I recently enjoyed a tasting with Don Tooth, managing director of Vergelegen, a wine estate in South Africa. He updated me on the progress made at his winery over the last few years. Vergelegen is a beacon of excellence in the Cape, with a broad portfolio of wines all made by the one-man cyclone, André van Rensberg.
Van Rensberg is one of the most outspoken and opinionated chaps in the wine world, but while people swoon and tut every time he opens his mouth, he is the supreme example of a highly talented winemaker who has seemingly taken a truth serum and simply cannot keep his incendiary opinions to himself. I think he is often spot on with his searingly honest assessments about the wine world, and what is magnificent about this man is that he channels his fomenting passions directly into his wines.
I am of the opinion that these wines have never been better, and the value offered here is truly shocking. For example, 2014 Reserve Chardonnay (£15.95, WineDirect.co.uk; £15.79, RobertsAndSpeight.co.uk) is a spectacular white-Burgundy-bashing beauty and my featured cabernet is so good and so complete that I would rather drink it than any Super-Tuscan around. This is not a claret-shaped wine, but a warm-climate cab with serious class and complexity. It will convert you to Vergelegen in a trice.
• Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (MatthewJukes.com).