My good friend asked me to try the Blouberg and let her know what I think about this, her favourite South African product. As I started to look into the winery where this is produced, I realized just how enormous an enterprise it actually is.
The Stellenbosch Farmers’ Winery Ltd. is part of the Distell Group which formed in 2000 and includes the South African company, Distillers Corporation. Distell is enormous, has 5,300 employees, an annual turnover of about 18 billion South African rand, and owns dozens of spirit, wine, cider and ready-to-drink labels including Obikwa, Two Oceans, Nederberg and, believe it or not, Bunnahabhain Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky.
So, we’re not exactly talking about a handmade, family owned wine and winery here.
That said, the Blouberg was actually reasonably balanced – not completely, but not crazy out-of-touch – and registers as WSET Acceptable. It’s wine and it’s doing its job.
Pale lemon in colour, the wine has little legs and on the nose, it shows light Granny Smith apple, lemon and echoes of green asparagus.
The palate is (surprisingly) dry with medium acidity and flavours that mimic the nose of yellow and green apple, lemony citrus, yellow grapefruit and some green leaf. The finish is short and the body thin, but the alcohol is astoundingly light at only 11.5% abv.
This wine is a Riesling (which accounts for the decent acidity) blend with Sauvignon Blanc (the green leaf) and appley Chenin Blanc (or Steen as it’s called in South Africa) depending on the vintage.
Fruity, easy drinking and reasonably made considering the bulk quantities in which it’s produced.