2008 Circumstance Chenin Blanc, Stellenbosch
Rich, toasty and honeyed with dazzling fresh lime flavours, a creamy texture and pithy acidity. It comes from old bush vines, growing close to the ocean in Helderberg, and was barrel-fermented using the naturally present yeasts. They took their time: fermentation ground to a halt nine months later, leaving just under 5g/l of residual sugar and 14% abv. It’s delicious now, but will develop. The producer is Waterkloof which is owned by Paul Boutinot (UK).
£8.99, D Byrne; £9.25, Fintry Wines
2008 Villa Maria Cellar Selection Pinot Noir, Marlborough
New vintage of an old favourite. Pinot noir at its most seductive, with the sweetness of ripe cherries and raspberries, a seasoning of lightly spicy, vanilla-scented oak and a whisper of something more savoury and burgundian. Round, fleshy and pretty well irresistible. 14% abv.
£12.99, Majestic and Wine Rack
2008 Otra Vida Malbec, Mendoza
Sweet raspberry fruit with toasty oak, dark chocolate flavours and a clean, spicy, savoury finish. Medium-bodied, rather than massive, and ripe without being jammy or flaccid. 13% abv. This is a branded wine well worth remembering – and how often can you say that? No, not often. The chardonnay is OK too.