When it comes to winter reds, one cannot go wrong with a Cape Blend as it includes one of South Africa’s proud grape varieties – Pinotage! As many of you already know, my wine journey began with Van Loveren (Four Cousins sweet wines) so it is only natural that I am pleased to learn that Van Loveren have more premium wines too!
Van Loveren celebrates 80 years of expertise and three generations of winemaking in the Robertson region – a fact celebrated on the label. Historic features show elements of great significance to the Retiefs, who own Van Loveren Family Vineyards. There’s the family crest, first used on the maiden-branded wine in 1980; the date 1937 that recalls the purchase of the farm; and, the graphic of bright red Cannas, which echoes those planted by Nico Retief to make Van Loveren vineyards stand out.
In the mid-1990s Hennie, Bussell, Phillip and Neil Retief – famously known as the Four Cousins – joined the family business and today run the company side by side, having made it South Africa’s leading family-owned winery.
The contents of the bottle – a carefully assembled Cape Blend – are no less special. A Cape Blend is unique to South Africa as it requires at least 30% Pinotage as one of the components. The 2016 vintage comprises 37% Pinotage and an equal amount of Cabernet Sauvignon, with 26% Shiraz. It spent 12 months in oak barrels. Cellar master Bussell Retief describes the wine as showing gentle aromas of red berry fruit. On the palate, there are dried fig and vanilla flavours on a bed of soft tannins, juicy plum and blackberry fruit and a silky, dark-chocolate finish.
This is an elegant wine perfect enjoyed on its own in front of the fireplace during the colder months or as a food partner, served with a winter casserole or succulent rib-eye steak. It is available from most specialist wine stores nationwide as well as Checkers and Ultra Liquors, and retails for between R115 and R120 per bottle.
For more information visit www.vanloveren.co.za.