South African White Wines

We stock top quality South African white wines from several artisan family wineries such as Rainbows End in Stellenbosch, Joubert Tradauw at Barrydale in the Klein Karoo, and from Boplaas winery at Calitzdorp plus also Fledge & Co which is the "garage" limited production range from Margaux (the younger daughter) and her husband Leon. These wines are made in very limited quantities and are excellent value as we are working closely with Leon as we love his attitude and passion. We are also fortunate to get a bit of wine from the master of Chenin - Jean Daneel.

South Africa has a wonderful vibrant wine industry. It is considered "new world" by many although actually dates back to the mid 17th century when French Huguenots settled there and planted vines. Historic centres like the beautiful Franschoek valley still bear many French names for the properties and wine farms. It is stunningly beautiful and a fabulous place for a holiday if you are fortunate enough to visit.

The wine industry has gone through something of a revolution since apartheid ended when most South African white wine production was bulk wine run by the state. Now there are many artisan wineries producing excellent wines, with around 600 wineries in Stellenbosch alone. Some are pretty big operations running accomodation and restaurants, some are tiny, literally husband and wife teams.

We import wines directly from some of these tiny artisan family wineries. They are great quality and exceptional value for money. With the South African Rand remaining weak, South African white wine is currently unbeatable value for money.

We no longer source wines from the bigger operators. While some like Chamonix (a boutique winery by most standards but we prefer smaller family wineries) make some very good wine, the prices via established agents just don't present the same value as buying direct from the artisan wineries themselves, and therefore can't off the same value for money.

 

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  1. Boplaas Gamka Branca

    4 1/2 stars Platter Wine Guide

     Tim Atkins – 91 points

    Given the huge success with their flagship Gamka red, Margaux opted to produce a classic white Cape Blend too.

    It's a blend of Chardonnay, Viognier, Grenache blanc, Verdelho & Chenin Blanc from different regions - Elgin, Stellenbosch, Swartland and Klein Karro, so pretty much the entire Western Cape.

    It was both barrel fermented and barrel matured on the lees for nine months. Bottled unfined and unflitered to retain the goodness.

    Pale gold in colour with wonderful clarity. Full in the mouth with a melange of fruit flavours, delicate balanced acidity and a very long bone dry finish. This is a great wine!

    Only 1400 bottles produced!

     

    Vegan: Yes

    Sulphite level: Low

    John's Rating:

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    £14.99
  2. The Fledge & Co Elgin Chardonnay O Velhapi

    This is the maiden release for this amazing new wine! A cool climate Chardonnay from a tiny vineyard in Elgin.

    Leon produced just 1,320 bottles so we are extremely fortunate to have got a sizeable chunk of it!

    Barrel fermented and barrel matured, made in a very Burgundian style for South Africa. This will rival fine Burgundy on quality and blow it away on rarity and price!

    Surprisingly light in colour for a barrel fermented Chardonnay. Leon is quite right, this will benefit from some bottle ageing. It is very enjoyable now - I decanted it  to give it some air - but it will keep improving if you can lay it down for a few months (or even years). 

    It is full flavoured with some body and good mouthfeel. Very fresh and clean yet complex with a long finish.

    All the Fledge wines are low sulphite, but we also wanted to mention that all the free SO2 readings were at bottling which will have reduced significantly since, so they will in fact be even lower than stated now.

    Free sulphur: 33mg/l

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Vegan: Yes

    Sulphite level: Low

    John's Rating:

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    £22.99
  3. The Fledge & Co Vagabond

    Tim Atkin 93 Points

    Platter 4 Stars

    Neal Martin 88 Points

    The Fledge & Co is the fabulous winemaking venture from Margaux Nel (younger daughter of Carel Nel and winemaker at the family winery, Boplaas) and her husband Leon Coetzee. They handcraft tiny quantities of different wines from specific vineyard sites all over the Cape winelands. Often using exciting "experimental" techniques like extended skin contact, whole bunch pressing etc. They travel 20,000km to hand harvest the grapes from 35 different vineyards.

