Monday, October 26, 2009

A Few, Delicious South African Wines

I am a big fan of South African wines, especially Pinotage, so when I found a table with such wines at the Wine Riot 2, I just had to taste their wines. I was even more excited when I found a wine using a grape that I had never tasted before, Bukettraube.

Heritage Link Brands is an importer and distributor of wine produced by indigenous African vintners and people of African descent throughout the world. I tasted wines from two of their producers, M'Hudi and Seven Sisters.

M'Hudi is derived from the Setswana word, “mohudi” meaning “harvester”. It is also the name given to the heroine of a great African story. The 2006 M'Hudi Pinotage ($17.99) is made from 100% Pinotage and comes from the Stellenbosch region. I enjoyed this wine with its dark berry and smoky bacon taste. There were some hints of vanilla as well, along with a moderately long finish. Definitely a food wine, especially wild game or BBQ.

The Seven Sisters are members of the Brutus family, evicted from their home at a young age and forced to move out of their small fishing village. Twenty years later, the sisters reunited, choosing to produce wine. Each of their wines is said to "match the styles and personalities of each sister" and "celebrate their bond and devotion to one another."

The 2007 Seven Sisters Pinotage/Shiraz-Dawn ($14.99) was pleasant, a smooth wine with lots of dark berry and spice flavors with a smoky finish. It is a simple wine but with plenty of taste. The 2008 Seven Sisters Bukettraube-Odelia ($12.99) is made from 100% Bukettraube, a grape I had never tasted before. The grape has Germanic origins, though South Africa currently produces the most wine using the grape. This wine had an intriguing floral and herbal nose, almost a cross between Viognier and Gewurtztraminer. The taste was exotic, with the floral and herbal elements present as well as some pear, honey and melon flavors. Such an interesting character to this wine, and an excellent bargain at this price.

If you have not tried many wines from South Africa, you really should do so. They are producing some very good, and sometimes very different, wines that are worth checking out.


Peter F May for The Pinotage Club said...

There's a video of M'Hudi owner 'Oupa' and a report of my visit to his vineyard on my site here

Richard Auffrey said...

Thanks very much Peter for the heads up!

Rebecca said...

I love love love Pinotage! And a good Pinotage is a gem, because there are some not so great ones out there.

I'm going to try to find a Bukettraube to taste, I've never heard of it before. It sounds delicious. Thanks for the tip!

Jenna said...

Where can I buy the Bukettraube - Odelia?

Richard Auffrey said...

Hi Jenna:
I don't know which stores carry it, though it is available thru a MA distributor so most wine stores should be able to order it.