Let's DrinkOur Wine List

My wise wine friend Ingrid Motteux very kindly compiled this little gem of a list.

Ingrid brings out all her little treasures – some well known and others awaiting the glory of you discovering them. In my view her acumen is of the most distinguished order in a world often mired in quaff.

My sentiment is borne out in her impeccable credentials as well as the esteem in which her compatriots hold her, indicative thereof is her outstanding contribution in judging for the Platter Wine Guide and London International Wine Challenge:

www.winewise.co.za

Wine-by-theGlass

We’ve invested in ‘Le Verre de Vin’ wine preservation technology in order to allow us to serve you a quarter of a better glass (187ml) at a quarter of the bottle price. Bubbly poured and priced at a fifth of a bottle.

A convenient and versatile, no fuss way to broaden and explore pairing options without the burden of the bottle. Per glass servings are denoted by the preceeding price point on the applicable listing.

A lot of effort has gone into our list. You’ll notice the absence of the ‘usual suspects’, because this is an independent list uncaptured by large wine conglomerates who routinely seek large and compromising listing segments. All the farms represented here are driven by winemakers who are passionate and uncompromising about their craft (they are typified by having soil under their fingernails!) Most of whom have also resisted the supermarket chains who exert enormous pressure on their bottom lines which often lends to compromised production inputs. We offer them with unwavering pride.

Bubbly

  • Taittinger Brut Réserve N.V.
     1523
    One of the few large, independently-owned Champagne houses, Taittinger Brut Réserve is a particularly creamy, elegant blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from some of the best vineyards in the Champagne region of Reims
  • Weltevrede Philip Jonker ‘Enthios’ Brut M.C.C.
     59 / 295
    Almost equal blend of chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Weltevrede (‘well satisfied’) farm in the Robertson Valley. Grapes are picked riper to capture richness and attractive fruitiness on popping the cork right now
  • Steenberg 1682 Chardonnay M.C.C.
     434
    Chardonnay grapes are fermented in ‘pièces champenois’ barrels and remains on the lees in the bottle for years before dègorgement, resulting in a deliciously vibrant and creamy sparkling wine. Amongst the Cape’s classiest.
  • Hout Bay Vineyards ‘Klassiek’
     495
    Catherine’s vineyards can be seen along the mountainside coming into Hout Bay, where she grows traditional Champagne varieties Pinots Noir, Meunier and Chardonnay. Taste it and see why this valley is becoming well-known for its fine bubbles
  • High Constantia ‘Clos André’
     795
    We were fortunate indeed to be able to secure a few bottles of David van Niekerk’s sought-after, elegant & stylish Clos André from his tiny artisanal cellar in a corner of the prime vineyards of Constantia
  • Strandveld ‘Skaamgesiggie’ Pinot Noir Brut M.C.C.
     79 / 385
    Delightfully, delicate, dreamy, bubbly named after the endangered Sugarbush Protea which bares us our national flower. Endemic to the ‘Strandveld’ biosphere in cool Elim. Experience the textures of this delightful blush as a charming alternative to your usual aperitif
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Sauvignon Blanc

