Rietvallei Estéanna White 2011

Rietvallei Wine Estate outside Robertson, is a well known wine producer, especially for its red Muscadel. Owned by the Burgers, with Kobus at the helm as managing director and winemaker, they are the sixth generation of this family at Rietvallei, and yes, you can imagine they have many stories to tell!

Amongst others, the story of the old Muscadel vineyard is probably the most well-known. This vineyard was planted in 1908 by Kobus’ great-great-grandfather and is the oldest producing vineyard of its kind in South Africa.

However, besides being well known for their fortified Muscadel they have been highly successful with several ranges of quality white and red wines, from the excellent entry level range under the name of John B, up to the superb premium Special Select range with a couple of other ranges in between.

Recently, I tasted two wonderful wines, a red and a white, from the Special Select range called Estéanna — a rather interesting name for a wine which was derived from Kobus’s two daughters, Esté and Annie.

The Estéanna Red is a classic blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot and the White is a beautifully balanced blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and a smidgen of Viognier. This blend is a new addition to the range, with its first release being the 2011 vintage.

“This exciting new addition to our portfolio is truly a dream come true. I’ve been working on the blend for years and finally with this 2011 vintage I’m pleased with the result,” said  Kobus.

Preparation for the making of these two premium wines starts with the identification of specific vineyards dedicated for the making of these two wines.  Kobus ensures that the vineyards are given special care from the correct pruning right through to harvesting, which results in a low yield for these fuller-bodied, complex wines.

The Estéanna Red 2009 has a velvety red colour with aromas of ripe blackcurrant and black cherry with subtle hints of violets. The flavours on the palate are silky with an intense richness of cassis and blackcurrant which linger on to a satisfying and rewarding finish.

It’s great to drink now, but it’s certainly a wine that will benefit further from aging in your cellar for up to eight years.

The Estéanna White 2011 shows off lovely aromas of green figs with hints of vanilla. The palate offers layers of ripe melon fruit flavours enhanced by gentle wooding which leaves you with a memorable long lingering mouth feel.

Expect to pay:

Rietvallei Estéanna White 2011 – R126.00

Rietvallei Estéanna Red 2009  – R210.00

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