Women’s Day in South Africa is a reminder of how instrumental women have been over the years in changing the course of our country’s history and traditions. Closing the gender gap in any male-dominated industry is no small feat and breaking ground in SA’s wine fraternity is no exception.
But it’s happening. Just last year, American publication Wine Enthusiast with a worldwide readership of 800 000 named a South African Winemaker, Andrea Mullineux, as Winemaker of the Year for the first time ever. Female winemakers in SA are making waves in the winemaking sector, pushing limits and producing fine wines which are causing immense excitement worldwide. To honour these winemakers, Roland Peens and James Pietersen of Wine Cellar fine wine merchants have curated a case of 6 of SA’s finest wines by female vintners.
Here is the Wine Cellar selection of wines in the One Case Wonder, just in time for Women’s Month:
- Andrea Mullineux – Mullineux Syrah 2015
The first wine in this ‘One Case Wonder’ is the Mullineux Syrah 2015, a true and complete expression of the shale, schist and granite terroirs in which the vines grow. This perfumed Syrah has notes of spicy citrus rind, refined black fruit, violets and lilies. The palate is elegant and restrained with a silky texture balanced by fresh natural acidity. Supple tannins lend a long smooth finish.
- Samantha O’Keeffe – Lismore Chardonnay 2014
It’s her very special Lismore Chardonnay which Wine Cellar selected for the ‘One Case Wonder’, made in the style of a traditional Burgundian style. It shows intense citrus and soft fruit layered with honey and vanilla, carried by a distinct minerality and crisp acidity with a lingering citrus finish.
- Nadia Barnard – Waterkloof Circumstance Cape Coral Rose 2017
The Waterkloof Circumstance Cape Coral Rosé, selected as the only rosé for the case, displays a pale salmon hue with delicate floral aromas and hints of minerality prominent on the nose. The palate is soft with a lingering aftertaste. Traditionally the wine is served chilled on its own, but also marries well with salmon and fresh dishes for that little promise of Spring in the air.
- Rianie Strydom – Strydom Rex Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
This wine under her own label – the Strydom Rex, a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon – is a full-bodied wine with a brooding nose of red and black fruit, pencil shavings, oyster shell and earth. It’s rich and full on the palate with layers of red cherry, cassis, a hint of tobacco and a particularly long finish.
- Trizanne Barnard – TSW Signature Wines Sauvignon blanc 2017
The grapes for this 100% Sauvignon Blanc are sourced from Elim, where prevailing winds provide a cool ripening season. This is a wonderfully fresh, vibrant Sauvignon that celebrates the distinctive saline and white fruits so typically found on Elim fruit; the 2017 is a particularly fine vintage with impressive balance.
- Marelise Niemann – Momento Wines Grenache 2016
The Momento Grenache is a worthy addition to the ‘One Case Wonder’, produced from Swartland and Paardeberg fruit, with minimal handling to express the delicate character of the grapes. A little bit of Carignan adds freshness. Although Grenache as a varietal generally remains outside the limelight, Marelise feels she is at the tip of a potential zeitgeist. Pure, gentle aromas of blossoms and crushed cherry are supported by textured and focussed tannins. It ends wonderfully dry, with great vibrancy.