  • Silvermist Sauvignon Blanc (organic)
     65 / 258
    Local valley winery Silvermist’s vineyards are certified organic, with ducks, roosters and wild animals from the adjacent Table Mountain National Park roaming freely. Smartly crafted, fresh and minerally, effortlessly paired with our loin of Kingklip
  • Klein Constantia Estate ‘Metis’ Sauvignon Blanc
     590
    Klein Constantia is known for its classic expression of this variety, where vines enjoy fresh breezes from the oceans on either side of the narrow Cape peninsula. Top-drawer Metis is made in collaboration with their French consultant, Pascal Jolivet
  • Cape Point Vineyards ‘Noordhoek’ Sauvignon Blanc
     298
    Cape Point Vineyard’s hilly sea-facing ‘Noordhoek’ vines are buffeted in the cooling winds blowing in from the southern ocean during the warm summer. You can almost taste the sea in this refreshing, almost steely Sauvignon, with its vibrant acidity and lingering gooseberry flavours
  • Fledge & Co Fumé Blanc
     345
    The Fledge & Company do things differently by sourcing their grapes from far-flung Langkloof and Outeniqua to make a characterful, rather refined and almost stony wine, aged in older oak barrels
  • Strandveld ‘Pofadderbos’ Sngl. V/yard Sauvignon Blanc
     75 / 298
    The Strandveld winery is named after endangered Cape coastal vegetation which envelops it. The ‘puff adder bush’ single vineyard Sauvignon is the perfect expression of the stony soils of the Agulhas plains, exhibiting racy acidity and flinty freshness
  • Altydgedacht Sauvignon Blanc
     48 / 193
    The ocean fog which settles on these Durbanville vineyards throughout the summer cools the vines to enable a longer growing season, translating into crisp green flavours and refreshing, mouth-watering salinity & freshness. Pan-fried Hake an ideal partner
  • Ghost Corner Wild Ferment Sauvignon Blanc
     79 / 385
    From windswept Cape Agulhas, at the southernmost tip of Africa, comes Cederberg’s winemaker’s rendition of cool-grown Sauvignon. Persistent grapefruit and lime flavours tightly bound by steely minerality, able to cut through any creamy sauce

Chenin Blanc

  • Botanica ‘Mary Delaney’ Chenin Blanc
     133 / 535
    Ginny Povall left New York corporate life to settle here. She sources her fruit for this sublime, finely crafted Chenin from a remote mountainous area, to make a deftly oaked, clean and crisp S.A. icon. Creamy texture lends itself to a variety of rich dishes
  • Blackwater Wines ‘The Underdog’ Chenin Blanc
     224
    Francois Haasbroek searches for tiny pockets of outstanding vineyards, whose grapes disappear into commercial batches. His light but characterful wine style is rarely paralleled. Unoaked with ripe quince and pear, well controlled by firm acidity
  • MAN Family Wines Free-Run ‘Steen’ Chenin Blanc
     195
    Winsome wine made from low-yielding dry land bushvines in the fashionable Paardeberg region. Enjoy with vegetable or prawn curry dishes, fish, salads, citrus flavoured foods or our craft cheese selection
  • Beaumont Chenin Blanc
     66 / 265
    The Beaumont family bought the farm ‘Companjesdrift’, originally established by the Dutch East India Company in Bot River in the early 1970s. They are specialist artisanal makers of this noble Loire variety. Winemaker (and viticulturist) Sebastian claims it’s ‘Dry, fresh and delicious’
  • Tierhoek Chenin Blanc
     79 / 315
    Cape Leopards still roam this high-altitude, 50-year old ‘Piekenierskloof’ vineyard, which bares outstanding organicallyfarmed Chenin. While aiming for freshness and purity of fruit, vinification also includes maturation in barrel to add fullness and complexity. Delicious with our Hout Bay ‘Bouillabaise’ inspired seafood stew
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Chardonnay

  • Eikendal ‘Janina’ Unwooded Chardonnay
     54 / 215
    ‘Janina’ is produced from five different chardonnay clones grown in Stellenbosch and Elgin. Partially fermented and aged in concrete ‘eggs’, it shows wonderful vibrancy and length. All-round food partner
  • Crystallum ‘The Agnes’ Chardonnay
     540
    Named after winemaker Peter-Allan Finlayson’s great-grandmother, who was shipped off to South Africa at the tender age of 14. The multi-vineyard blend is made to reflect the resilience and strength of Agnes, with each vineyard forming a building block to form this larger than life wine. White peach, fresh lime and lemon preserve lead into a beautifully textured, fresh and creamy palate
  • Julien Schaal Mountain Vineyards Chardonnay
     86 / 344
    French winemaker, Julien makes his refined pair of wines at Paul Cluver. A soil-derived gravelly minerality and racy acidity adds to the classic length and complexity of this stylish, world-class Chardonnay
  • Constantia ‘Uitsig’ Unwooded Chardonnay
     296
    Delicate birds now adorn the newly fashioned labels since this farm changed hands. A fresh, zippy wine with pronounced pear and orange zest aromas, unhindered by oak. Well-rounded stone fruit flavours and hints of almond precede a soft finish
  • JH Meyer Signature Wines ‘Palmiet’ Chardonnay
     99 / 297
    Inspired by his travels to New Zealand, California and Burgundy, Johan Meyer, AKA ‘Stompie’, returned home to search for small vineyards which would enable him to produce top-end Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Labelled according to the vineyard site, this wine offers a core of rich flavour, bound by compelling acidity and minerality

