Mount Abora Saffronne Blanc de Noir 2012

Well-made rosés (sometimes referred to as Blanc de Noir) made from red grape varieties and produced in a dry style are becoming popular amongst South Africa’s wine-drinking folk.

Lazy al fresco lunches washed down with a glass of deliciously cold rosé is a most enjoyable experience. Many excellent wine producers have added a rosé to their portfolio with great success. Grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Pinotage, Merlot are commonly used for making this style of wine. However a rosé made from Cinsaut was unveiled recently and it clearly worked as it is one of the nicest rosés I have tasted!  

The grape Cinsaut (also spelt Cinsault), and sometimes referred as Hermitage, is the backbone behind the all-South African grape, Pinotage, and not often bottled as a single variety.

Years back when I settled down in the Cape I was given a bottle of 1987 Landskroon Cinsault which was delicious with its fruity berry bouquet and earthy savoury flavours. It is considered by many aficionados as an unfashionable grape but it could be making a comeback as this year I have tasted two excellent examples – one from Howard Booysen called the Pegassus (reviewed for in January this year) and the other called Collaboration made by Louis Nel especially for the acclaimed restaurant Overture.  

The Mount Abora Saffronne Blanc de Noir 2012 has a lovely pomegranate colour with subtle aromas of warm earth and baked strawberry flan. The palate, with a pleasing alcohol of only 11 percent, shows elegant flavours of red cherry and raspberries leading to a crisp minerally dry finish.

Mount Abora is produced on the Meerhof Estate, situated just on the outskirts of Riebeek-Kasteel in the Swartland.

Winemaker Johan Meyer harvested the grapes close to 19° Balling from 35-year-old bush vines, and after allowing them to rest in a cold store overnight he carefully pressed the whole bunches allowing skin contact. Then the juice was transferred to a small stainless steel tank and fermented naturally until dry. It was kept on the lees and regularly stirred to build up the palate weight for four months. Only 3500 bottles were produced for this first vintage.

We enjoyed this fine rosé with a delicious menu paired especially for the wine by Laurent Deslandes at his newly relocated Bizerca Restaurant  in Heritage Square, Cape Town.

Expect to pay: R58.50

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