Wines to gift this Christmas (2023)

wines to gift this christmas

By Renate Engelbrecht

Monday, Dec 04

If you’re shopping wine this season – whether it’s for a Christmas gift or for a festive Christmas or New Year’s table – here are some helpful suggestions. These South African wines have all either won awards, or they are new vintages worth looking into. Some have lovely stories behind them too, which could add to the reason why you purchase it for that special someone who enjoys the intricacies of terroir and taste.

2022 Nuy Mastery Chardonnay

An outstanding white wine

Hailing from the Nuy Valley in the Breede River, Nuy’s Master(y) Chardonnay recently achieved outstanding recognition at the latest Gilbert & Gaillard International Wine Challenge. It was awarded 92 points for its 2022 Nuy Mastery Chardonnay, taking home a coveted double gold medal. The 2022 Nuy Mastery Chardonnay is available online at R125 per bottle, or you can buy a case for R750. Or, pop in at Nuy on the Hill, a popular stop on the R60 between Worcester and Robertson to buy it there.

Nuy Mastery Chardonnay

Steenberg’s duo par excellence

Platter’s South African Wine Guide

The jewel in the crown of the Constantia Wine Valley, Steenberg has excelled in the 2024 Platter’s South African Wine Guide, with two wines included: The best White Cape Bordeaux Blend and the top Semillon overall. The Steenberg Magna Carta 2021 is the wine farm’s ultimate declaration of quality and shows quite the pedigree. It is produced in limited quantities in exceptional vintages and poses a blend of Sauvignon Blanc (70%) and Semillon (30%). It showcases the cool climate of the Constantia terror with absolute fruit purity and clean minerality.

Steenberg Magna Carta 2021

In addition to this, the Steenberg Semillon 2022 is a richly textured niche wine, which owes its complexity to the ideal slow ripening conditions of the valley, coupled with perfect wood integration during 10 months’ maturation in new and older French oak barrels.

Steenberg Semillon

Bonnievale’s The River Collection Sauvignon Blanc 2023

A gift to keep a little longer

Affirming its consistency of wine quality, Bonnievale Winery has once again received a string of medals at the recent Veritas Awards. The annual Gala event took place in Cape Town and here, Veritas judges presented Bonnievale with a Silver Outstanding for The River Collection Sauvignon Blanc 2023. The same wine received Double Gold at the Gilbert & Gaillard International Challenge just month ago. It’s an uncomplex and easy wine, while being layered on the aftertaste, with Gilbert & Gaillard judges advising that the wine will continue to develop of to three years from vintage. This bottle of wine costs R73 per bottle and it’s available online at www.bonnievalewines.co.za or at wine shops countrywide.

Bonnievale Sauvignon Blanc

Brookdale Sixteen

The perfect field blend

The Brookdale Sixteen White Blend 2022 is one of twelve exciting white blends (excluding Bordeaux blends) to walk away with the coveted 5-star accolade in the Platter’s by Diners Club South African Wine Guide 2024. It’s impressive, since this wine is from the Paarl’s new kid on the block – Brookdale Estate. The wine is a celebration of the lost art of field blend winemaking and comprises of sixteen varietals, interplanted as bush vines without rhyme or reason. The grapes are therefore ‘blended’ in the ‘field’ rather than grown and vinified separately before blending it in the cellar. This is the second vintage and it’s been described as having a sense of quiet luxury on the opening chords.

ALSO READ: THE ULTIMATE CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE FOR KIDS

Brookdale Sixteen

2022 Delheim Gewürztraminer

Young Winemaker of the Year

When I hear the word Gewürztraminer, I hear the sound of Christmas carols and bells. I can’t really tell you why – perhaps it is because it reminds me of Europe and the romance of a white Christmas. But, Delheim’s 2022 Gewürztraminer might just change things up in my memory bank, with winemaker Nongcebo Langa having won 2023 Diners Club Young Winemaker of the Year with it.

The wine costs R190 per bottle and it’s available online.

Young Winemaker of the Year Delheim and Stellenrust
Nongcebo Langa (Delheim) and Tertius Boshoff (Stellenrust) with their respective award-winning wines. Image: Supplied

2020 Stellenrust ArtiSons Blueberry Hill Shiraz

Winemaker of the Year

Stellenrust’s Tertius Boshoff won this year’s Diners Club Winemaker of the Year Award under the Syrah/Shiraz category, delighting judges with his 2020 Stellenrust ArtiSons Blueberry Hill Shiraz.

Spice Route Journey Range

A never-ending Journey Of Discovery – An explorer’s gift

With Spice Route Winery, there’s never a dull moment. Its name recalls the ancient mariners of the 15th century who went on a journey of discovery in search of exotic spices. Similarly, visionary adventurer, Charles Black of Fairview has also always been in search of new and interesting places to produce wines. That’s until he discovered the Swartland and an old tobacco farm with exceptional vineyards. That doesn’t mean that the journey has ended, though. No adventurer stops exploring and therefore, Spice Route’s Journey of Discovery is ongoing, venturing further into the Western Cape’s wine regions in a quest to find more extraordinary vineyards to expand their offering. It comes as no surprise then that Spice Route Winery has a new wine range on offer: The Spice Route Journey Range. This is quite an apt Christmas gift for anyone who loves wine as much as they love exploring, I would say. The range includes a Sauvignon Blanc 2023 from Darling, a Chenin Blanc 2023 from Paarl and a Provence-style Rosé 2023 from a Grenache Noir vineyard in Darling. Other wines are due to follow, but for now, this is ultimately the perfect summer trio. These wines are all available for purchase at the Spice Route Destination in Paarl, as well as online on www.spirceroutewines.co.za.

