Thursday, June 18, 2009

Two Great Cape Whites - Steenberg Semillon + Newton Johnson Chardonnay

First of all thanks to Graeme Bell (tweet him here) for the link to the great pics of Manhattanhenge. Yes, Manhattanhenge, click here for more. Would be great to be able to get similar pics in the Pennines, but for two things - the sun never shines and the roads aren't straight.

Never mind, it's a sunny day inside, thanks to two splendid Cape whites. I seem to be having a Chardonnay sort of week, with Cumulus on Tuesday (look it up on twitter), a great Rully yesterday, and today, the Newton Johnson 2007 Chardonnay from Overberg (£10.79 Bibendum, Fresh & Wild (Wholefoods), SA Wines Online). It's a bit of a boisterous pup at the mo, but under the creamy, nutty exuberance and bouncy fruit lie a minerally streak and a backbone of zesty acidity. I'm shoving the cork back in (it was a total git to remove) and plonking it in the fridge not for tonight but for tomorrow - I expect it to provide even more pleasure.

I'm also doing the same with the 2008 Steenberg Semillon (£21.50 Armit). Never mind puppyhood, this little beast is yet to open its eyes. Steenberg has sometimes overdone the green peppery side of Semillon in the past, but here it's in proportion with the rest of the wine, as is the toasty oak, which flits rather than galumphs across the senses. Add in tangerine, custard and cream notes, and a refreshing herby character, and you have an intriguing and complex wine with a great future.

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