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THERE will be a feast of flavours to appeal to new and experienced wine drinkers during this year’s Mercury Wine Week.
Being held at the new venue at Greyville Race Course on August 24 to 26, more than 50 exhibitors will be on show to bring patrons a touch of the Cape – from the new season sauvignon blancs to the complexity of shiraz and the sheer joy of drinking bubbles. Interspersed with wine are the food exhibitors offering nibbles on olives, cheeses and other tapas, but some hints for sounding intelligent with the winemakers always comes in handy.

Franschhoek-based winery Grande Provence has released its first amphora wine, an unusually aromatic and ultra-elegant chenin blanc fermented and matured in the egg-shaped Tuscan clay amphorae that captures more than 6000 years of winemaking history.
Crafted in a natural idiom following the lead of the ancient Greeks and Romans, the Grande Provence Amphora 2015 embraces technology developed thousands of years.
Predominantly chenin with a touch of Muscat de Frontignan, this wine is a complete departure from what anyone expects from a white wine. Newly-appointed general manager and winemaker Matthew van Heerden says the outcome is balanced tannins, deep colour and unusually aromatic, so something to question during this year’s show – as is the second vintage of the flagship white TGP White 2014 formidably blended from chenin and viognier.
Van Heerden recently took over from Karl Lambour, the architect of amphora wine.
Another wine worth tracking down is the Krone Night Nectar Demi-Sec Rosé 2015, a charming, blushing counterpart to the Krone Night Nectar Demi-Sec launched in 2014.
Delivering an enchanting rosé blush and beguiling aromas of fresh strawberries and cranberries, it will be a welcome addition to anyone’s cellar.
Among the reds is the offering from a relative newcomer to Mercury Wine Week, Painted Wolf Wines. The Peloton Rouge 2012 won a Veritas bronze last year and a double silver at the National Wine Challenge this year and, while the newer vintage has not yet been judged, the winery is confident it will be “just as popular as its older brother”.

Lastly, do not leave this year’s show without making a contribution to saving the rhinos. Mt Vernon’s Rhino Tears range has raised more than R800000 to fight rhino poaching as a percentage of every bottle sold is donated to the South African National Parks (SANParks) Honorary Rangers Conservation Services Unit.
After spending time with the field rangers in Kruger National Park, Mt Vernon MD John Hooper, Rangers chairman John Turner and The Hat & Creek restaurants owner Andre Nel devised a plan to raise funds for the war against rhino poaching. The answer was a red blend made from shiraz, cabernet sauvignon and pinotage; a fruit-driven chenin suitable for every occasion and a sweet rosé as a blend of all the varietals.
“Every bottle purchased makes a difference. The costs of the anti-poaching war are expensive and the men and women involved need all they can get against a ruthless enemy,” Hooper says.

Tickets cost R120 per person if purchased in advance by iTickets (opened July 25) or R140 at the door. Show times are Wednesday to Friday 5:30 to 8:30pm and access to the venue is off Avondale Road.

Nicola Jenvey