South Africa is earning its reputation for quality wines at affordable prices. This week's picks showcase classic South African varietals: Riebeek Chenin Blanc & Indwe Pinotage.
Chenin Blanc is the most widely planted white grape in South Africa, where they refer to it as "Steen." It's versatility makes it ideal for a variety of wine types, from sweet to dry, still to sparkling. TheWineBuzzrecently recommended Riebeek Cellar's Chenin Blanc (sourced from the fertile Riebeek Valley), describing it as having a "prominent melon aroma with a touch of coconut and lemon; lively, singy citrus and honeydew flavor with a hint of anise."
Among red grapes, Pinotage (a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault) continues its long history as the country's defining grape. Indwe's Pinotage grapes are meticulously sourced from the Coastal region of the Western Cape, ensuring complexity, depth and purity of fruit. Also recommended by TheWineBuzz, this Pinotage has a "wild berry aroma with notes of spice and florabls; smoky with a hunt of bacon and Bing cherry." And what's in a name? 'Indwe' is the Xhosa tribe's word for Blue Crane, which is South Africa's national bird.