Santa will break his back (and bank) if we could put in an order for our perfect Christmas wishlist. We are blessed with a plethora of exceptional and characterful wines in South Africa and consumers are savier than ever in understanding the relationship between specific cultivars and their growing environment. Super grateful to have passed my final and big WSET Diploma exams also infused me with new vigour of spreading the wine gospel and helping people make informed decisions about the wine they enjoy most.
Married Two Wine was founded to spread love and to empower consumers to step outside their comforzones, have fun with wine and to discover something new all the time.
So to bring you a Christmas wish list, we looked back on 2021 and despite it representing arguably the most challenging year in South African Wine history, it also marks the year we got married, followed by wonderful tastings we had the privilege of experiencing. We salute the South African wine industry for its perseverance and tenacity as well as the consumers who continued supporting their favourite wine cellars. So go on, stuff those Christmas stockings till they burst at the seams because more than ever, you can say it’s for a good cause too!
Hamilton Russell Pinot Noir 2016
When this wine comes to mind, so does the larger than life day that we were bound in holy matrimony. Albeit only graced with 20 guests and many more special people we wanted to be present, especially our family abroad, it was about us and to make it happen amidst changing lockdown restrictions. Of course we will celebrate again when we have our families and friends present, but we wouldn’t want this day any different. The courteous Olive and Anthony Hamilton-Russell made this possible and the stature, longevity and suplime power of this Pinot Noir will unequivocally always remind us of this beautiful, once in a lifetime, day.
Graham Beck Vintage Collection
We didn’t want to choose between these three bubblies, especially over the festive season. We poured all three on our wedding day and will always remain avid supporters of this brand. Not merely for their dedication to quality and the environment but for never giving up pursuing an even better version of themselves. The amount of time spent to experiment and push boundaries to serve the diverse public, is uncanny and to do this with so much passion, is what continues elevating this brand above others. For R837 you can buy the limited edition Vintage Trio including three of their Cap Classiques: Blanc de Blancs, Pinot Noir Rosé and Ultra Brut. All multi-awarded bubblies, it will add that extra touch of class to your festivities. We can recommend signing up for the Graham Beck Society that will introduce you to a magnitude of offerings and added value at no extra costs but to be loyal supporters. Whereas the Blanc De Blancs offers a classic, nonpareil experience of Cap Classique, the Rosé joins an equal podium, only offering a richer, berry-laden experience with a beautiful salmon hue. The Ultra brut completes the trio and albeit ultra dry, offers a commanding brioche and almond note from extended lees contact.
Kaapse Vonkel Jeroboam 3L 2018
Staying on the trajectory of classic and trusted Cap Classique brand, Simonsig’s Kaapse Vonkel will always have a place on our Christmas table. Not only are we celebrating a 50 year milestone of Cap Classique in South Africa in which Simonsig takes center stage as the pioneers of Cap Classique, but they have also managed to deliver consistent quality throughout this period. We were blessed with a 3 liter bottle to enjoy with dessert as any Cape Classique lover will conquer – the day is not crowned unless Cap Classique is poured as the final celebratory elixir. Enjoy their Awards Pack for only R1000, exclusive to their online shop and tasting room. The pack includes: Chenin blanc 2021, Kaapse Vonkel Brut 2019, Chenin Avec Chêne 2019, Kaapse Vonkel Brut Rosé 2019, Frans Malan 2017 and Tiara 2017.
The Mentors Malbec 2019
Do you want to buy someone a collectable? The Mentors Malbec 2019 forms part of a once of limited series with only 1300 bottles made. We featured this wine on our YouTube Channel when it was launched earlier this year and it definitely belongs on our wishlist. Winemaker Izele van Blerk, fondly known as Kwaaitjie, continues her unscrupulous journey of highlighting vineyards and cultivars that excel in certain vintages. Bearing both the business acumen and vast experience of different wine regions Izelle and her team never cease to come up with new and exciting expressions of our South African terroir. The new kid on the block – The Mentors Malbec 2019- is in fact the new suave gentleman on the podium announcing itself with an ethereal coolness and a medley of liquorice, spearmint, and thyme. It arrests your perception of what you thought a Malbec should smell like, derailing your assumptions and taking you on a sensory journey, adamant about impressing you like a peacock on its own territory. Well, it is undoubtedly feathered with the intense colour and electric blue rim as quintessential to Malbec and begs you to dive in. It delivers on a fruit basket of ripe plums, violets, and dark cherries. You will have to taste it to understand the profound and intense layer of salt and power that stems from precise winemaking which will contribute to its great longevity.
