Wine News

New Reserve wine honours Legal Eagle

Avontuur Estate, the Wine and Thoroughbred Stud Farm which lies between Somerset West and Stellenbosch in the Western Cape, is proud to announce a new addition to their limited premiere range of reserve wines – the Legal Eagle Cabernet Franc Reserve 2015.

As all of the premiere range wines commemorate important horses who helped make the Estate the success that it is, it is appropriate that one of the most highly-awarded horses ever bred on this family-owned farm, proudly features on the wine label.

Winemaker Jan van Rooyen commented last week when the wine was released, “Twenty-three years after the first wine was made from this varietal at Avontuur, we are including it in our premiere range. By naming the wine Legal Eagle, we honour one of the great race horses bred at Avontuur Estate. “

Avontuur GM Pippa Mickleburgh explained that a horse like Legal Eagle comes along once in a breeder’s lifetime – if you’re lucky!!  “He is from a strong line of excellent stock and from the beginning showed his mettle and star quality, leading to being chosen as Horse of the Year in 2016 and 2017.  He has raked in more than R12 million for his owners in the process.  He won 15 races in total and as he is still in training, we hope to see some more of his racing prowess in future,” she says.

Philip Taberer, co-owner of the Estate is happy that a spot could be found in the wine range to honour two stars of Avontuur in this way.  “It’s always exciting when we get the opportunity to add to the premiere range and this new addition is such a perfect fit – a great horse and a great wine which go together in the best possible way!” he said.

The 2015 vintage delivers a full-bodied taste experience with typical Helderberg Fynbos and dark fruit aromas and a firm tannin structure from 24 months in 2nd and 3rd fill oak.  The wine comes from one older block high up against the Helderberg, which adds to the elegance and minerality expected by now from Avontuur’s Cabernet Francs.

Legal Eagle Cabernet Franc Reserve 2015 is available from the tasting room at the Estate for R220 per bottle as well as from the online wine shop at www.avontuurestate.co.za  Fans will also soon see it featured in selected retailers around the Western Cape, but as stock is limited, it will not be for sale in general outlets.

Contact our tasting room at winery@avontuurestate.co.za if you want to place an order and arrange delivery.

 

It’s all about Shiraz this month!

As part of the annual Shiraz Week celebrations from 10-16 June, Avontuur is joining in the fun with a tutored tasting planned for Saturday 15 June which will highlight the different styles and ageability of Avontuur’s Shiraz wines from 2008 till now.

This is an opportunity for Shiraz lovers to interact with a Avontuur’s winemaker Jan van Rooyen,  and learn more about the intricacies of this hugely popular red wine varietal in South Africa and world-wide.    

Guests will arrive from 10h30 on Saturday morning and will receive a welcome drink after which the tutored tasting will be presented, filled with interesting titbits and information.  After the tasting, guests will enjoy a charcuterie platter and have time to chat to fellow Shiraz fans and Jan himself, who is always willing to share more info if visitors are keen!

Each tasting is limited to 20 participants and includes a welcome drink, the tasting and a shared Charcuterie platter for only R150 pp.  Bookings are essential and can be made in the tasting room with Ella or Moerieda, by phoning the Estate at +27 21 855-3450 or by emailing winery@avontuurestate.co.za

Avontuur’s tasting room is offering a special 3-pack of the Dominion Royale Shiraz Reserve 2014 at R600, instead of the usual R720, so if you can’t get to the farm on the 15th, feel free to order it via email or come in on another day this month to grab a few bottles to enjoy at home.

 

Tutored tastings start with Sauvignon Blanc this Saturday.

Avontuur Estate winemaker Jan van Rooyen and the Estate’s Tasting Room team are planning a new series of “Tutored Tastings” for the winter months. This is an opportunity for wine lovers to interact with a senior winemaker and learn more about the intricacies of winemaking and wine in general.   

