THE addition of two new Stellenbosch Hills white wines marks a milestone for the winery celebrating its 75th year. But its latest list of wines to stock up for the warmer days doesn’t stop here. In fact, the launch of Stellenbosch Hills Chenin Blanc 2020 and Stellenbosch Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2020 brings to four the number of current white wines available. They join the show stopping Sense of Place Anna Christina MCC 2018 and 1707 Reserve White 2019 as the wines to have, right now.
Where the latest releases are concerned, both are housed in a range whose guiding aim is expression of provenance. The grapes that produce Stellenbosch Hills’ wines are sourced from farms located in the world-famous wine-producing region that is known for the diversity of its rich agricultural soils and its moderate, Mediterranean climate.
The Stellenbosch Hills Chenin Blanc 2020 was made from grapes hand-harvested in the Lynedoch area. In the glass, the medium-bodied, balanced wine shows prominent fruit characteristics with a hint of lemon zest and crisp acidity. The flavours recall passion fruit, melon, green apple and litchi. A versatile wine, it is best served chilled and can be enjoyed with dishes like spicy prawns, grilled fish, chicken à la king and pasta.
The Stellenbosch Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2020 is full-bodied and crisp with a lime zest acidity. On the nose, there’s green fig, gooseberry and sweet melon. The fruitiness rolls onto the palate, with hints of guava and asparagus. Also best served chilled, the wine is great on its own or with grilled fish and a salad trio of tomatoes, fresh basil and mozzarella.
The 1707 Reserve White 2019 is the current vintage of this premium wine available. The 1707 range itself comprises just this and a red wine – each representing the finest fruit selection and winemaking technique. Both are barrel-aged. The 2019 is elegant and voluptuous, comprising a blend of 70% Chardonnay, 20% Semillon and 10% Viognier. On the nose is stone fruit, honey, citrus and vanilla oak spice. The palate is elegant, balanced by lively citrus fruit and crisp acidity.
All the components of the blend come from one grower, in the Stellenbosch Kloof area. In the cellar, each variety component was treated separately until blending. Just 3 000 bottles were produced. The wine pairs well with oysters, sushi, fish curry, mussel soup, risotto, grilled chicken and cream-based dishes.
Just as wonderful with food or by itself is the 2018 Anna Christina MCC (pictured top of the page), the wine to round out the foursome and highlight the winery’s history too. This single vineyard Cap Classique is part of Stellenbosch Hills’ flagship Sense of Place range, a portfolio dedicated to the best the winery can produce. Every wine is available in limited quantity.
This elegant bubbly was named after the eldest daughter of Antonie Vlotman, a well-known Stellenbosch wine pioneer. Vlotman was the first wine farmer of the Vlottenburg area that is home to Stellenbosch Hills. The Vlottenburg Cellar was established in 1945 and changed its name to Stellenbosch Hills in 2003.
The fruit for the Cap Classique was handpicked and processed using a pneumatic press, which allows for gentle extraction of the best juice. Winemaking of this maiden and current vintage then followed the traditional French method for the making of champagne and spent 15 months on the lees.
It is the perfect wine to ring in the sunshine months and one that no collection should be without.
The wines are available via the winery’s tasting room and website, or ask for them at leading wine outlets and restaurants countrywide. The Stellenbosch Hills Chenin Blanc 2020 sells for R55; the Stellenbosch Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2020, for R65; the Anna Christina MCC 2018, for R195; and, the 1707 Reserve White 2019, for R135.
Stellenbosch Hills is at the intersection of the R310 and Vlottenburg Road, just outside Stellenbosch. It is open Mondays to Fridays, 9am till 5pm; and Saturdays 10am till 3pm.