Old World style New World wine

Waterkloof Sauvignon Blanc and food

There have been many plaudits for the wines of Waterkloof winery and the story behind the wine is equally intriguing.  Paul Hopkins from the MMI wine team recommends a tasting tour of the Schaapenberg vineyards with a selection of wines from Waterkloof and False Bay.  Forget everything you know about South African wines and concentrate on the flavours when approaching this case of six. Read the tasting notes –  download them here and share your tasting experience in the comments box below.

Grapevine mixed case chat pack April 2011

Old World style New World wine

Waterkloof have set themselves the task of creating limited volume wines that can hold their own against ultra-premium wines both locally and internationally.  A French-style wine philosophy of biodynamic winemaking lies at the heart of this.  False Bay Wines is an extension of their wine portfolio and they aim for uncompromised quality while delivering wines which are exceptional value for money.

False Bay Chardonnay

The Chardonnay grapes for this wine are picked in vineyards planted on chalky soils in the Robertson Valley which tend to produce wines with good concentration and minerality.

Pale gold in colour with delicate notes of apple, pear and stone fruits.  This is an unoaked, crisp, succulent and dry wine. 

False Bay Sauvignon Blanc

This is a typical cool climate Sauvignon Blanc.  Appearance is gold with a hint of green, the intense tropical fruits are balanced with herbal notes, cut grass and gooseberry.  This is fresh, crisp and the perfect summer wine. 

False Bay Shiraz

Very food-friendly Shiraz which is ideal with a rack of lamb or lamb chops.

It’s a deep garnet, medium bodied, dry red wine tasting of red cherries with earthy notes and a hint of spice.  Its style is more Rhone-like than New World. 

Circumstance Shiraz

This wine was rated amongst the world’s top best value Syrah/Shiraz wines in Decanter magazine.

The wine is deep purple in colour and very intense with dark berry fruits and a hint of black pepper.  There are soft tannins present and this wine delivers great intensity and lingering length which would go really well with roast lamb or char-grilled meats. 

Waterkloof Sauvignon Blanc

The Daddy of all South-African Sauvignon Blancs.  An incredibly intense, highly structured Sauvignon Blanc with tons of flavour including fresh peas, cut grass and a hint of asparagus.  Super food-friendly acidity with a length that goes on and on.

What do you think? Has the wine-makers aim been achieved here?  Which ones did you enjoy the most? Do you agree with Paul’s tasting notes? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.

* Strong and lively opinions actively encouraged, but comments with unacceptable or abusive language will be removed by our moderator.

Posted in ask an expert


  • wino63
    Sunday 17th April 2011 11:49 am

    I buy the Circumstance Shiraz regularly and agree with your tasting notes. It goes brilliantly with roast beef – in fact I’ve got a bottle of it for Easter lunch. Is it like an Old World Syrah though…not sure about that. Loads of fruit and body. Hope I win next month’s case to increase my tasting knowledge (and enjoyment).

  • desertdaisy
    Sunday 17th April 2011 11:54 am

    Nice to try an unoaked Chardonnay for a change – really different taste. Really liked the Waterkloof Sav Blanc and I thought I would never be persuaded to stray from my usual New Zealand choices. Great story behind the vineyard.

  • keithpro1
    Sunday 17th April 2011 12:27 pm

    False Bay always pleases, great value (tasted even better tax free!) and well made. Also loved the Circumstance, great excuse for roast beef with Yorkshire pudding smothered in gravy (I’ve just made myself hungry . . . and thirsty!)

  • Gail
    Wednesday 27th April 2011 12:28 pm

    Im quite picky about my red wine, but i really enjoyed False Bay Sauvignon Blanc. i belive the comments above are correct, a very good description.

  • Lee B
    Thursday 28th April 2011 5:00 pm

    Cracked open the False Bay Chardonnay the other night. Crisp, light and lovely with salmon.

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