One thing having large vineyard holdings affords you is fruit selection. The Schalk Burger & Sons Welbedacht farm in Wellington in the Western Cape is a classic example of this. I’ve always enjoyed the premium wines of Schalk Burger Snr, especially the Cricket Pitch red blend and the Bohemian Syrah. But tasting today with Schalk Burger Snr and his UK shipper, it was the modest £9.99 Meerkat Burrow Blend 2015 that came up trumps.
Other than Schalk fulfilling his long term ambition to include the word “Gregarious” on the front label, he has also succeeded in creating an exceptionally delicious, quality focused, unpretentious red.
I can often be heard complaining that South Africa does not have quite enough value reds of high quality that are suitably priced or positioned for independent merchants. But this is a very impressive creation that ticks so many boxes and keeps you coming back for another sip, and another!
The nose is seductively wild, with black forest berries, oodles of bramble berry spice, black currant compote, and a sweet, cedary, vanilla pod dusting. Key to the palate is its light weight opulence, succulent texture, fleshy breadth and a juicy long mulberry fruited finish. I can’t remember what grapes go into this blend, and I suspect it changes every year anyway, but the 2015 is thoroughly delicious and impressively well made. For me, 10/10 in the drinkability stakes, this is a perfect BBQ red that will add much cheer and enjoyment to any social occasion.
(Wine Safari Score: 88+/100 Greg Sherwood MW)
UK Shipper: The Sporting Wine Club