Ormonde Private Cellar releases 2012 Alexanderfontein white wines

Date posted:
November 16, 2012


Alexanderfontein Wines is the lifestyle brand within the Ormonde Private Cellar collection and comprises three whites and three reds, all single-varietal wines. The current releases are the 2012 vintages of Alexanderfontein Sauvignon Blanc, Alexanderfontein Chenin Blanc and Alexanderfontein Chardonnay (unwooded).


The family of Ormonde Private Cellar’s owner, Theo Basson, are deeply rooted in the history of Darling. Their ancestors trace back to the French Huguenots, who arrived in South Africa in the late 17th century. Theo’s father, Nico, returned to Darling in 1970 when he bought the farm Alexanderfontein to start a highly acclaimed dairy herd. However, with encouragement from his Stellenbosch friends, Oom Nico planted vines in Darling and supplied grapes to Stellenbosch Farmers’ Winery and various other cellars in the Boland. His sauvignon blanc soon became well-known and he is considered one of Darling’s sauvignon blanc pioneers. He later bought the Ormonde farm.


The Basson family, highly regarded grape growers, built their own 1 000-ton cellar in time for winemaker, Michiel du Toit, to make wine from the best grapes produced by the 2006 harvest. At Ormonde a ‘hands on’ approach in the vineyard and ‘hands off’ approach in the winery reflect their philosophy of allowing fruit and terroir to be fully expressed in every bottle. The modern Ormonde cellar is geared to making wine using traditional French techniques, including open fermentation, plunging, racking, barrel ageing and blending. Only oak barrels are used, no chips and staves. Ormonde concentrates its efforts on 3 ranges: Alexanderfontein, Ondine and their flagship Ormonde range.


The quality of the sauvignon blanc grapes grown on Ormonde’s farms has been illustrated by the number of high-profile wineries that use these Darling grapes in their premium award-winning sauvignon blancs. In fact, one year, when WINE magazine still staged the Top 10 Sauvignon Blanc Challenge, several of the top ten wines were made from, or contained, Ormonde grapes.


First launched shortly after the dawning of the new millennium, Alexanderfontein Wines were an instant hit with customers, because they offered such outstanding value. Sauvignon blanc led the way, as is so often the case these days, and the other wines in the range soon gained in popularity. The three reds in the Alexanderfontein range are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Shiraz of which the 2009 vintages are now commercially available.


Alexanderfontein Sauvignon Blanc 2012


Sauvignon Blanc has become the signature wine of the Darling District (Wine of Origin). As a cultivar that responds favourably to the cool growing environment of the area, it produces intense herbaceous, fruity, and aromatic wines that are a favourite among consumers. The Alexanderfontein sauvignon blancs are regularly awarded 3½ stars and more by Platter’s SA Wine Guide, and the 2011 vintage was also rated ‘üGood value’ in the 2012 edition. The Alexanderfontein Sauvignon Blanc has also received Double Gold Veritas awards twice in the past few years.


Tasting notes

The Alexanderfontein Sauvignon Blanc 2012 displays tropical aromas of fig, gooseberry and white peach with whiffs of green pepper, and green pepper and asparagus flavours. A wine of delicate style and structure, with crisp acidity, it has a lingering aftertaste.


Suggested food pairing

A fresh asparagus and rocket salad with Parmesan or Pecorino shavings seasoned with black pepper and drizzled with a little extra virgin olive oil is a perfect accompaniment to an ice cold bottle of Alexanderfontein Sauvignon Blanc.


Approximate retail price:  R40


Alexanderfontein Chenin Blanc 2012


Alexanderfontein chenin blanc is planted in ideal terrain: at high altitude to benefit from the cool climate, influenced by the nearby icy Atlantic Ocean.


Tasting notes

This lively easy-drinking wine has prominent guava aromas with hints of green apple. Its crisp acidity and freshness are in harmony with the wine’s intense tropical flavours, which linger well.


Suggested food pairing

This distinctive summer wine is enjoyable with most light summer meals, be it at a picnic or around the pool. It is especially delicious with fish or chicken served with a tossed salad with cucumber, peaches or nectarines, rocket and mini mozzarella balls or mild white cheddar, all drizzled with quality olive oil and a grind of black pepper.


The Alexanderfontein Chenin Blanc 2011 was awarded 3 stars and rated ‘J Exceptionally drinkable and well-priced’, in Platter’s 2012 SA Wine Guide.


Approximate retail price:  R35


Alexanderfontein Chardonnay 2012


Using a fast bunch-pressing process the winemaker is able to retain high natural acidity in Alexanderfontein’s chardonnays, enhancing the freshness of the wine.


Tasting notes

This wine has an appealing citrus and white peach nose and a creamy palate full of lemon and lime flavours supported by characters of lees contact, with good length and lively acidity. The wine’s natural fruit flavours are in harmony with the natural acidity, creating a vibrantly fresh wine.


Food pairing

Enjoy a glass of Alexanderfontein Chardonnay with crispy honey glazed roast chicken and a fresh summer salad.

Approximate retail price:  R40


Ormonde Private Cellar’s attractive tasting facilities and homestead are literally situated in the town of Darling. In fact, Mount Pleasant Street comes to an end at the striking farm gates and the 400 hectares of vineyards spread out from there, rolling up into the hills behind the village.


Public facilities at the Cellar


Tasting and sales:    Monday to Friday: 9am to 5pm

                            Saturdays and public holidays: 9am to 3pm

Closed:                   Easter Friday, 25 and 26 December and 1 January

Picnics:                  By appointment or BYO

Vineyard tours:        By appointment

Other facilities         Facilities for children and nature walks

Telephone:              022 492 3540

E-mail:                   info@ormonde.co.za

Website:                 www.ormonde.co.za

GPS co-ordinates:    S 33°22'20.2" E 18°21'23.6"



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