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Last month, a few of us sat down around a friend’s dining room table and had the pleasure of delving into this line-up:

Wine 1: The Foundry 2013 – Roussanne

There was the lightest of green tinges to this wine and a lovely note of warm, creamy oak greeted the nose. As you swirled the glass, herbaceous scents rose up along with a whiff of hay barrels – transporting me immediately to summers in England and trekking through country lanes bordering on picturesque fields. There was a delicate lemon citrus component on the palette followed by a puckering twang and whilst this fresh burst of zestiness sadly faded a little too fast, the acidity seemed to stick around a little longer. Set your glass aside and leave it a while, and you’ll find whiffs of diesel on your return…Please believe me, this is far nicer than it sounds…

http://www.thefoundry.co.za/

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Wine 2: Lemberg 2013

A pleasant light-gold hue in the glass with delicious smells of orange, apricot and a white flower that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. There is an almost saline component when it touches your lips followed by a yummy, full-mouth feel…I was happily surprised by the slightly more voluptuous body this white wine had. The floral notes remain in your glass and, in fact, seem to become stronger the longer you swirl the liquid. Secondary notes of clementine push through. Some may find this a little heavy to drink on its own, but I highly recommend (at least) one glass to savour its delights before sitting down to enjoy it with a meal.

http://www.lemberg.co.za

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Wine 3: Rickety Bridge: Foundation Stone 2013

I feel that the slightly sweeter nose on this wine will appeal to a larger number of our SA wine drinkers. It is almost tropical, with definite banana nuances, and made me think immediately of sand, straw hats and umbrellas in your drinks. Medium-bodied with a creamy mouth-feel and a refreshing acidity that carried just long enough before taking your next sip. Notes of golden sultanas play briefly on the nose and there’s a tart bite of a Granny Smith apple on the palette. This fruitiness could have stuck around a little longer for my liking. However, even after some time in the glass, the creamy element remains which I like. A lot. I got to take a bottle of this home at the end of the night…most chuffed, I was.  It now sits in my wine fridge with a post-it on its chest reading, Don’t drink unless your name is Daisy.

http://www.ricketybridgewinery.com/shop/rickety-bridge-the-foundation-stone-white-2013/

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Wine 4: Natte Valleij: Cinsault 2013

With a candle wax capping (say that a few times over when you’re drunk), this wine makes you feel as though you’re about to tuck into something very special… I immediately smelled seeped cherries when I put my nose to the glass: the smell that comes when making compote and the fruit sits simmering on the stove top. Hints of mushroom and a meaty element came through as well, and a trace of marzipan somewhere deep inside the glass. That’s quite a big noseful. The tannins on this wine were grippy, yet gentle enough not to be overbearing. I’d say this is a medium-full bodied red – yet very easy drinking – I’d enjoy it quite happily on its own without feeling that the back-up of food was needed. A dark fruit element lingers and there’s a layer of eucalyptus when you return to the glass later.

http://www.nattevalleij.co.za/wine/

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Wine 5: Terra Del Capo: Sangiovese 2012

There was an appealing regal-purple hue when you see this wine poured into the glass followed by a scrumptious nose of earth, red berries, cinnamon and liquorice. A full, buff-bodied red, this Italian dude of a wine has certainly spent some time in the gym. You can almost taste the hours it’s spent pumping iron as it smacks your palate and waits for you to brush off and want more. Personally, I’d need some food with this one…and why not keep on one track and let it work its magic with something equally Italiano…perhaps spaghetti alla puttanesca (literally, “spaghetti of the whore” in Italian – for those who didn’t know). Don’t dwell too much on how that name came to be, and rather pair this Casanova of a wine with a lady of the night counterpart – and see how the evening unfolds…

http://www.rupertwines.com/product.php?id_product=21

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Wine 6: Idiom: Barbera 2010

The first thing to greet your eye on this wine is the tall, sleek bottle with its crisp white, elegant label. It’s enticing to look at. It was a porty colour when sitting in the glass – a very deep, dark purple with the faintest light-brown rim. I found the nose to be a little offensive at first so I let it stand a while in the glass to open up. It later gave rise to whiffs of black fruit and a dusty, earthy element. On the palate, the tannins were fairly pronounced and tastes of cacao powder and tart blackcurrant rushed over the taste buds. I found the fruit to fade quickly with the acidity sticking about a little longer. I openly confess that this wine and I battled with one another, but I would certainly try it again – possibly, I am just not used to Barbera.  A sneaky glance at the rest of the offering in their Idiom collection had my knees quivering under the desk…oh to try some of those.  #DearSanta…

http://www.bottegafamilywine.co.za/idiom-collection.html

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Photos from the respective wineries websites.

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