Chenin blanc and shiraz for the Easter sunshine: Wine review

The Easter weekend is finally here and if the weather forecast is to be trusted it looks like it may be an opportunity to fire up the barbecue.

Thursday, 18th April 2019, 4:51 pm
Reyneke Organic Chenin Blanc 2018, Western Cape
Reyneke Organic Chenin Blanc 2018, Western Cape

So with that in mind here are a few last minute wines to think about.

Reyneke was the first wine farm in South Africa to be certified biodynamic and so, as it is also Earth Day on Monday, a newly released wine from this estate seems to be a good place to start.

I have known Johan Reyneke for quite some time now and every time I visit the farm I never fail to come away feeling anything less than inspired.

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Les Cardinaux 2016, Famille Perrin

Johan clearly loves his farm, its vineyards and also his herd of cows which form part of the organic eco system on the farm. Reyneke Organic Chenin Blanc 2018, Western Cape (Waitrose £8.99 on offer from £10.99 until May 14) is a new wine in the estate’s organic range and is not made from grapes grown on the farm, but from organic vineyards in the Western Cape region.

It’s a lovely introduction to the wines of Reyneke, the bouquet offers white stone fruits, yellow apples and a touch of honey, followed by a fresh palate with citrus and more yellow apple and lively acidity on the finish.

It would work really well with fresh seafood such as crab or prawn or how about with new season asparagus or just as an aperitif while you’re waiting for the barbecue to take.

Assuming you have fired up the coals, here are two reds that are going to work really well with those charred, smoky flavours.

Zalze Shiraz Mourvédre Viognier 2016, Western Cape

I’ve reviewed Les Cardinaux 2016, Famille Perrin (Co-op £8.00 on offer from £10 until April 23) before but it is back on offer again and there is no doubt it is an absolute bargain.

Made by one of the most famous names in the Rhone Valley, a blend of grenache, syrah and mourvédre, this is almost a mini châteauneuf du pape but obviously without the price tag.

Dark fruits, spice and some dried herbs on the nose before a palate that offers more dark fruits, soft tannins and a warm finish.

This would work well with traditional roast lamb but would also happily match a butterflied leg of lamb on the barbecue.

On a similar theme is Zalze Shiraz Mourvédre Viognier 2016, Western Cape (Waitrose, Ocado £8.99, Morrisons £7.25) which is a sort of New World take on Cotes du Rhone.

Although the predominant grape here is Shiraz there is no doubt that the mourvédre and the viognier greatly add to the blend, I particularly like the perfume that the viognier adds to the bouquet.

There are dark fruits, spices, a little chocolate and some savoury notes on the nose, followed by a very smooth palate with blackberries and some spice before a juicy finish.

This is almost perfect barbecue wine to serve with lamb cutlets, spicy sausages or sticky chicken thighs.