I have a few go-to drinks for Summer Sipping, ranging from refreshing G&Ts to perfectly chilled rosé wine. In the Cape, summer is the season for alfresco dining, parties, and long lazy lunches – keep reading to discover a few of my Top Wines for Summer.
Summer Drinks of Choice
After a glass of quality Rosé Wine, my next summer drink of choice is a Gin & Tonic. I have sipped and savoured quite a few excellent local wines and gins over the past few years, not to forget top-draw South African Cap Classique Wines, but more on my favourite bubbly in a separate post.
Included in my write-up are my thoughts on the wine, as well as the winemaker’s notes. Most of the wines featured are affordable yet still premium South African Wines.
Top Wines – Rosé Wine
Nothing says summer like a glass or two of chilled rosé wine. One of my favourite pairings with rosé is seafood, specifically prawns. A while ago, I posted My Top South African Rosé Wines, many of which are still firm favourites, with a few new additions to the list.
The wine: The Protea Rosé is a blend of Mourvèdre (67%), Grenache (15%), Carignan (5%), Ugni Blanc (5%), Cinsault (4%), Malbec (3%) and Shiraz (1%).
In your glass: Abundant cherry and strawberry appeal add to the lightly floral and citrus nuanced nose. Intense flavours of raspberry, cherry and strawberries are present on the palate. Lively, succulent and fresh but with a gentle and well-rounded body. As with the nose, there’s a light citrus–pink grapefruit – nuance, which adds to the overall appeal. Lovely long lingering tail.
Price & availability: The Protea Rosé is available through various wine retailers, online or from the estate and is priced from R82 per bottle.
Grand Vin de Stellenbosch Rosé
The wine: Grand Vin de Stellenbosch Rosé 2022 is a unique blend of Shiraz and Clairette Blanche.
In your glass: The Shiraz attributes to multiple fruit pastels, while the Clairette Blanche enhances the drinkability. A pale rose gold colour, the Rosé is a seductive bouquet of strawberries, watermelon, raspberry coulis and crushed pomegranate. The palate is dry with a well-balanced acidity. A lingering finish of delectable red berries.
Price & availability: Available online – www.stellenview.co.za or from Le Grand Domaine Enoteca in Stellenbosch at R140 per bottle.
Jean Roi Rosé
The Wine: This premium Rosé is a blend of 63% Grenache, 23% Cinsault and 14% Shiraz.
In your glass: Appealing mélange of strawberry, raspberry and youngberry on the nose. Vivacious, bright and juicy, with those same berry fruits also found in the mouth. Lovely freshness and succulence from lively acidity, superbly balanced by body and breadth. The wine finishes on a light yet firm, chalky grip coupled with good dimension and concentration. Lovely dry tail and resolved finish.
Price & availability: The Jean Roi Rosé is available through various wine retailers, online or from the estate and is priced from R240 per bottle.
La Motte Rosé
The wine: The French-style Rosé is a blend of 71% Grenache, 19% Mourvèdre and 10% Syrah. The Grenache comes from Riebeek Kasteel and Piekenierskloof, the Mourvèdre from Franschhoek and the Syrah from Walker Bay.
In Your Glass: The 2021 La Motte Vin de Joie Rosé offers a delicate salmon pink with a tinge of onion skin, typical of a Mediterranean-style rosé. The nose offers subtle but well-defined melon, rose petals and nectarine with charming notes of Turkish delight in the background. The palate is polished and juicy on entry, with refreshing acidity and lovely lingering nectarine on the aftertaste.
Price & availability: The 2021 La Motte Vin de Joie Rosé is R99 per bottle and is available online or at the La Motte Tasting Room.
Blaauwklippen Blush Rosé
The wine: The Blaauwklippen’s 2022 Blush Rosé captures all the alluring qualities of Zinfandel and Malbec grapes in a sophisticated light wine.
In Your Glass: The Blush Rosé has a delicate rose gold hue. It delivers the crispness of a dry white wine, with the fruity richness of a red, and pairs well with a variety of Mediterranean-inspired summer dishes.