White Blends and Other Varietals

  • Ashbourne Sauvignon Blanc Chardonnay
     218
    Balanced and highly versatile white blend from the Ashbourne vineyards on the eastern border of the Hamilton Russell Estate in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. Unoaked for a fresh liveliness, with zippy flavours of citrus and melon.
  • Thorne & Daughters ‘Rocking Horse’ Cape White
     507
    John Seccombe’s cornerstone wine takes its name from a wooden rocking horse they made for their daughters out of oak barrel staves. Multi-regional blend of Chenin, Roussanne, Semillon Blanc & Gris, with a dollop of Chardonnay. It offers broad, rich layered fruit, resolving into a keen line of acidity and pithy tannin
  • Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines White Blend
     678
    “Superb debut” (claimed Robert Parker) from the winery, where Chris and Andrea Mullineux blend low-yielding Chenin with equal portions of Rhône varieties Grenache Blanc, Clairette and Viognier. Fermentation in older barrels adds breadth and texture to match any robust dish
  • Sutherland Riesling
     59 / 234
    This fine aromatic variety is harvested from Thelema’s Elgin (Sutherland) vineyards, and rendered in a dry but flavourful style. Floral spicy aromas and lime flavours are carried along by firm natural acidity
  • Newton Johnson ‘Resonance’
     111 / 442
    Breezes from the Southern Ocean cool these maritime ‘Hemel-en-Aarde’ (Heaven & Earth) vineyards ensuring a racy, vibrant white Bordeaux-styled Sauvignon-Semillon blend. Minerality typical of the area provides backbone to the zippy flavours. Made for seafood
  • Dora ‘Arya’ ’Grenache - Chenin
     195
    Spicy Grenache Blanc combines well with Chenin’s pure, honeyed peachiness and Roussanne’s delicate texture. A decorous tribute to its Sanskrit inspired name – meaning ‘noble’. Unwooded with a snappy acidity, the signature of the ‘Voor-Paardeberg’, ensuring a bright, fresh finish
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Rosé

  • De Morgenzon Garden Vineyards Rosé
     229
    Thoroughly charming dry Rosé, sufficiently light for lunch, and serious for dinner. A blend of southern French varieties which perfectly suit the Mediterranean-Cape climate and lifestyle
  • Waterford ‘Rose Mary’
     235
    The softly dry sought-after Rose Mary is made in a light, low-alcohol lunch time style, without losing any of its delightful strawberry & cranberry flavours
  • Kanonkop Pinotage Rosé
     55 / 210
    Dry but juicy Rosé, bled from Pinotage grapes which leaves the taste buds tingling with fresh red berry fruit compôte flavours. Staying with the Kanonkop philosophy, this is a savoury, full-bodied, foodloving pink
  • Lievland ‘Liefkoos’ Rosé
     93 / 372
    This lively, smart, dry Rosé lives up to its strikingly elegant packaging. Syrah and Mourvèdre grown in prime ‘Simonsberg’ soils are ‘bled’ to make this Provençal-styled pink, with texture and richness acquired by extended lees contact
  • Tamboerskloof ‘Katharien’ Syrah Rosé
     245
    Tamboerskloof means ‘Valley of the Drums’. The first Dutch lookout post was established above Cape Town in Tamboerskloof, where the de Villiers family lived before purchasing their wine farm. Pale salmon-pink, the ‘Katharien’ is bled from Syrah to offer a spicy, fresh mouth-filling lunchtime wine

