Jacaranda Wines’ portfolio, which was reviewed by freelance lifestyle writer Sanet van Rensburg, recently, has three thrilling categories: an entry-level ‘Harvest” range featuring fresh young wines; an experimental “Artisanal” range using unusual blending percentages and vinification methods and a “Reserve” range, produced from old vines and new barrels.
The Harvest range is great for everyday drinking but definitely not to be discounted when you’re celebrating. It boasts a 100% Mourvedre Rose, a 100% Chenin Blanc, a Bordeaux-style blend of 34% Petit Verdot, 34% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon and an 81% Sauvignon Blanc and 19% Semillon blend.
Under the Artisanal banner, you’ll find two delightfully mind-boggling blends: First up is a 51% Viognier, 49% Chenin Blanc that’s complex and multi-layered. It’s matured for 10 months in third-fill barrels, adding dimension. The 88% Shiraz, 12% Viognier blend also lives here. It’s bold, made from young Shiraz vines and matured in 90% French and 10% American Oak for 12 months.
These bottles of tipple are obviously great for everyday drinking, but with a slightly bigger price tag, some may set them aside, more so for special occasions.
Last, but by no means least, is the old Vine Reserve range. These are big-hitting brands. I suppose most people would keep them at the back of the rack for a special occasion, but I enjoy them for everyday drinking. As a red wine lover, this range well and truly hits my sweet spot. And it’s seen me add white wine to my list of favourites for the first time.
The Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 52% Merlot and 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, matured in Oak. For lack of a better term, it is utterly lush. If, however, you want to spoil the bejeezus out of me, pour me a glass of Shiraz Reserve. This wine is beautifully intense, having matured in French oak for 12 months.
To round off the list, you’ll find the old vine Chenin Blanc: Yes, indeed, the big boy I kicked the Jacaranda story (see main piece) off with. Whilst white wine is not my first choice, this wine has stolen my heart. Made from 40- and 80-year-old Chenin Blanc Vines, you’ll be grinning from ear to ear as this concentrated and multi-layered white (matured for 10 months in Perle Blanche barrels) has a raucous party in your mouth.
It’s no surprise that this estate’s wine-tasting experience also comes with a difference. Unlike the majority of wine farms in the country, Rene and Birgit don’t employ sommeliers to churn out standardised tasting sessions for the masses. During an intimate one-on-one tasting, you’ll have the opportunity to have face time with the winemakers themselves - engaging with the very people who are involved in picking the grapes, making the wine, pouring the liquid and even waxing the bottle tops. This, in itself, is an old-school art and shameless indulgence.
Tastings are held from Monday to Saturday (10:00 – 16:00, with the last tasting starting at 15:00) and can be booked upfront by sending an email to [email protected].
A sleepover after your tasting is also highly recommended. Jacaranda is the home of a Cape Dutch house on two floors. They also have two additional self-catering cottages on the premises, where you can enjoy a dip in their 15m saltwater pool or a braai next to the vines and enjoy spectacular Winelands scenery and sunsets. Visit their website at www.jacarandawines.co.za for more information.
I give Jacaranda an inspirational 10 out of 10 for the tough grind, creativity and conscientiousness that go into the beautiful art they create on their little piece of earth. This place and its people is an absolute must for your Western Cape wine route bucket list.
* Van Rensburg is a freelance lifestyle investment writer
**Jacaranda is offering a few of Personal Finance’s readers a change to win a bottle of one of their respective wines from a mixed case of Salt Old Vine, Shiraz 47, Incognito and Rebel, Horizon and Night Shift. .Please send a note to Personal Finance on [email protected], and include Jacaranda in the e-mail , and state your wine of preference and the print publication you read this announcement in. Don’t forget to include your delivery address.