Everyone loves a bargain. And the good news for wine lovers is that the 2013 Best Value Wine Guide is now available with the October issue of Getaway magazine (out on shelves now).
The great thing about this little book is that each of the 549 wines within its pages cost less than R80 and scored 2½ stars or more. So you know that every wine in the guide is going to give you bang for your buck. In fact, 418 of the wines in the book cost less than 50 bucks, 310 wines scored 3 stars or more and 32 wines scored 4 stars. There was even one 5-star wine!
Here are five of my favourite wines from the Best Value Wine Guide, all great for springtime, braai-time drinking:
1. Perdeberg Chenin Blanc Reserve 2011
R40.90 4 stars
Perdeberg winery in Paarl is known for producing excellent, affordable Chenin. This, their more expense offering (compared to the Perdeberg Chenin Blanc 2012 at R29, which scored 3 stars and is also in the Best Value Wine Guide) really over-delivers on quality at this price. Big, bold vanilla, marmalade and apricot on the nose. Mandarin, sultana and a dash of clove in the mouth. It’s fat, full and ripe with a tasty seam of spice running through it all.
2. Zevenwacht The Tin Mine White 2011
R52.99 3½ stars
Blending is all too often an attempt to mish-mash varieties together in a loose attempt to hide their faults. But it’s certainly not the case with this wine, which is an example of careful, considered blending. Tinned pears and apple lurk on the nose and taste buds. Subtle oak provides full, creamy body. Lovely lime-citrus flavours on the palate. The dollop of Viognier is hard to miss, lending that perfumed aroma so typical of this variety. A splash of Roussanne provides a touch of cheeky spice. There’s some serious length to the finish.
3. Savanha Chenin Blanc 2011
R32.00 4 stars
At only R32.00 with a 4-star rating, I’ll be stocking up on this Spier Chenin. The judges found it to be a serious wine, although it will have a wide appeal because it ticks all the flavor boxes: fruit in the form of apricot and melon, well-rounded body and just enough oaking to give it a savoury finish. It’s all well balanced by Chenin’s trademark acidity. It could age a few years.
4. Ken Forrester Petit Pinotage 2011
R34.50 3½ stars
As the weather turns warm reds are so often overlooked in favour of something lighter or something chilled. But if you’re not ready to forgo reds just yet, this unwooded style of Pinotage is worth a look. Made to drink young, possibly even chilled, there’s also a light, bright acidity that makes it an appealing springtime quaffer. Blueberries in abundance on the nose and palate and a real juiciness of flavours completes the package. And then there’s the Ken Forrester pedigree behind it…
5. Miss Molly MCC N/V
R70.50 3½ stars
It’s not often that you’ll find a Méthode Cap Classique under R80, but this bubbly, named after Môreson wine farm’s Weimaraner dog, is such a good example of an affordable yet well-made MCC. There’s delicious ripe apple and biscuit on the nose rounded off with some honeyed straw. In the mouth a playful sweet-sour tension that makes you keep coming back for more. Then there’s the finish that, well, doesn’t quite finish.
When wondering what the heck to buy, look out for the iconic red Best Value sticker on the shelves of your favourite wine retailer, a sure sign that when you hand over your cash you’ll be rewarded with a great quality wine.
The Best Value Wine Guide is available free with the October issue of Getaway magazine, at selected Ultra Liquors stores and to order for R32.95 on www.magsathome.co.za.
Or, get ratings, values scores and tasting notes on all 549 Best Value wines here.