Leeu Passant Wellington Old Vines Cinsault 2018
There is so much to be said for this brand and what it represents. First of all, do yourself a favour and visit their tasting studio in Franschhoek at Leeu estates to enjoy the range of wines they have to offer, including the Mullineux family brand. The wines are a class act speaking of excellence and an intricate understanding of both winegrowing and winemaking. Albeit hard to single out one wine among the superb line-up, the Leeu Passant Wellington Old Vines Cinsault 2018 represents the epitome of quality time in a chapter where things seem so fragile and uncertain in the world. The wine is made from a historical parcel of dry farmed bush vines that on its own represents endurance, perseverance and tenacity. Planted in 1900 in deep alluvial sands, the vines have anchored itself against and with the elements, rooted in its identity as the oldest registered red wine vineyard in South Africa. The integrity of the fruit and the flavour is incompasses was retained through using whole clusters and after spending 20 months in 500 L French barrels, it only added to its power and structure, not without compromising a breath of its vibrant, aromatic fruit. The wine invites you into its opulent and delicious display of red fruit – be it mulberry, currents or plush cherries. Evidence of spice adds intricate layers to lift and shape the fruit while the tannins are ripe yet fine, hoisting up the wine together with a fresh and shapely acidity.
La Motte Syrah Vintage Collection
Staying in Franschhoek, we move across the road from Leeu Estates to one of our all time favourite wine estates: La Motte. The estate pays homage to the South African landscape artist Pierneef in both their art gallery and the restaurant Pierneef à La Motte where South African heritage and food is celebrated. Every visit is crowned with a new and memorable experience that warms our hearts and bellies – thanks to chef Eric Bulpitt and cellarmaster Edmund Terblanche. Our last 2021 visit included the varietal- specific wine tasting to show how the shape of the stemware can truly optimize your experience of the wine. Riedel stemware is specifically designed to best express the characteristics, bouquet and flavours of a specific grape variety and will make a fine Christmas gift for the oenophile in the family. La Motte Syrah needs no introduction and vineyards flourish against the mountain slopes of the gorgeous valley. Syrah lovers cannot go wrong with their six bottle wooden box collection consisting of La Motte Syrah with vintages from 2010 to 2015. So head out, enjoy their authentic cuisine and do some Christmas shopping in their cellar and farm shop.
Spier Seaward Sauvignon Blanc 2021
As I said, we can go on forever, but then we will end up on Santa’s naughty list. So to wrap it up, here is an excellent find at the Spier Wine Estate. Georgio recently joined the team as they were awarded the Editor’s Choice winery of the Year in the Platters Wine Guide. This accolade joins their massive achievement at the Veritas Awards this Year where the Creative Block 5 2018 won the Best Wine of the show with the Duimpie Bayly Vertex Award. So a fine time to be associated with this stalwart brand. I took the opportunity to taste their ranges last week, from the Signature Collection all the way through to their 21 Gables flagship range. But a new find and a reigning gem in my wine cellar, is the Seaward Sauvignon Blanc 2021. This wine is perfect for summer and all-around well-deserved me-time. This is another fine example of a Sauvignon Blanc packed with character, intensity and concentration. Bursting with vivid tropical aromas, fynbos, and salty sea breeze notes keeps it in check, translating in green fig and kiwi aromas. A limey acidity adds brightness and length, reminiscent of the cool climate vineyards from where the fruit hails on the Tygerberg Hills.
Visit our YouTube Channel where Georgio and I each presented wines blind to one another where we had to choose which one we will take to our Christmas table and why. See what the outcome was!
To have your wine featured and reviewed, please contact us.
Samarie +27 82 072 5451
Georgio +27 83 326 3016