Price & availability: The Blaauwklippen’s 2022 Blush Rosé is R150 per bottle and is available direct from the estate.
Top Wines – Chenin Blanc
In summer, if I am not quaffing a dry rosé, you will often find a good quality Chenin Blanc in my glass. Chenin Blanc is a very versatile wine, which makes it an ideal food wine. The Chenin Blancs I have mentioned below are great quality wines but still affordable, making them perfect for summer sipping.
Rhino Run Chenin Blanc
The Wine: Rhino Run Chenin Blanc – This medium-bodied Chenin Blanc was created to honour the White Rhino.
In your glass: The wine has aromas of ripe peaches with fragrant floral notes. The palate is wonderfully fruity but balanced with a crisp acidity which lingers gently.
Price & availability: The Rhino Run Chenin is available through various fine wine boutiques and online, priced from R75 per bottle.
Mullineux Kloof Street Chenin Blanc
The wine: I think that the Mullineus Kloof Street Chenin Blanc is a fantastic wine for the price. The grapes for the Chenin Blanc come from three sustainably farmed vineyard parcels in different parts of the Swartland.
In your glass: This wine has a nose of sun-ripened pears and wet granite. The palate has a vibrant
acidity balanced by a soft, round texture and some pithy character and a fresh, mineral finish.
Price & availability: The Mullineux Kloof Street Chenin Blanc is available from select wine retailers or online from R115 per bottle.
Alvis Drift Signature Chenin Blanc
The wine: Only premium free-run juice of the highest quality is used to create this unwooded, fruit-driven wine.
In your glass: Star bright with tinges of lime and green, this wine boasts delightful aromas of white peach, blossoms and citrus. It has a crisp acidity, balanced beautifully with the fruit following through on the palate, backed by a soft, creamy texture that lingers long, with a zesty, refreshing lime finish.
Price & availability: The Alvi’s Drift Signature Chenin Blanc is available from select wine retailers or online from R65 per bottle.
Ken Forester Chenin Blanc
The wine: The Ken Forester Chenin Blanc remains one of our go-to wines for everyday drinking.
In your glass: The wine is youthful and fresh with quince and pear drop flavours. Earlier picked freshness shows on the palate with crunchy green apple and grapefruit flavours. Good mouthfeel and an appetisingly tangy finish.
Price & availability: The Ken Forester Chenin Blanc is available from select wine retailers or online from R73 per bottle.
Opstal Chenin Blanc
The wine: The Opstal Chenin Blanc shows the classic Chenin combination of freshness and concentration, making it a versatile wine.
In your glass: The Opstal Chenin Blanc is wonderfully fresh on the nose with pineapple, peach and citrus aromas. The wine is complex and well-balanced, with a subtle spice on the palate.
Price & availability: The Opstal Chenin Blanc is available online or at the Opstal Tasting Room from R120 per bottle.
Top Wines – Sauvignon Blanc
Although Sauvignon Blanc is not my personal favourite, it is a definite “summer sipping” candidate. Sauvignon Blanc is extremely popular in SA due to our warmer climate, making it the ideal wine to enjoy on a summer’s day with friends, around the braai or poolside!
Sarah’s Creek Sauvignon Blanc
The wine: Harvested by hand, the grapes used in the Sarah’s Creek Sauvignon Blanc rest and cool overnight before being destemmed and pressed. The first round of grapes is harvested at reduced sugar levels; this adds greener notes and crisp acidity to the final product. Once the grapes are physiologically ripe, the second pick is done, which extracts and elevates fruity and tropical notes. This method of two-stage harvesting results in a complex wine with harmonious acidity.
In your glass: The Sarah’s Creek Sauvignon Blanc 2021 is a complex and well-balanced wine that delivers passionfruit, grapefruit and ripe fig aromas. The palate is fruity with balanced acidity.
Price & availability: The Sarah’s Creek Sauvignon Blanc is available direct from the estate or online from R75 per bottle.
De Grendel Sauvignon Blanc
The wine: The De Grendel Sauvignon Blanc is an excellent combination of tropical fruit, such as granadilla and guava, and the typical methoxypirazine style, which presents aromas such as green pepper and fresh asparagus.