The series kicks off on Saturday, 25 May from 10h30-12h00 with a tasting featuring one of the world’s most popular wine varietals:  Sauvignon Blanc.  Jan will be discussing different wine styles, price points and vintages with tastings of the Estate and Premiere range of Sauvignon Blancs, including the multi award-winning Sarabande 2017.  “We hope all participants will leave afterwards having discovered a whole lot more about this intriguing and versatile wine varietal,” Jan said.

The dates for the rest of the series are:  Saturday, 15 June where a vertical tasting of Avontuur Shiraz’s will support the SA Shiraz Association’s  “Week of Shiraz and Venison”,  13/7 and 17/8 with a possibility of an additional date depending on the winemakers’ schedule.  More details about the themes will be communicated closer to the time.

Each tasting is limited to 20 participants and includes a welcome drink, the tasting and a shared meat and cheese platter for only R150 pp.  Bookings are essential and can be made in the tasting room with Ella or Moerieda, by phoning the Estate at +27 21 855-3450 or by emailing winery@avontuurestate.co.za

Sauvignon Blanc Reserve wins slew of medals

Winemaker Jan van Rooyen and the Avontuur team are smiling from ear to ear today after receiving  the Grand Cru (Best in Category), Top 100 and Double Platinum award for the 2017 Sarabande Sauvignon Blanc Reserve last night at the National Wine Challenge 2019 awards ceremony at Spier in Stellenbosch.

Jan is obviously especially thrilled with the medals for the Sauvignon Blanc Reserve; “Years of planning and production culminated in winning these accolades for our Sarabande Sauvignon Blanc Reserve. With this “blanc fumé” style of Sauvignon Blanc I am moving closer to my ultimate goal of creating an iconic white wine for Avontuur Estate by presenting you with the finest selection of our soil/climate/location crafted into your glass”

He went on to talk about the terroir and vintage; “How great to have a Sauvignon Blanc from the Helderberg wine growing area as a Top 100 wine, and this being a 2017 vintage proves that South African white wines have the power to last longer and be enjoyed beyond the year of production”

Over and above the Sauvignon Blanc, Avontuur also received  a Double Gold for the Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 and a Double Silver for the Cabernet/Merlot 2016.

 Jan comments; “Receiving a  double gold and double silver for these wines from the 2016 vintage is simply awesome. It proves that Helderberg Stellenbosch is a prime spot for growing great red wines from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot varieties. Enjoy the power and elegance of the Cabernet Sauvignon, a wine that will develop and last for many years after bottling. The Cabernet/Merlot is made to be enjoyed from the release date, but can be matured for another 5+ years”

The wines are available from the tasting room at the Estate or from the online wine shop at www.avontuurestate.co.za  although as Avontuur is a boutique producer, some of the vintages might be sold out soon!

Red wine grapes finish off Harvest 2019

“In many ways the red grape harvest, which started on 7 February, fell within the norm of previous years.  The Merlot for eg was perfectly on time compared with 2018 and the yields were as expected. So no surprises there,” says winemaker Jan van Rooyen.

Where it became it bit out of the ordinary was the earlier harvesting of the Cabernet Sauvignon with phenolic ripeness achieved before full sugar ripeness appeared. So, although the sugars were lower than 2018, the balling was still good and totally within the quality range.

Both the Cabernet Franc and Shiraz were later though – a week and two weeks respectively.  So, it was a bit of a patchy harvest from the red varietals’  point of view.

Jan ended off by commenting:  “By third week of March we still had a few blocks of Cabernet Sauvignon to finish as well as the Petit Verdot, but we finished off with the last bin of Petit Verdot on Friday 29 March – exactly like last year  when the last grapes arrived in the cellar on the same day!”

2019 harvest an unusual one!

Avontuur Estate winemaker Jan van Rooyen sums up the harvest to date in one short sentence:  normal and a bit peculiar!  

“In general there are no complaints from our side about the state of the grapes.  They are good quality without any pests or fungi and there were no specific upsets.  But then you suddenly have a substantially lower yield on the Chardonnay and the Pinot Noir ripened before any of the whites whilst producing a higher yield than last year, which was a little different from past vintages.”

