Frustrated that their valley is not always taken seriously as a wine appellation, a number of producers are prouder than ever to put Wine of Origin Franschhoek on their bottles. Joanne Gibson reports...
Six of Franschhoek’s finest wines
Boekenhoutskloof, Semillon 2010
£20 Fine & Rare, Handford, Harvey Nichols, James Nicholson, Jeroboams, KWM Wines, SA Wines Online, Philglass & Swiggott, Swig
From bush-vine blocks registered in 1902 and 1942. Peach blossom and orange peel aromas, intense citrus palate developing nuttiness and beeswax. Very fresh despite its weighty texture.
Chamonix, Chardonnay Reserve 2012
£18–£20 Avery’s, Berry Bros & Rudd, Halifax Wine Co, Lay & Wheeler, Raeburn, SA Wine Online, Stone Vine & Sun, Swig, The Wine Society, WoodWinters, Wright Wine Co
Austere and tight, but has tropical fruit purity, tangy ginger spice, oatmeal and toasted almond notes. The richness is still to come.
Môreson, Mercator Chardonnay 2012
£20 Courtnall Williams & Sons
Natural fermentation, no racking, no added sulphur. Ripe pineapple with lemon freshness, dried apricot and hazelnut notes. It has crème brûlée creaminess rather than buttery richness.
Stony Brook, Ghost Gum Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
£18 Dickens House Wine
From a low-yielding single vineyard. Concentrated blackcurrant fruit is well integrated with cigar box spice after 32 months in new French oak. Wonderful structure and finesse.
Rickety Bridge, The Bridge Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
N/A UK www.ricketybridgewinery.com
From a single bush-vine vineyard, inaccessible by vehicle, giving tiny yields. Dense and velvety palate of black cherry, cassis, dark chocolate, clove and tobacco notes with hint of eucalyptus to finish.
Lynx, Cabernet Franc 2012
£13 Carte du Vin
Smooth and richly layered palate of juicy black mulberry fruit with hints of smoke and liquorice. Lovely spearmint freshness and soft ripe tannins.