We so often get stuck in a rut when it comes to our creature-comfort indulgences, whether it’s a special blanket, a favourite snack or a bottle of wine you know won’t disappoint. We so easily reach for our staple Sauvign n Blanc or Shiraz with closed eyes without a thought to explore the vast selection of quality South African wines we find on our doorstep. One of my most recent and treasured finds are the wines from Groot Phesantekraal, and I have a funny feeling it will indeed become (and stay!) one of my new all-time favourites…
I’m always on the hunt for new and unexpected wine experiences. We all know that I’m such a wine afficionado, and that my thirst for a good wine will never be quenched. I was super excited when Groot Phesantekraal spoiled me with a delivery of wine, although I have to grudgingly admit, being a Southern Peninsula kinda girl, I have not heard of them before! Nonetheless, the parcel was gorgeously presented, the bottles and labeling were beautiful and I was excited to be whisked away on a new wine tasting adventure from the comfort of my lounge!
When I think of the Cape winelands, I don’t often include Durbanville in my mental map of vineyards. But tucked into the lush Tygerberg hills, secretly hidden on an historic estate, you will find Groot Phesantekraal Farm on the outskirts of Durbanville; a true hidden gem, waiting to be explored and discovered.
Fourth generation owners, André and Ronelle Brink, are in celebration mode at Groot Phesantekraal: celebrating the 320th anniversary of their historic farm which dates back to 1698, just over 120 years of Brink family ownership, the launch of their maiden Cap Classique and Pinotage, and the release of new vintage wines in rebranded packaging, including the 2017 Sauvignon Blanc (winner of a 2017 Veritas Double Gold and a prestigious place amongst the 2017 FNB Top 10 Sauvignon Blancs).
groot phesantekraal Sauvignon blanc 2017
Awards: Made by Etienne Louw, this newly released wine has already been honoured with a Veritas 2017 Double Gold as well as Top 10 status in the 2017 FNB Top 10 Sauvignon Blanc Awards.
In the vineyard: Sauvignon Blanc, a small block planted in 2007 on high ground on the farm which consistently delivers exceptional grapes.
Tasting notes: The complex and intriguing nose displays a melange of cool, crunchy tropical fruit, with passionfruit and guava dominating. The palate is still very youthful, with mouth-watering grapefruit and lemongrass notes along with cut grass and gooseberries. A distinctive, structured, elegant Sauvignon with a range of flavour and nuance and a layered, lengthy crisp finish. This Sauvignon Blanc becomes better with age, with the tropical nose tending to develop on the palate after 6 to 12 months.
Approximate retail price: Cellar door price: R72
The Little Hedonist’s food pairing suggestion: Because of it’s distinct crispness and complex layers of flavour, I would pair this gorgeous Sauvignon Blanc with seafood and shellfish dishes, especially when served ice cold on a warm day. Think mussels or prawns, or even a slightly spicy paella. I would alternatively pair it with a caramelised onion and goat’s cheese tart, or any strong cheese dish, such as a simple bowl of buttered linguine with lemon, garlic and parmesan shavings. For the sake of this photoshoot, and for my own eating pleasure, I paired this wine with the humble cheese and charcuterie platter!
groot phesantekraal cabernet sauvignon 2015
Awards: Made by Thys Louw, this rich and complex wine was awarded a 2017 Michelangelo Gold Medal.
In the cellar: Well-integrated élevage in French oak and fine, soft tannins makes for a rounded, seamless finish. Accessible now, but better in 3 to 5 years. Allow breathing time to open up or decant an hour before serving.
Tasting notes: Durbanville’s typical dusty, herbal notes are well supported by red and black fruit with a hint of spice and vanilla and cigar box notes. The medium-bodied palate shows Cabernet’s cooler flavours including spearmint, red berries and plum, supported by a bright line of acidity.
Approximate retail price: Cellar door price: R100
The Little Hedonist’s food pairing suggestion: This rich red is perfect for winter. My personal favourite food pairing for such a luscious red is always lamb. Lamb chops. Lamb shank. Lamb stew. Beautifully roasted or stewed vegetables on the side, and make that a generous portion, too! For something lighter, I would pair this Cabernet Sauvignon with creamy cheese dishes – like a brie and mushroom or leek and camembert risotto, or even with a cheese and charcuterie platter!
I thought Groot Phesantekraal was going to be another armchair wine tasting experience for me. But, in fact, I’m adamant to visit this historic estate in person one of these fine days. I need to see the birthplace of such exquisite wines, and meet the people behind the labels. I want to experience their seasonal gourmet menu in the beautifully restored restaurant housed in the original stable and have a meander to really delve into the soil of this fertile boutique wine farm. Watch this space, because I think I might jump off my couch and head out to Groot Phesantekraal soon… not to only top up my wine collection, but also to seek a day of refuge from the big city lights.
To purchase Groot Phesantekraal wines, please call 021 825 0060 or visit www.grootphesantekraal.co.za/our-wines
(Being newly launched, the wines will become more widely available in due course)
Wine Tasting & Sales: Open Tuesday to Friday: 08:00 – 16:30 · Saturday: 09:30 – 14:30 · Sunday & Monday Closed
Restaurant: Open Tuesday to Friday: Breakfast: 8:00 – 11:00, Lunch: 12:00 – 15:00
Saturday Brunch: 09:00 – 14:30 · Sunday & Monday: Closed
Booking is essential
Tel: 021 825 0060
Tasting Room: firstname.lastname@example.org
Groot Phesantekraal Farm, Klipheuwel Way (R302), Durbanville 7550
GPS: 33° 48″ 20S / 18° 40″41 E
Second photographer and photo credit: Timothy P. Gibson
Disclaimer: I was given this product(s) as part of a press drop in exchange for my honest and truthful opinion and review thereof. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are solely those of The Little Hedonist, given in good faith and in no way influenced by the company or its affiliates. All images, unless otherwise stated/credited, are also my own.