    Leon says: "A proper barrel fermented & matured Cape White blend, encompassing vines from across the length and breadth of the Cape's winelands.  The current 2016 vintage is a combination of Steen, Chardonnay, Viognier, Verdelho & Grenache blanc - it's very food friendly & akin to Rhone white with a lot more refinement thanks to our cool climate Chardonnay, low alcohol & use of old French oak casks." 

    Gold in colour with wonderful clarity. Swirl it around to see the legs on the glass. Lovely flavours with peach and some citrus. Quite full body with a creamy mouthfeel. This is lovely wine. delicate for a South African, made in an elegant and classy style.

    Be careful not to overchill this beauty!

    All the Fledge wines are low sulphite, but we also wanted to mention that all the free SO2 readings were at bottling which will have reduced significantly since, so they will in fact be even lower than stated now.

    Free sulphur: 34mg/l

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Vegan: Yes

    Sulphite level: Medium Low

    John's Rating:

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    £15.95
  4. The Fledge & Co Hoeksteen

    Tim Atkin 92 Points

    Neal Martin 91 Points

    Platter 4.5 Stars

    The Fledge & Co is the fabulous winemaking venture from Margaux Nel (younger daughter of Carel Nel and winemaker at the family winery, Boplaas) and her husband Leon Coetzee. They handcraft tiny quantities of different wines from specific vineyard sites all over the Cape winelands. Often using exciting "experimental" techniques like extended skin contact, whole bunch pressing etc. They travel 20,000km to hand harvest the grapes from 35 different vineyards.

    Leon states "A single vineyard, dry land farmed bush vines, barrel fermented & matured Chenin from the Bottelary planted in 1983 & which they only crafted 200 cases of. The Hoeksteen is a wine which benefits greatly from further bottle maturation & is (unintentionally) very "Loire"-like."

    For me personally it was a little too French! I like my whites with a bit more power. This reminded me a lot of white Burgundy which many would say was a compliment. I would say if you like your Northern French whites this would be up your street but if you like a fuller heavier white then opt for the Fledge Vagabond instead.

    Free sulphur: 34mg/l

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Dry farmed: Yes

    Vegan: Yes

    Sulphite level: Low

    John's Rating:

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    £15.95
  5. The Fledge & Co Klipspringer

    Tim Atkin 92 Points

    Platter 4 Stars

    Winemag.co.za 93 Points

    The Fledge & Co is the fabulous winemaking venture from Margaux Nel (younger daughter of Carel Nel and winemaker at the family winery, Boplaas) and her husband Leon Coetzee. They handcraft tiny quantities of different wines from specific vineyard sites all over the Cape winelands. Often using exciting "experimental" techniques like extended skin contact, whole bunch pressing etc. They travel 20,000km to hand harvest the grapes from 35 different vineyards.

    Part barrel fermented and matured on the lees to produce a complex wine with real ageing potential. Plale gold in colour with amazing clarity, some legs sticking to the glass. Lovely flavours, yet fairly delicate. Fine palate weight and a crisp cleansing natural acidity on the finish. This is very good wine, particularly suited to food such as grilled fish or chicken dishes. Be careful not to over chill it though. We chose not to use an ice bucket and let the wine relax a bit, and it just got better and better.

    Free sulphur: 30mg/l

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Dry farmed: Yes

    Vegan: Yes

    Sulphite level: Low

    John's Rating:

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    £15.95
  6. The Fledge & Co Fume Blanc

    Tim Atkin 93 Points

    Platter 4 Stars

    Neal Martin 91 Points

    James Suckling 90 Points

    Winemag.co.za 90 Points

    The Fledge & Co is the fabulous winemaking venture from Margaux Nel (younger daughter of Carel Nel and winemaker at the family winery, Boplaas) and her husband Leon Coetzee. They handcraft tiny quantities of different wines from specific vineyard sites all over the Cape winelands. Often using exciting "experimental" techniques like extended skin contact, whole bunch pressing etc. They travel 20,000km to hand harvest the grapes from 35 different vineyards.

