Avontuur Cabernet Merlot
50/50 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
12 months in French Oak
Fruity, easy drinking wine that you can have on its own. A good blend of the red berries often found in the Cabernet Sauvignon, and the trendy, spiciness of the new merlots.
Brut MCC Rose
70% Chardonnay, 30 Pinot Noir
The word “brut” means that this MCC is extra dry. It is a crisp, MCC with a beautiful pink colour coming from 3 hours of skin contact. Probably not the MCC you would serve at your wedding to a mixed crowd of people. This one is more for the discerning drinker that worked his or her way up from the sweeter bubblies to the drier ones. It is the one you can whip out when you are celebrating with a few people who appreciate a dry bubbly.
It has a distinct acidity that leaves a pleasant sting on the tongue. I tasted hints of orange and orange blossom and maybe a bit of slightly sour strawberries. I think this MCC will go well with a fruit salad full of different melons because they have a sweetness that will complement it. I can also imagine it with fresh oysters on ice and maybe starters and hors d’oeuvres with seared tuna, smoked salmon and shrimps.
I also tasted the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir Blend of Avontuur wine, and preferred it to the MCC, but that is only personal taste.
Pinot Noir 2016
A good, layered Pinot Noir made from grapes grown on the Avontuur farm, where the warmer climate brings more of a richness than you would normally find in a Pinot Noir.
Kate had a rather funny, but spot-on description of this wine, saying that Pinot Noirs can be “thin, like flat Coke” but this one was not!
Avontuur’s Pinot Noir lives in 2nd and 3rd fill French oak barrels for two and a half years.
It has a smokiness in the taste with red fruit, like cherries, that makes for a dry, full flavoured Pinot Noir. It will also age well for 3 to 4 years, for those who can wait that long.
Chardonnay Luna de Miel
Avontuur’s flagship white wine was named after the first racehorse on the farm – Luna de Miel.
This blend of 88% Chardonnay and 12% Viognier is my favourite wine in the Avontuur collection.
It tastes like coconut and citrus, with a woodiness that is at the same time subtle yet undeniable.
I would pair this wine with many things, but definitely with my “Wrong Curry” – a unique full-flavoured curry that I invented one day by doing everything “wrong”. Follow this link to find out how to make a wrong curry…
Cabernet Franc 2014
I can’t say that I have had many 100% Cabernet Francs, and it is unusual to find one. Avontuur has been making Cabernet Franc since 1996, so they know what they are doing when it comes to this cultivar.
It has amazing floral notes; definitive violet, teaming up with sour cherry, and a whisper of mocha.
This wine is great with food or on its own. It will pair well with lamb and tomato. I can just imagine how well it will go with a lamb shank, slowly braised in tomatoes and Old Brown…
For vegetarians, I would say it will go very well with a rich tomato dish, like a pasta with sundried tomato pesto, or something with heavy cream. Another dish that will get a thumbs up with the Cab Franc is a melanzane, because I think the mozzarella cheese and brinjal will bring it a slight sweetness that will work well.
I promised Bev I would make her a great ratatouille and pair it with this beautiful Cab Franc, and after giving it a lot of thought, I know just the way I am going to do this. More about that later…
Dominion Royale – Shiraz Reserve
The best selling wine from the Avontuur Estate spends 16 months in barrels.
It is fruity and spicy as a good Shiraz should be. Where Shiraz normally has black pepper in the taste, this one surprises with white pepper.
Bev tasted quite a few sips, and I could see her thinking carefully before giving an opinion. Finally, she said that it falls short, and Kate and I had to agree. To me, it is amazing on the nose, and promises a lot. However, the promises are broken when it does not quite pull through to the taste.
Maybe it needs to age a bit…
Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
Awarded Best African Wine of 2017.
Not a wine in the traditional cab sav style. I picked up no thick blackcurrant, but rather more red fruits. It is lighter and reminds of strawberry jam. There is also an earthiness and a tiny bouquet of herbs when you swallow.
It was kept in oak barrels for 18 months, and can mature for a further 5 to 7 years. There are tannins that you can’t miss, and if you, like me, prefer softer tannins, we would have to wait half a decade or so.
As Bev said, these days she is more likely to go for the “road less traveled,” like the Cab Franc. Having said that, this is a wine that holds a lot of potential, and I would not mind having it again when it has reached maturity.
Dessert Wine 2009
A port-style dessert wine blended from 85% Shiraz and 15% Pinotage, fortified with Avontuur’s estate brandy. It is sweet, but ends drier, like a red wine. There is strong dark chocolate and flowers on the nose, and with the first sip, it was like walking into the rain… I love rain, and I love the petricor smell of rain on dust, and this wine has exactly that, bottled. It is served cold, and tastes like cold rain, hitting a dirt road. Needless to say, I loved it!
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