In your glass: It is a complex wine with layers of minerality and an ensemble of lime, tropical fruits, and fresh herbs. It delivers a well-balanced and delicate palate with a layered, long finish.
Price & availability: The De Grendel Sauvignon Blanc is available direct from the estate or online from R110 per bottle.
Grand Vin de Stellenbosch Sauvignon Blanc
The wine: Grapes for the Sauvignon Blanc hail from Devon Valley, in Stellenbosch, which benefit from close proximity to both the Indian and Atlantic oceans with cool sea breezes that influence the mild Mediterranean climate.
In your glass: An expressive Sauvignon blanc with a crystal-clear colour. This vibrant, modern Sauvignon blanc has well-defined gooseberry and grapefruit aromas with a crisp green apple finish. A well-balanced acidity tightly knits these fruit layers, expressing the lingering aromas of this unique terroir.
Price & availability: The Grand Vin de Stellenbosch Sauvignon Blanc is available at Grand Domaine Enoteca or online from R160 per bottle.
Pierneef Sauvignon Blanc
The wine: The Pierneef Sauvignon Blanc is a blend of 85% Sauvignon Blanc and 15% Semillon. With 35% of the Sauvignon Blanc from Napier, and 65% is from Elim. The Semillon is also from Elim.
In your glass: This elegant sauvignon blanc delivers citrus, green pepper and Cape gooseberry flavours. The palate is very refined, with a mineral finish.
Price & availability: The Pierneef Sauvignon Blanc is available direct from the estate or online from R159 per bottle.
Dombeya Sauvignon Blanc
The wine: The Dombeya Sauvignon Blanc is made from Stellenbosch bush vines found on the Devonvalley south-facing slopes and Elgin grapes that keep their natural acidity.
In your glass: The Sauvignon Blanc shows great complexity on the nose with hints of grapefruit, granadilla, blackcurrant and a slight flintiness. On the palate, you can expect fresh acidity, with tropical fruit flavours and a crisp finish.
Price & availability: The Dombeya Sauvignon Blanc is available directly from the estate or online from R132 per bottle.
Healthier options in wine have become increasingly popular, and many vineyards are stepping up to the plate by producing lighter or reduced-alcohol wines and alcohol-free options.
Boland Cellar Melita Chenin
The wine: The Boland Cellar Melita Chenin Blanc is a lighter-style wine with a lower alcohol content of 8% A/V; it is also part of a collaboration with The Bee Effect, a sustainability organization promoting the conservation of healthy bee populations.
In your glass: This fruity Chenin Blanc bursts with vibrant freshness and a variety of seasonal fruit flavours. Expect ripe fruit structure with balanced acidity and an abundance of fruit, such as peaches, melons, passion fruit and yellow apples – all captured in the bottle along with healthy doses of Cape sunshine. The lively and fresh character makes it a versatile companion to food and friends alike.
Price & availability: The Melita Chenin Blanc is available online and from select wine retailers from R65 per bottle.
The Robertson Winery Cultivar Light Wines
The RW Cultivar Light Wines contain approximately 9% A/V and are available in Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc and Pinotage Rosé.
Sauvignon Blanc – Crisp, green grass aromas on the nose. Refreshing, zesty with hints of freshly-cut grass, gooseberry and nettles on the palate.
Chenin Blanc – Tropical aromas with apples on the nose. Upfront tropical fruit with floral notes on the palate.
Pinotage Rosé – Upfront red berry fruit on the nose. The palate is juicy, with strawberry flavours.
Price & Availability: Available from Robertson Winery online in 6 bottle pack | R60.00 each (R360.00 for 6 x 750ml)
What are your top wines for summer – let me know in the comment section below.
©2010 – 2022 Inspired Living and Fiona Rossiter. Please do not use any images featured on this website without written consent from the copyright holder and owner.
Disclosure & Disclaimer
All information and prices are deemed accurate at the time of publication.
If you have enjoyed this feature, please share it by hitting the buttons below⇓.