Spice Route Journey range wines to gift

Simonsig Needless to Say Rosé

The obvious choice

Simonsig’s cellarmaster, Michael Malan’s grandfather, Frans released the wine farm’s very first Chenin Blanc back in 1968. Two years later, the Pinotage followed and both these wines have been part of the award-winning Simonsig portfolio ever since. While blending red and white grape varieties aren’t necessarily the traditional way of making rosé, somehow blending these two – Chenin Blanc and Pinotage – for the Simonsig Needless to Say Rosé has proven to be a match made in heaven. This wine highlights Simonsig’s legacy of innovation that started with Frans Malan. In fact, he made South Africa’s first Cap Classique, and – needless to say – for the task, he used Chenin Blanc.

As a new permanent feature of Simonsig’s range, the Simonsig Needless to Say Rosé joins the Cultivae Collection with its incredibly beautiful cotton-candy sunset hue and an aromatic profile of strawberry sherbet, passion fruit and ripe pineapple. It sells at R85 per bottle directly from Simonsig, at the tasting room and through their online shop, as well as at leading retailers nationwide.

FIND MORE WINE-RELATED CONTENT HERE

Tokara Director’s Reserve White 2020

Best New World White Blend

News just in: Tokara’s Director’s Reserve White 2020 was just crowned best New World White Blend at the 2023 Global Fine Wine Challenge. The Stellenbosch-based wine estate’s flagship white triumphed over blends from six New World wine growing nations at the annual event, hosted in Australia. This competition is dedicated exclusively to showcasing the best of the best New World wines from the USA, Canada, Chile, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. A significant feather in winemaker, Stuart Botha’s cap, this white blend represents everything Tokara exemplifies: refinement, elegance and balance.

Tokara Director's Blend 2020

Anthonij Rupert Wyne’s Optima 2020

The gift of elegance in a bottle

Anthonij Rupert Wyne’s Optima 2020 has just been unveiled and it is a wine of exceptional quality. Their philosophy has always been to create wines that are perfectly matured and ready to drink, ensuring optimal enjoyment for al wine enthusiasts. The Optima forms part of the premium Anhonij Rupert range, named after the late Anthonij Rupert and the 2020 vintage is a blend of grapes sourced from the L’Ormarins Estate in Franschhoek and the Rooderust farm in Darling. It includes 34% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot.

Anthonij Rupert Optima 2020 wines to gift

Winemaker, Vernon van der Hoven says this vintage showcases complex upfront aromas, dark red fruits, cedar, cocoa and aromatic hints of lavender. “This carries through to a beautifully soft, rounded and silky palate that shows cohesion and refinement with impressive density and concentration without being overwhelming.”

The Optima 2020 is available directly from the tasting room at R250 per bottle.

Graham Beck

In pursuit of the perfect bubble

Graham Beck celebrates four decades of Cap Classique mastery this year and what better time to celebrate with them than this festive season? I mean, who wouldn’t want the gift of bubbles?

It was in 2019 that their Cuvée Clive 2014 received 96 points by Tim Atkin. It was also chosen as the Sparkling Wine of the Year (2019) by Atkin. In addition, it scooped Veritas Double Gold, as well as Top 100 and Double Platinum awards at the National Wine Challenge Top 100 that year. You can’t go wrong with their Cuvée Clive, that’s for sure. Of course, their other bubblies – which can all be paired with various courses and meals – are just as special. Their Blanc de Blancs is a personal favourite, for one.

Graham Beck Blanc de Blancs gift for christmas

In 2022, Pieter ‘Bubbles’ Ferreira officially handed over the winemaking baton to Pierre de Klerk who is now the cellarmaster at Graham Beck. It was also last year that they planted the first Pinot Meunier (1.1 ha) on their Robertson estate.

Backsberg Patriarch Cabernet Franc

A wine for the patriarch in the family

Made sustainably, the Backsberg Patriarch is a Cabernet Franc that commemorates the legacy of the iconic Sydney Beck – a pioneer in South Africa’s wine industry and one of the few who were brave enough to bring Chardonnay into the country. This wine has real punch, but in a gentle way – much like a wise, loving and respected father, which is why I would recommend this as a gift for your dad at any given time. It’s a wine with soul and it is produced in limited quantities as it’s from the very best vineyard blocks only. Like the label on the bottle states, it is “laden with silky blackberry and cocoa scents,” and “it is a powerful wine that is wise beyond its years.”

Gift that special someone – the adventurer, the romantic, the novice wine drinker, or the wine aficionado – one of these wines this Christmas and see what they say. Lucky for us, it’s easy to find a quality wine gift in South Africa. These are but a few.

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