With the completion of the white grape harvest on 21 February, which is quite a bit earlier than last year’s 2nd of March end date, there are a few weird and wonderful tweaks to this year’s harvest, but nothing which particularly worries van Rooyen.

“I am excited about the harvest to date and some of the grapes like the single vineyard Pinotage block just keeps on improving every year, which really makes my job easier when it comes to cellar practices.  The Sauvignon Blanc came in perfectly and on time, the Viognier will be used for improving some of the other wines and to add complexity where needed, and overall I look forward to the next few weeks,” he commented.

In the meantime the harvest and cellar teams are 100% committed to producing the best wines for the 2019 vintage and we look forward to the first releases in late April if all goes well.

 

Merlot released after nearly 2 decades!

We are happy to announce that Avontuur Estate now once again has a single varietal Merlot for sale after the last single varietal vintage of 1999.

The 2016 Merlot is in a Magnum bottle with a burgundy-coloured soft wax top and is already proving a hit in the tasting room at R350 per bottle.

“The wine is soft and juicy with lots of dark fruit on the nose and palate but what I really love is that unexpected savouriness on the palate which just gives it that spike of interest,” says winemaker Jan van Rooyen. 

It’s also a great gift for a red wine lover and will age graciously for another few years in the bottle.  Or just open it this festive season and enjoy!

 

Cab Franc Special on this whole month!

A few years ago Dracaena Wines in the US started a new initiative which is now featuring on the official wine calender as  #InternationalCabFrancDay.  It takes place on 4 December annually and as we are huge fans of this varietal,  Avontuur is right up there celebrating with the rest of the world.

But we’re not sticking to one day only – we’re offering our 2014 Cabernet Franc as a two-pack for only R320.  (Usual price: R370).

So don’t miss out on the hype this month – a few bottles of award-winning wine will suit an extravagant Christmas Day braai, or some exotic smoked meat platters or even that oven-roasted leg of lamb to a tee.

 

 

Platter’s 2019 ratings on an upward trend for Avontuur

It’s always good to see planning and execution work together and this year’s Platter’s ratings once again proves that point for the Taberer family-owned boutique winery Avontuur Estate, situated between Stellenbosch and Somerset West in the Helderberg.

“In the 2018 Platter’s we achieved four 4-stars and in the 2019 edition, six,” says winemaker Jan van Rooyen.  “It was wonderful to keep the same ratings for the Dominion Royale Shiraz Reserve,  the Sarabande Sauvignon Blanc Reserve,  the Cabernet Sauvignon and the 10 year old brandy – but best of all was when the 2019 edition added four stars for the Luna de Miel Chardonnay Reserve 2017 and the flagship red the Baccarat 2012.”

According to Jan the good ratings awarded again for the Cabernet Sauvignon especially makes him happy as Avontuur lies slap bang in die middle of excellent Cab Sauv terroir and getting this wine right consistently is a compliment to the cellar and vineyard team’s hard work. “It’s also lovely to have the Luna de Miel back on track as this is one of the first premiere range wines ever made at Avontuur and it was a favourite of the late Tony Taberer, which gives the rating added poignancy,” he said.

The wines are available for tasting and for sale in the Estate’s tasting room or in selected stores in the Western Cape and Gauteng.  Alternatively the wine can be purchased at http://www.avontuurestate.co.za/wine-store-sa/ for delivery to your home or office anywhere in South Africa.

Gold Awards for two Avontuur Wines

With summer around the corner it’s always great to get some awards highlighting those wines – and this is just what’s happened recently when our Sauvignon Blanc 2018 and Luna de Miel Chardonnay 2017 both got Golds in the 2018 Vitis Vinifera Competition.

These wines are both perfect for warmer days with the Sauvignon Blanc being an easy-drinking value-for-money wine and the Luna the best food pairing white wine we produce. Try it with a creamy green Thai curry chicken or just lots of sushi or salmon roses – both are a winner!

They are available for tasting and for sale from our tasting room at R75 for the Sauvvie and R165 for the premiere range Luna de Miel.

We are open daily for tastings so pop in any time.