    This "Fume Blanc" is a blend of hand harvested Sauvignon grapes from two sites, one in Stellenbosch overlooking False Bay and the other up at Gansbaai north of Cape Town on the Atlantic coast. It was both barrel fermented and barrel matured, then bottled unfined and unfiltered.

    This is a complex wine, a big hit with their customers in South Africa and clearly well liked by Tim Atkin MW too. Big and round for a Sauvignon with bags of flavour, yet gentle natural acidity. This is a sophisticated wine suited to buttered seafood.

    All the Fledge wines are low sulphite, but we also wanted to mention that all the free SO2 readings were at bottling which will have reduced significantly since, so they will in fact be even lower than stated now.

    Free sulphur: 4mg/l

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Vegan: Yes

    Sulphite level: Low

    John's Rating:

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    £15.95
  7. Jikken Bareru Sauvignon Blanc

    Platter 4 Stars

    The Fledge & Co is the fabulous winemaking venture from Margaux Nel (younger daughter of Carel Nel and winemaker at the family winery, Boplaas) and her husband Leon Coetzee. They handcraft tiny quantities of different wines from specific vineyard sites all over the Cape winelands. Often using exciting "experimental" techniques like extended skin contact, whole bunch pressing etc. They travel 20,000km to hand harvest the grapes from 35 different vineyards.

    This Jikken Barreru (Japanese for "experimental barrels") Sauvignon is from two different sites, one at Simonsberg, the best site for Sauvignon in Stellenbosch, blended with wine from Elgin, well known as the best cool climate zone in SA due to it's altitude and location right above False Bay.

    Very pale, almost clear in the glass. It has an intense nose with typical big Sauvignon aromas. Then big fruit on the palate finishing absolutely bone dry. This is very good wine for the money.

    Please note for anybody with a full blown sulphite allergy, we gave it a medium low sulphite rating as Jane had a very mild reaction and we prefer to err on the side of caution. If you have a sulphite allergy try Leon's other Sauvignon Blanc - "Fume Blanc" which has just 4mg/l free SO2.

    Free sulphur: 43mg/l

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    No wood used: Yes

    Vegan: Yes

    Sulphite level: Medium Low

    John's Rating:

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    £11.50
  8. Jean Daneel Signature Chenin

    Jean Daneel is one of South Africa's finest winemakers, known as "the father of Chenin".

    The grapes were sourced from assorted old vineyards (35 years plus) in Malmesbury, Perdeberg, Stellenbosch and Darling, all dry farmed unirrigated. Barrel fermented and matured for 12 months with 20% new oak.

     

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    No wood used: No

    Sulphite level: Very Low

    John's Rating:

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    £23.99
  9. Joubert Tradauw Chardonnay

    Tim Atkin 93 Points

    This Joubert Tradauw Chardonnay is a beauty. Joubert Tradauw is a superb tiny family winery in the Little Karoo, producing some excellent handcrafted wines in a natural style. Meyer Joubert farms organically (although not certified) and uses minimal additives or manipulation in the cellar. This Chardonnay is superb, as are his red wines.

    Barrel fermented and left on the lees for 12 months to add body, weight and complexity. Initial citrus flavours with some vanilla, the oak is tempered and the whole wine has great balance of fruit, oak and natural acidity.

    We are on the 2016 which Tim Atkin recommends drinking now through to 2023.

    Sustainable farming: Yes

    Sulphite level: Very Low

    John's Rating:

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    £14.99
  10. Rainbow's End Chenin Blanc

    Rainbow's End is one of my favourite wineries. This time Anton has aged some of his excellent Chenin Blanc in wood for a few months.

    Absolutely delicious! The wood has added some body and good mouthfeel. Ful of flavour yet still clean and fresh on the finish. This is excellent wine and very low sulphite too, so no ill effects or headaches etc.

    Highly recommended.

    Free sulphur: 22mg/l

    Sulphite level: Very Low

    John's Rating:

    Learn More
    £11.99

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