COMPILED BY Michaela Stehr
Eat Out Woolworths Awards Service Award Winner and Salsify sommelier Victor Okolo shares his ultimate winter red-wine list. It includes affordable and quaffable local picks as well as luxurious international spoils.
MIGLIARINA SYRAH 2018 – Stellenbosch, South Africa
On the nose, this wine displays notes of coriander, lavender and violet. On the palate, expect soft yet firm tannins, chocolate cream and a lasting fresh blackberry finish. For less than R200 a bottle, this is a fantastic buy. You can enjoy a glass on its own, or pair it with light meat dishes and rich sauces – perfect for winter.
R165 | thegreatcape.co.za
BODEGAS GODELIA MENCÍA 2016 – El Bierzo, Spain
On the nose, this wine showcases notes of ripe cherries, jasmine and cinnamon. On the palate it is playful, classy and velvety, with an interesting vibrant red fruit character on the mid-palate and a rose-petal finish. If you like to sip a light and elegant red wine while winding down on the couch with a snack, you are in for a treat.
R325 | port2port.wine
4G 67 IMIZUZU RED BLEND 2014 – Western Cape, South Africa
This wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Petit Verdot selected from six vineyards across the Western Cape. It showcases a deep purple colour in the glass, with an intense nose of black cherries, liquorice, cassis and black olives. Overwhelming richness on the palate is perfectly balanced by subtle acidity of fine-grained and velvety tannins. This pairs brilliantly well with Wagyu beef, and is perfect for serious wine lovers who understand wine on a different level. Decant and serve in a Zalto Bordeaux glass for maximum pleasure.
R8 000 | port2port.wine
ESSER CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2012 – California, USA
This is made in a vineyard in an area known to be a geographic and climatic paradise for grape growing. It produces a deep garnet- coloured wine, with rich aromas of plums, oak spice and black cherries on the nose. On the palate, expect cocoa, vanilla and soft spices. Pair this gem with a medium-rare steak and roasted vegetables.
From R220 at specialist wine stores
ALMAVIVA RED BLEND 2017 – Maipo Valley, Chile
The estate, which is a joint venture between Château Mouton Rothschild and Concha y Toro, was launched in 1998. For his 2017 vintage, winemaker Michel Friou selected an elegant yet robust combination of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Carménère (Chile’s emblematic grape), 5% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Merlot. It has a very special nose of blackberry leaves, oak spice, chocolate, earth and fig, and the palate is exceptional. This is a well-balanced wine with a full body structure second to none. Pair with any cut of beef or a creamy pasta, and decant at least 10 minutes before serving. Use a Bordeaux glass for maximum enjoyment.
R5 995 | premiercru.co.za
DOMAINE DE LA ROMANÉE-CONTI RICHEBOURG GRAND CRU 2009 – Côte de Nuits, France
The DRC Richebourg 2009 (Grand Cru) is a big, muscular wine made from 100% Pinot Noir grapes. It bursts from the glass with a hugely expressive bouquet of cassis, fresh blueberries, ripe plums, black cherries, mocha, liquorice and tender sweet spices. This wine is excellent on the palate and evolves tremendously in the glass, exhibiting layers of black and red fruits, a slight hint of nuttiness, melting tannins and a succulent finish. Pair with duck and beetroot- infused sauce. Expect to pay €10 000 (more than R200 000) a bottle, and either put it away for decades or drink it right now. Serve in a Zalto Burgundy glass and drink within three days of opening.