Taittinger Tastes on a Tassies Budget (6 bottles)



If you’re curious about new and interesting wines but aren’t ready to empty your wallet on lesser-known labels, this case is hand-picked for you. These six excellent wines seriously over-deliver for the price you’re paying, and capture the essence of the grape and land.

Why visit the Rhone when you can get the Vin Noir from The Blacksmith, one of the best Grenache blends around and a fraction of the cost of some bigger names. The Saltare Brut Nature NV – just blind taste it against Champagnes three times the price to find out what we’re talking about here. FRAM Chardonnay knocks the socks off any entry-level Burgundy while the THIRST Gamay Noir is the closest we’ve got a true Beaujolais in SA. Then there’s the Gabrielskloof The Blend that would make many Bordeaux wines weak with worry and to end it off, a Pinot Noir from Snow Mountain in Wellington (the grapes are from up high on the Agter Witzenberg mountain, hence the name) that we’d say is arguably the best value Pinot under R100.

So keep those expensive tastes and drink the good stuff like this, wines you could imagine costing more than twice the price.

Radford Dale Thirst Gamay 2017

Well here's something a bit different. On first appearance you may deem this a slightly rosier than rosy rosé, but it is in fact a light red wine, full of fruity, intriguing flavour. Chances are you've never had Gamay (unless you've been tapping into some Beaujolais imports), so prepare yourself for red cherry deliciousness. Dry, with savoury, earthy notes that add to a palate more complex than expected, it's best enjoyed chilled. Made by Jacques de Klerk at Radford Dale, who's cooking up some beautiful stuff!  

Saltare 'Brut Nature' MCC NV

Who said bubbly was reserved for celebrations? This is perfect, any time of day, any occasion and when paired with oysters and other seafood we say only one thing: treat yo'self. It spends a minimum of 18 months on the lees, with no added sugar or sulphur, and with fruity aromas accompanied by brioche and biscuity notes, it's a refreshing bubbly that, after first sip, is increasingly hard to say no to.    

Fram Chardonnay 2016

Thinus Kruger worked at some rather huge cellars for years before finally opting to follow his own route. Fram wines, named after a Norwegian exploration vessel, is his means to explore the winelands of South Africa for small vineyards that can provide great fruit. So far he's working in the Swartland, Olifantsrivier and Robertson areas (where these Chardonnay grapes come from), making wine in a cellar outside Malmesbury (ironically, another huge cellar that he rents space in). His wines are as varied as his stories, so relax, take a few sips, and tell your own.

The Blacksmith 'Vin Noir' 2016

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Tremayne Smith, responsible for the winemaking at Fable Mountain Vineyards since late 2016, has been making tiny batches under his own label The Blacksmith for several years now. Sourced fruit, picked early, minimal intervention and little sulphur make his wines something special. Mostly exported, we have a small allocation of the local supply for you right here. This Carignan, Cinsault & Grenache blend is a smashing wine. Delicate yet somehow also coarse, the play between the three varietals makes it a really interesting, delicious and rewarding drink.

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Snow Mountain 'The Mistress' Pinot Noir 2017

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Exceptionally drinkable, light and fruity style of Pinot Noir made by savvy farmer & winemaker James Mackenzie of Nabygelegen. This is arguably the best Pinot we've tasted under R100. Grapes are mostly from up high on the Agter Witzenberg mountain, hence the name Snow Mountain. As for The Mistress part of the name, we felt best not to ask.

Gabrielskloof The Blend 2015

What the Bordeaux what what ?! Yes, it's a traditional Bordeaux-style blend (albeit without the Merlot) which isn't our usual cup of tea, but here's the thing: this one is just too bloody good to ignore. Too tasty to leave behind. Too good value to not buy by the case. Seriously, try for yourself and you'll see what we're talking about. Made at Gabrielskloof outside Botriver where winemaker Peter Allan Finlayson is working his magic, in between long naps and throwing stones for Wolfie, his German Pointer. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (49%), Cabernet Franc (30%), Petit Verdot (14%), & Malbec (7%). Get some !

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