up a storm – but no one minds as they spend most of the day in the river! It’s awesome, no nagging, no asking: “What are we doing today?” Just loads of chilling and taking each day as it comes.
But even so, for us parents to enjoy camping to the full a very important item on the packing list is of course a couple of drinks. (A lot of ‘a couple of drinks’ to be precise!!) Which means we enjoyed some good wine over the past few weeks.
Today I thought I’d share a few of my favourite wine discoveries I’ve made this summer…
My Summer in Wine
Lourensford Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2015 – Flower Collection
At R59 a bottle, its good times at a decent price. Medium bodied, blackcurrant and red berry with some light notes of stewed fruit on the palatte. The only negative was the label which brought back memories of soap bars from my youth and old english furniture fabric! You can order online.
Lourensford Chardonnay/Pinot Noir 2017
This River Garden Classique Range is an ice cold beaut’ on a scorcher of a day! I loved the citrus and delicate fruit notes of the Chardonnary balanced with the light red fruits of the Pinot Noir. A refreshing finish. R90 at bottle. Avail to purchase online.
Daschbosch Plicatilis – Shiraz / Mouvedre / Viognier
I gravitate to the heavy red blends. Dark berries mixed with peppery notes all tucked into neat French Oak tannins. This wine was delicious. In the region of R130, you want to use this one to either mend bridges or enforce already tight bonds!! Alas I don’t have a picture. This one went down the hatch and then the bottle disappeared. 🙂
Stofberg Family Vineyards Mia Shiraz 2015
This Shiraz is more towards the smooth than overly spicy. A silky experience as far as Shiraz goes. At roughly R100 for a bottle you can’t go wrong.
Izak Reserve 2013 Bordeax Blend.
A visit to Jasons Hill had me gravitating towards this consisten favourite of mine. A deep, full bodied blend that has character. Aroma intense, lovely dark fruits on the nose and a great full mouth feel, blackberries and stewed cherries. At R199 a bottle, you bring this out when you have to ‘make right’ with your mother-in-law – assuming she appreciates a really good red wine!
Uva Mira Shiraz 2015 was good. Don’t get me wrong, it was delicious but I do prefer the Cabernet Sauvignon from this particular estate. This Shiraz was a little lighter, slight drier tannins than I expected from a Shiraz, but totally enjoyable. In retrospect I should take my decanter next time!! Some time in the fresh camping air would probably have opened this one up a little.
Slanghoek Chenin Blanc 2017 Private Collection
A fantastic starter wine. Served chilled on the backend of a blistering day, this tidy little Chenin did the trick. At R39 a bottle you can give them away – but I think you’ll want to keep them for yourself! Crisp finish followed by a peach / pear palate.
Diemersdal Sauvignon Blanc 2017
This surprisingly crisp Sauvignon Blanc made me look twice at the vintage as the lasting characteristics were of an older vintage. Fig and gooseberry with a well balanced follow through. I was well impressed with this one. Pick up a bottle from roughly R75.
Mooiplaas Cabernet Sauvignon 2000
Yes, this unlabelled bottle was a treat from a well connected friend. This 17 year old Cabernet Sauvignon was complex! Smooth and silky, with dark fruit to start with and cigar box and hints of pepper. Perfect. I don’t even know the price. If you can find one out there somewhere, let me know and I will go get it for you. Ha ha!
Lautus De-Alcohlised Savvy White
Yes you heard me right, de-alcoholised!! For those of you who want to have the vibe without the alcohol, this was actually an outstanding effort. It maintained the elegant tropical fruit and lime notes with a pleasing finish. They are busy with their red wine version, both priced at R60.
All the best for 2018.
May it be filled with many memorable bottles of wine consumed responsibly when you are out, and with abandon at home!