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Alex Milner dropped a bottle of this off at my office in November. At least I think it was November. It may have been before, but my mind’s registry no longer goes that far back due to some brain cell wreckage from Christmas drinking.

I have been excited to taste this since the day he put it in my hand, but Life has a way of overtaking and I did not, in fact, get to sit down to try it and scribble my review until Monday evening. There was a certain fascination about this bottle every single time I opened the fridge because, I felt, it was as though there was some prized alien staring back at me…dry Hanepoot…come now people, have you really seen this around?? I haven’t. Apart from Charmaine and Oubaas sharing ‘n Hanepootjie at the end of the day in 7de Laan’s Oppikoffie, this really isn’t a wine that featured on my radar. Until now.

When poured into the glass, this wine is watery white. In fact when I later looked at the photo I took, I thought people would think I’d run mad featuring a glass of water next to the wine bottle…

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Camera tilt: unconnected to photographer’s wine consumption.

When you nose it, you’d be forgiven for thinking that you weren’t smelling white grape juice – of the box kind. So, behold the surprise when you put this very grapey, nectar-like liquid to your lips and it’s completely…dry. The nose is perfumey with a hint of rose water and jasmin, making me think it would stand up well to spicy food – I would definitely like to cart a bottle of this along to a curry house. There’s a fruit burst on the palette of white nectarine and winter melon and a zesty acidity that may be a little sharp at first for some, but it tones down and harmonises with the fruit. An interesting, almost-saline component flashes on your tongue at the end tying it all together rather smartly.

I seriously enjoyed this wine and will definitely be going about trying to lay my hands on more. This is something very different and a totally lip-smackingly delish summer wine.

Read a little more about it on the Natte Valleij website: http://www.nattevalleij.co.za/wine/ and whilst you’re at, follow the man who’s niftily reincarnated this ill-forgotton grape, Alex Milner: @MilnerAlex and @nattevalleij

If you fancy a bit more of a read on this grape, or even ordering a bottle of the Natte Valleij, check out: http://www.winecellar.co.za/dry-hanepoot.html

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