Out of (South) Africa
In a happy coincidence in this inaugural week of blogging, I was invited last Wednesday to taste some South African wines from Carsten Migliarina, David (& Nadia) Sadie and Newton Johnson Family paired with some wonderful, imaginative food by Roger Jones of The Harrow at Little Bedwyn.
Carsten and I are arch-rivals in China (more on this in a future post) but I have always been hugely impressed with the wines he creates in his homeland. The Migliarina wines I have tasted have been very fresh, vibrant and true to their varietal origins whilst showing very distinctive characteristics all of their own.
It was a real pleasure to discover David Sadie's wines and a treat to do so in the presence of the winemaker. David's background in Viticulture makes him a great person to taste with and talk about the vines and terroir in Swartland.
Migliarina Chenin Blanc 2015 Fresh, bright and lively Chenin with good mouthfeel and medium length.
Migliarina Chardonnay 2015 Rich, round Chardonnay with a light buttery oak and balanced acidity for a medium to long finish.
David Sadie Chenin Blanc 2014 Zesty, vibrant Chenin with excellent tension and structure on the palate. Medium + length.
David Sadie Aristargos 2014 (blend of Chenin blanc, Viognier, Roussanne, Clairette blanc and Semillon) Opulent, round wine with great mouthfeel. Richness without being heavy on the palate and good length.
Migliarina Grenache 2015 Unusually light colour for a Grenache this wine is delightfully ethereal; tight palate with notes of menthol which lift and carry the fruit and soft tannins supporting the whole. Good length.
Newton Johnson Family Pinot Noir 2015 Savoury and tasty Pinot Noir. Nose following the undergrowth typicity of the varietal. Palate juicy.
Migliarina Syrah 2014 In need of decanting, with a little aeration this Syrah reveals great depth and savoury, grilled-meat richness over notes of ripe cherry on the palate.
David Sadie Elpidios 2013 (blend of Syrah, Carignan, Cinsault, Grenache noir and Pinotage) Approachable and fruit-driven with an edge of beguiling spice. Medium length.