Pinot Noir and Other Varietals

  • Catherine Marshall Sandstone Soils Pinot Noir
     436
    Cathy’s Barefoot Wines began as a three-barrel Syrah foot-stomp in ‘Muizenberg’ 25 years ago. Now her much admired eponymous winery has pinot as its focus: this, the lightest of her trio of pinots reflecting the character of the Table Mountain sandstone and silica quartz soils in which her vines grow. Quentin’s crispy roast duck is a consummate match
  • Iona Vineyards ‘Mr P’ Pinot Noir
     75 / 298
    Elegant, fresh cherry and red berry nose. The palate is pure with lovely texture and focused sweet cherry fruit dominates with spicy undertones. The wine is fresh and intense with real vibrancy
  • Myburgh Bros. Cinsault
     235
    Winemaker Tyrell and advocate brother Philip decided to bottle something traditional - a simple, pure and honest Cinsault (with a dollop of Syrah for weight). Known then as Hermitage, their greatgrandfather’s wine from this grape won the Western Cape Board of Horticulture Wine Show in 1904. Enjoy lightly chilled
  • Momento Grenache Noir
     146 / 585
    Winemaker Marelise Niemann makes a couple of smart wines under her Momento label. This deliciously vinous Grenache is made from Swartland fruit (with a dash of Carignan added to spice things up a bit). Maturation in older oak has helped to maintain the authentic earthy, flowery aromas and juicy, supple red fruit flavours
  • Hamilton Russell Vineyards Pinot Noir
     1170
    This esteemed producer manages to replicate the restrained and complex Burgundian expression of this variety. Low-vigour soils, tiny yields and cool maritime climate give rise to a tight, classic wine with no overt fruitiness
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Pinotage

  • Winery of Good Hope ‘Bushvine’ Pinotage
     245
    South Africa’s very own grape (Pinot Noir-Cinsault cross: the former offering vivid cherry flavours, and the latter lovely spiciness) grows untrellised in the Helderberg and Swartland to produce a juicy but structured red, with an earthy savouriness
  • Radford Dale ‘Vinum’ Pinotage
     85 / 337
    Brit Alex Dale and Aussie Ben Radford have their own take on the quintessential South African grape variety (a 1925 Pinot Noir - Cinsault cross) - the former offering vivid cherry flavours, and the latter lovely spiciness. Untrellised ‘Helderberg’ and bush vine ‘Swartland’ vineyards produce a juicy, structured red, with an engaging earthy savouriness
  • Stellenrust Pinotage
     196
    French oak barrels add backbone to this Pinotage’s juiciness. Roasted spices and dark berries make this a tasty wine, either on its own or with a variety of robust dishes, from game birds to pan seared venison
  • Grangehurst Pinotage
     127 / 508
    Grangehurst’s maiden 1992 vintage was vinified on a converted squash court. Since then, this specialist red wine cellar has lost none of its handcrafted appeal. One of the Cape’s best Pinotage’s, it is firmly structured, yet elegant, showing good depth and complexity
  • Kanonkop Pinotage
     985
    Powerful Pinotage from this top producer, Kanonkop is produced from low-yielding old vines. Maturation in small French oak barrels develops the complexity derived from the compact red-berry fruit flavours. Treat yourself!

Merlot

  • De Trafford Merlot
     780
    A stylishly made, impressively concentrated, generous Merlot yielding bright, polished fruit aromas and flavours. Plushly textured, classy wine from this small internationally renowned cellar. Blended with a splash of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot before maturation in French barrels
  • Ingrid & Luca Bein Merlot
     105 / 421
    Swiss vets Ingrid & Luca Bein turned to winemaking after falling in love with the Cape. Tiny amounts of fresh and elegant Merlot are made from only two hectares of vines. Judicious oaking allows the polished plum fruit flavours to shine through
  • Thelema Mountain Vineyards Merlot
     396
    Highly sought-after, expressive Merlot from pioneering winemaker Gyles Webb’s beautiful property at the top of the Helshoogte Pass. His emphasis on ripe tannins, supple textures and complex fruit make this a consistent and distinctive Merlot
  • Eagle’s Nest Merlot
     109 / 435
    The farm that is now Eagles’ Nest was used as a refreshment station between the Wynberg in the east, and the harbour of Hout Bay in the west, before travelers made their way over Constantia Nek. Their Merlot is undoubtedly one of the best in the Cape: richly ripe and fleshy, but underpinned by gorgeously plush tannins
  • Vondeling ‘Petit’ Merlot
     189
    ‘Vondeling’ employ a full-time botanist to geo-tag the endangered ‘fynbos’ on their unique ‘Voor-Paardeberg’ property, which delivers a juicy, accessible Merlot - ready to drink now on its own, with roast lamb or a myriad of robust sauces
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Cabernet Sauvignon

