2 perfect red for South African summertime
December, January and february are usually the hottest months of the year, either you are in Cape Town or Johannesburg or Durban or in the bush, delicately crisp white wine perfectly chilled is the preference of choice, to cool down, but even in the evening the temperature does not drop that much and the last thing is to have a 14 ABV red, with medium to high extract for dinner or lunch.
Pinot Noir would be choice number one, as the new wave high quality South African Pinot coming on board can be, but Pinot most often are not usually budget friendly to be enjoyed in large quanties when entertaining, and forget about Shiraz or any other similar grape, way too heavy, a medium bodied Cabernet with some bottle maturity may do, what else is left?
Gamay Noir of course, the famous Beaujolais grape in its South African re-incarnation, made according to maceration carbonique, have all the promise, freshness and delicacy of it's home cousins, and rarely exceed 13.5 ABV, unwooded in most cases, however there were only 1 Gamay Noir made in the Cape which was the ever consistent Kleine Zalze Cellar Selection Gamay Noir, which surprisingly benefit up to 5 years in bottle where it takes kind of a Pinot Noir character, and until october last year, it was joined by the first Wine of Origin Durbanville, a Gamay Noir made by Altydgedacht Estate, a juicy little number packed with ripe cherries, delicate strawberries and earthy note.
Side by side the Altydgedacht is more "New World" in profile, but perfectly dry, whereas the Klene Zalze is more feminine and delicate, but both score a solid 85 points and are truly perfect example of what the Cape can do, when the switch their cap to something other than the big 5.
It is an oddity on the wine lists for South African consumers, as international visitors usually seek them, and do not expect it to sell by the case load, but give a complimentary glass, blind to the guy next door who have been supporting your business, for years, preferably lightly chilled +/- 11 degrees and see the sparkle in their eyes, it's an instant buy in when one believe in the grape and wine consumer either connoisseur or emerging will love these 2 wines, purely on their freshness and "lightness', a few hundred cases of sales cannot be wrong over 9 months!!!!!!!!!!!! more to Gamay Noir, and best of all they are very very well price for their quality and will looked very good value on a wine lists irrespective of the mark up!
2 must try South African Gamay Noir red (Kleine Zalze also make a dry Rose version)
Altydgedacht Estate Durbanville Gamay Noir 2010 - 85 Points
Kleine Zalze Cellar Selection Coastal Region Gamay Noir 2010 - 85 Points