Bonnievale has long been touted for
the passion of its vintners and the quality of its vineyards among the low
hills along the Breede River Valley. Now, joining an ever-growing throng of esteemed,
independent converts, a respected French championship has recognised the winery’s
outstanding quality too.

Gilbert
& Gaillard awards

Significantly, top honours in the
Gilbert & Gaillard awards programme fell to two wines that signalled, upon their
release, Bonnievale’s coming of age: the Bonnievale
Limited Release Chardonnay 2019
, which received a Gold medal; and, the Bonnievale Limited Release Cabernet Sauvignon
2017
, which scored an almighty 91/100 points.

The wines were submitted to Gilbert
& Gaillard, publisher of an online guide dedicated to wine in France and 22
other countries that makes it a notable benchmark. France is one the world’s
premier producers of quality wine.

All wines rated by Gilbert &
Gaillard were tasted blind, i.e. without the panel knowing the name of the
producer.

Judges
thoughts

The panel described the Cabernet
Sauvignon as having bright red fruits on the nose, with cassis, blackberry and
slight spicy notes. “A medium-to-full wine with a grippy palate and a lingering
acidity,” says the tasting report. “Long on the finish. Grainy tannins and lots
of fruits. Drink now or cellar for a few years.”

As for the Chardonnay, the tasters
identified aromas of ripe pear and citrus. “A creamy and rich wine with lots of
secondary notes of marmalade, dried fruit and a crisp and fruit-forward finish.
Acidity vibrant. A great example of the region. Drink now but will age very
well.”

Winemaker’s
thoughts on the awards

The comments were welcomed by Bonnievale
Wines Head of Winemaking and Production, Marthinus Rademeyer. From conception,
the winemaking focus was on Bonnievale’s top-performing
vineyard sites and that they be discernible in the
wines. “The wines had to speak of the care taken in nurturing the vines and
preserving aromas, flavour and texture of the fruit from vine to bottle,” he
says.

In
the cellar

Following vinification, the wine for
the Limited Release Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 was matured for 18 months in French
and American oak. The winemaker’s tasting notes recommend enjoying the wine by
itself or alternatively with game dishes and red meats.

Chardonnay too
has long been a star in the Bonnievale portfolio.
In the
case of the Limited Release 2019, the wine was aged for seven months in French
oak. It can be enjoyed with duck, pork or a platter of matured cheese.

Origin

The winery adjoins
the village of Bonnievale, some 200km east of Cape Town, and has a visitor
centre that showcases its extensive range.

Where to buy

The wines
produced here are available countrywide and available for order from Bonnievale
winery’s online shop at www.bonnievalewines.co.za.

The Limited
Release Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 sells from R140/bottle and has sold to such an
extent that few cases remain available. The Limited Release Chardonnay 2019 sells
from R95/bottle. The online store currently offers the wines at discounted
prices,
with deliveries across SA now back on track. Free delivery is available on
orders over R1 500.

Yolandi De Wet PR