Something fishy seems to be happening in the wine industry… and I’m not talking artificial flavouring or SAA wine tenders, I’m talking labels. Fish on wine labels seem to be code for ‘summer quaffer’, as inevitably whenever there is a fish on a wine label the contents of the bottle is likely to be white, crisp, zesty and easy to drink. Wines to be enjoyed ice cold, in the sun, while eating produce from the sea.
I like this. The label doesn’t lie or looks all pompous in an attempt to make what’s in the bottle seem fancier than it really is. Fish equals quaffer. It is as simple as that.
Baleia Bay wines in the Overberg region and Springfield from Robertson wine valley have both released such wines.
Last year wine pundits took note of Baleia Bay wines when its 2013 Chardonnay, with its child-like depiction of a fish (ok it’s actually a whale) on the label, was deemed ‘The Find of Show’ in the annual Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show. This is code for shit-hot quaffer, and consumers quickly bought up this winning stock.
A media trip to Baleia Bay’s cellar in Vermaaklikheid last year placed this winery and its people in context.
The Joubert family, owners of the farm Dassieklip home of the Baleia Bay vines, and Jacques Geldenhuys the winemaker, are a straightforward bunch. Much like the wines produced under the Baleia Bay label, people from Vermaaklikheid aren’t interested in being pretentious. Here the joy of producing something highly enjoyable from the earth is something worth celebrating alone, and if the latest vintages are anything to go by the Jouberts will have plenty to celebrate still.
Although the Baleia Bay Chardonnay 2013 is sold out, pundits might want to get their hands on the winery’s 2014 Sauvignon Blanc. With Cape Town’s hottest month upon us, this quaffable wonder makes for refreshing poolside drinking.
Alternatively you might want to get your hands on another ‘perfect summer wine’ in the form of Springfield’s Miss Lucy. This wine is a zesty blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Pinot Gris, a combination which results in a wine that is extremely gluggable. An affectionate nickname for the Red Stumpnose, Springfield’s Miss Lucy was made to accompany anything from the sea – except Red Stumpnose and other endangered species on the SASSI list, of course.
Both of these wines offer the right amount of enjoyment, without being too complex. The memory of sipping these wines will stick like the smell of sunscreen, just long enough to remember another hot summer’s day.