An exceptional roussanne

2017 DeMorgenzon, Roussanne

2017 DeMorgenzon, Roussanne, Stellenbosch, South Africa (The Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction, Stellenbosch, South Africa – Saturday 29 September 2018).,, +27 (0)21 852 0408.

Roussanne is one of the most wistful and hauntingly perfumed of all white grape varieties and, while the grape is not necessarily a heavyweight, it does, however, require a fair dunk in oak to show off its full array of skills. Carl van der Merwe is one of the 47 members of the Cape Winemakers Guild (CWG) and he is responsible for this exceptional wine. It manages to show crystalline freshness on the nose and then a deep, resonant palate of citrus and pineapple pith, and it was one of a handful of standout wines at the recent press tasting ahead of this year’s CWG auction.

While I found a few semillons, a chenin, a few pinot noirs and even two pinotages (see my website for more highlights), the standout red was made by Rianie Strydom. The 2015 Strydom Family Wines The Game Changer Cabernet Franc-Merlot is a two-barrel selection coming from two different vineyards on the Helderberg. The perfume alone is sensational and this recipe (used most famously by Cheval Blanc) and Rianie’s careful oak maturation has resulted in a literal game-changer for the Cape.

To register your interest, give CWG’s general manager, Kate Jonker, a call on the number above. She will be very happy to help you. You can download the list of the wines from the website and faites vos jeux.

Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (