JUST THE FACTS
Price: R80 (as of Jan 2017)
Winery: Paul Cluver Wines
Wine Region: Elgin
Country: South Africa
Ponce Factor: Moderate-to-low
Occasion: When you’re trying to get your mother-in-law to break her nasty sauvignon blanc habit.
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If you read nothing else
If Stephen Fry was a wine…fruity, rounded…even nutty at times.
Vanguard carries yellow pear, and whole-kernel apricot preserve.
On the palate; full, soft & rounded, with juicy seville oranges, green apples and a touch of lingering lime acidity on the caboose.
Delightfully low in alcohol at 10.5%, which means one can have more without getting merrier. Which is a plus, because it is supremely drinkable.
One of the better additions to the Ferricrete range.
Tall, taller, tallest
Paul Cluver is a giant in the South African wine industry, and his range of cooler-climate wines from Elgin are some of the most elegant the region. That said, there are varying styles and levels of quality bottled under the Paul Cluver label, and it is worth knowing exactly what you’re buying.
When Aunt Gertrude tells you that “she adores the Paul Cluver Riesling”, she could be talking about one of three wines. None of them are terrible, some are a little more noteworthy than others.
Here’s what to look out for:
Paul Cluver Close Encounter Riesling
R100.00. The friendly face of PC Rieslings. Fruit-forward, made from only free-run juice, and boasting oodles of tropical fruit and lovely floral notes. All that sweet fruit is nicely offset by cool climate acidity.
Paul Cluver Ferricrete Riesling (Woolworths)
R70.00. Superb value, though perhaps not quite a good as the Dry Encounter. Made in the style of the fruity Close Encounter Riesling. Available only from Woolworths (or Marks&Spencer’s in the UK).
Paul Cluver Dry Encounter Riesling
R100.00. The most serious of the bunch. Dry in style, as the name suggests, the wine offers crisp green fruit, soaring acidity, as well as a lovely leesy element, too. Marvellously complex, and a little more poncey than the rest.
About the Author
Jono Le Feuvre is not a bean counter. He is a bean roaster. Bean roasters carry far more street cred & get to speak at bizarre niche gatherings of enquiring-but-unhinged-minds. They also usually have addictive tendencies. When he is not roasting beans he is pulling corks. Or deftly removing screwcap enclosures. But you can read more about him here.