No matter how much wine I drink, I still feel like I know nothing about the magic encased in these glass bottles. And, nothing makes me feel even more clueless than being approached by a winery I admit, I’ve never heard of.
To be fair, there are more wineries that I can ever hope to visit or taste in the Western Cape alone – the sheer scale is overwhelming – however, you’d assume you would have an idea of those in your back yard, so to speak. But, you would be wrong.
Derived from the French word bisous – meaning “kiss” – Bizoe Boutique Wines is led by vintner Rikus Neethling. Believing in a hands-on approach, he produces small-batch, artisanal wines. This is what I tasted:
The Henrietta is a blend of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc. The 2011 was produced from Franschhoek grapes, and showcases aromas of fresh tropical fruit. It is given some depth from maturing in oak barrels for seven months, but I still found it to be very fresh and zesty. Wine drinkers who enjoy the vibrancy of Sauvignon Blanc will appreciate this blend. I’ve been trying to immerse myself in more white wine for the past year or so – being a natural red wine drinker, but I don’t think my white wine palate is quite mature enough to do this wine justice yet.
On the otherhand, my palate fell head-over-heels in love with this Syrah. From the Breedekloof valley, the Estalet is filled with sweet, juicey fruit, balanced with just enough spice. I poured a glass, had a swirl, sniff and sip, before letting out an “oooh” and giving Luke the glass. His response was similar. This is undoubtedly one of the best, and most memorable, reds I’ve had this year.
Opening a new wine for the first time is always a risk – do you open it with friends around, to share – or do you have it privately, in case it doesn’t quite live up to expectations? Honestly, we’re still trying to figure that out. I’m secretly glad that we still have half a bottle of the Estalet at home (with no intentions to share it).
Both the Henrietta and Estalet retail for R190 per bottle. You can order here.
Note: I received two bottles of wine for review purposes. All views and images are my own.