  • Restless River ‘Main Rd & Dignity’ Cabernet Sauvignon
     1131
    Planted by proprietors Craig & Anne Wessels in the late 90s, Restless River has the oldest Cabernet vines in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, a cool area better known for its Pinots. No expense is spared in the making of miniscule amounts of this avant-garde, elegant but densely fruited wine
  • Glenelly The ‘Glass Collection’ Cabernet Sauvignon
     279
    Bordeaux’s Madame de Lencquesaing acquired this property neighbouring Rustenberg in 2003, convinced it could produce highquality wines. ‘Glass Collection’ is the second label and over-delivers for the price. Quintessential cab. with blackcurrant flavours and fine tannins
  • Journey’s End Cabernet Sauvignon
     104 / 406
    Journey’s End’s Roger Gabb was the brains behind Kumala, SA’s most successful ever wine export brand. The family have steered their Somerset West property to the production of fine boutique wines. Fine-grained tannins underpin the juicy Morello cherry flavours
  • Keermont Cabernet Sauvignon
     140 / 561
    Alex Starey’s cabernet fruit comes from Keermont’s low-yielding Cottage Lane vineyard on the ‘Helderberg’ slopes, where clay soils translate to a wine with power and tension, with fresh acidity and dense tannins keeping ripe, juicy blackcurrant fruit in check
  • Le Riche Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve
     1495
    Etienne Le Riche, a French Huguenot descendant, left the famous Rustenberg Estate in 1996 to establish his own winery, and has built a solid following for his classically-styled Cabernets. Concentrated cassis fruit flavours are underpinned by a firm, ripe tannin structure, making a deliciously whole and elegant wine

Shiraz

  • Luddite Shiraz
     1365
    Larger-than-life Neils Verburg employs traditional winemaking methods to capture the essence of his Shiraz grapes, resulting in intense, pure-fruited wine with a wonderfully silky texture and seamless tannins. Wife, Penny cares for the vineyards, the bedrock of all great wines
  • Maree Family Wines ‘Klein Jakkals’ Syrah
     49 / 195
    Celebrating beloved Sam, foreman on the Maree farm in Namibia. Father-son duo Jacques (senior & junior - A.K.A ‘Jakkals’) Maree, source Syrah from prime ‘Simonsberg’ vineyards to showcase this region’s ancient weathered granitic soils, which yield an elegant, expressively perfumed Syrah, with spicy pepper notes and appetising freshness
  • Stark-Condé Stellenbosch Syrah
     108 / 434
    Richly perfumed, sumptuous red-berry fruit aromas with hints of black pepper and dried herbs are characteristic of José Condé’s Jonkershoek vineyards. Enjoy the focused core of spicy dark fruit harmoniously balanced by fine, polished tannins
  • The Foundry Syrah
     161 / 665
    One of the Cape’s top examples, made by talented ex-Meerlust Winemaker Chris Williams, who believes texture and balance to be the most important components of a wine. Expressive, rich and spicy flavours with supple structure and an elegant, savoury finish
  • Trizanne Signature Wines ‘Swartland’ Syrah
     237
    Avid ‘Kommetjie’ surfer, mom, and brilliant winemaker (earning her stripes at ‘Klein’ Constantia), Trizanne Barnard creates remarkably elegant wines of nuance and complexity from trendy ‘Swartland’ and Elim grapes. Supple tannins and generous, spicy red fruit offer excellent drinkability
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Red Blends

