Toasts fit for royalty uncorked at Vinimark wine trade show

WITH royal-watchers and Anglophiles in celebratory mood this week, wine distributor Vinimark’s trade show was a good opportunity to seek out some suitably majestic options for toasting the arrival of the new Prince George of Cambridge.

The bubbly of choice from the selection on show was undoubtedly the Nicolas Charles Marque 1 Prestige Cuvée Brut from the House of Krone. Luke Krone, son of winemaker Nicky, explained that in each harvest of 2001, 2002 and 2003, the most outstanding tank was set aside for this special Methode Cap Classique, bottled in 2004 and matured on the lees for nine years.

Expect to pay a princely R250 or so, but it will be worth every cent for its elegance, fine bubbles, creamy yeastiness and aromas and flavours of buttery biscuit and crisp apple. Definitely a wine fit for a future king.

Then to South Africa’s oldest wine estate, Groot Constantia. Their wines have graced the tables of royalty for centuries and comforted Napoleon in his exile on St Helena – so what better way to welcome the third in line to the British throne?

Their 2012 Chardonnay (about R150) is simply outstanding – golden straw-coloured, well-rounded with a nose and palate bursting with wooded toastiness and a lingering aftertaste. The Gouverneurs Reserve Red 2010 (about R250) adds a grandly historic flavour to the occasion, with rich ripe black fruit and spice. This is a big, bold Bordeaux blend that should age beautifully and cries out for that great British classic, roast beef.

With a nod to new grandpa Prince Charles’s passion for all things organic, look to the biodynamic wines from Reyneke where, says winemaker Ryan Mostert, they “make wines without compromise”. The 2011 Biodynamic Reserve White (about R150) is a delicious barrel-fermented Sauvignon Blanc, rich and complex, and not needing any taste comparisons because it really tastes like, well, grapes.

If you’re celebrating SA-style with a braai, Mostert recommends the Organic Shiraz/ Cab 2011 (about R60) which was made specifically with that in mind and is rich with the typical boerewors spices of black pepper, nutmeg and coriander.

Toasts all round this week as that hardy staple of South African celebrations, JC le Roux, celebrated its third year in a row as the country’s favourite wine brand in the “Icon Brands” survey by market researchers TGI.

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