As Hong Kong significantly relaxed social distancing rules, the summer in the tropical city is looking bright with many itching to embrace seaside and outdoor barbecues. To celebrate the excellence of South African wines, a recent wine tasting organised by Bettane + Desseauve highlighted some of the country’s diverse wine offerings. Here are five top picks that can quench your summer thirst.
Villiera Jasmine 2018
This floral wine from South Africa’s Villiera Wines is a refreshing white to wash down Hong Kong’s blistering summer heat. It’s a blend of three aromatic white grapes, which are 50% Moscato, 27% Riesling and 23% Gewurztraminer. It’s fresh, light and slightly sweet on the finish but complex enough to drink on its own as aperitivo or pair with food.
It’s a superbly valued white wine with good quality. The wine is available in Hong Kong through Wine n’ Things.
Testalonga El Bandito Chenin Blanc 2018
Chenin Blanc has become the signature white grape coming out of South Africa, with a range of diverse styles. The skin-contacted Chenin from natural wine producer Testalonga is a savory and fleshy white wine that can match nicely with grilled seafood, ceviche and a plethora of summer dishes. It’s made from old dry-land bush vines planted in 1972 in Swartland, and is un-fined and unfiltered. It has fresh apple aromas with hints of mint and orange notes with a lingering finish.
The El Bandito is available in Hong Kong through the city’s natural wine specialist La Cabane.
Boschendal Pinot Noir 2015
This translucent and ruby-coloured Pinot Noir from one of the highest planted vineyards in Elgin Valley is redolent of the delicious red berry fruits such as strawberry and cherries. It’s delicate and structured, with a concentration of wild berry flavours and oak spice. It gains complexity and richness before ending with a long, finely textured finish. You can lightly chill it for parties on a breezy balcony or one of Hong Kong’s many charming beaches.
The wine is available in Hong Kong through Sarment Wines.
The Winery of Good Hope Full Berry Fermentation Pinotage 2019
One can’t talk about South African wines without Pinotage, a crossing of Pinot Noir and Cinsault. This Pinotage from Stellenbosch is a fruit-driven and delightful red wine that packs plenty of flavors. The winery opted for full berry fermentation to retain the fruitiness in the wine, shunning heavy-handed extraction, resulting in a gentler and more textural wine. The wine is juicy and flavourful with black berries, plums and wild black fruits with a good finish.
The Pinotage is available in Hong Kong through Victoria Wines.
Vilafonté Seriously Old Dirt 2015
This Bordeaux blend by Vilafonté winery in Stellenbosch is crafted by a group of wine geniuses in South Africa and the US. Zelma Long (former Opus One winemaker), Mike Ratcliffe (MD from Warwick) and Dr. Phillip Freese (designed and planted the first Opus One vineyards) partnered up with the ambition to produce the best Bordeaux-style wine from South Africa. The result is Vilafonté. A blend of Malbec, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine shows a vibrant and plummy color with notes of strawberry and bright cherry, vanilla, and hints of milk chocolate. A rich and savory red that can stand up to roasted beef and lamb for your outdoor summer barbecue party.
The wine is sold in Hong Kong through EMW Fine Wines.