  • De Toren ‘Délicate’
     70 / 282
    As the label from this top-draw winery suggests, this is a delicately juicy, medium-bodied red - intended for lightly chilled enjoyment, an aperitif, with carpaccio or our Sunday alfresco starters. Malbec leads, with Merlot and Cabernets making for a convivial blend
  • Constantia Glen ‘Five’
     1006
    Named for the inclusion of all five permitted Bordeaux grape varieties, this flagship is a stately blend of Cabernet, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot. This smart, savoury wine is best enjoyed with our beef fillet
  • Nativo Red Blend (organic)
     107 / 429
    Argentinian-born engineer Billy Hughes and his geneticist daughter Kiki, only make a red and a white blend, from organic fruit, on their Swartland farm. Made with minimal intervention, and no new oak, this blend of Syrah, Pinotage, Mourvédre, Grenache and Tempranillo offers dark berry spiciness and welcoming warmth
  • Miles Mossop ‘Max’
     193 / 774
    Regular Platter 5-star wine, named for Tokara winemaker Mossop’s son. One of the most elegant, plushly modern Cabernet-led Bordeauxstyled blends around. Its structured tannins are a good match for pan-seared meats
  • Vriesenhof Grenache - Syrah - Mouvѐrdre
     223
    Local wine veteran and ex-Springbok rugby player (and daring vine smuggler) Oom Jan ‘Boland’ Coetzee now has over 52 vintages under his belt. His youthful stint in France saw the beginning of his love affair with the classic varieties of the Southern Rhône - Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre. This is his rendition, a darkly fruity, spicy blend
  • Gabriëlskloof Red Blend
     260
    Passionate about incorporating environmentally friendly practices, this is a W.W.F. Conservation Champion farm. Crystallum’s Peter-Allan Finlayson partners both Cabernets with Malbec and Petit Verdot to fashion a dark-fruited blend that is both subtle and refreshing
  • Morgenster Estate Red
     1066
    Classic Merlot dominant blend with Cabernet Sauvignon from qualityconscious property (Pierre Lurton of Château Cheval Blanc consults). Morgenster’s top label shows restraint and style. Typical Bordeaux style

Fortified and Dessert Wines

  • Jordan ‘Mellifera’ (50 ml)
     66
    Delicate handcrafted dessert wine made from botrytised Riesling grapes. Excellent balance and complexity make this a thoroughly delightful, honeyed and opulent wine with a long crisp and spicy finish
  • Klein Constantia ‘Vin de Constance’ (50 ml)
     215
    This recreation of the legendary 18th century sweet wine of Constantia well deserves all the accolades it receives. Made from Muscat de Frontignan, which is left to raisin on the vines, it is deep gold in colour with intense aromas of dried apricot, tangerine, and Muscat. Luscious, concentrated, sweet fruit flavours on the palate are balanced by fine acidity, and followed by an exceptionally long, flavourful finish
  • Weltevrede ‘Ouma se Wyn’ (50 ml)
     65
    Fortified white muscadel, made especially for the winemaker’s Ouma. Scented Turkish-delight, smooth, genteel, yet intense. Uncloyingly sweet - just like Ouma
  • Catherine Marshall ‘Myriad’ Port (75 ml)
     85
    A fine, quirky ‘Port’ from the Cape’s pioneering garagiste winemaker, Cathy Marshall. Fully ripe Pinot Noir and Merlot grapes are partially fermented, then lightly fortified. The result is amazing, like a Ruby Port but more spicy and complex
  • Peter Bayly Cape Vintage (75 ml)
     75
    Made from top traditional Portuguese varieties, this is one of South Africa’s finest port-styled wines. Approachable even in its youth, it offers a luxuriously rich mouthful of spicy nut and fruitcake flavours
  • De Krans Ruby Port (75 ml)
     62
    Pale red Cape benchmark offers lively aromas of fresh dark plums, cherries and chocolate. Fabulous on the palate with a light grainy texture, with fruit notes and a mellow spirit finish
  • Quentin’s Cape lemon liqueur (50 ml)
     45
    Peak season Cape winter lemon distillate makes for a perfect after dinner palate cleanser, pronounced citrus spritz, not overwhelmed by tacky sugar palate, sips well at 20% alcohol by volume
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