If you live in South Africa, both you and your mama know all about Roodeberg, a cheerily commercial red blend. Nothing against that wine: it’s pleasant and distinctive, purposefully pitched between stylish Bordeaux claret and earthy South African red. The white has been pleasant in the past, but I have never been as pleased by a Roodeberg as I am by the 2008 white Roodeberg.
In classic KWV fashion, we’re not allowed to know precisely what’s in the wine. The label says nothing; the website talks about 45% Chardonnay (coulda fooled me), 40% Chenin Blanc (that’s easier to believe) and 15% “secret”. But WAIT, there’s more, like they say on the commercials. The website says the wine has aromas of litchi (sic) and rose petals. Hmm, would you suggesting Gewurztraminer, by chance? Moreover, the back label says the wine has “gooseberry”. That would suggest that the culprit is not Gewurztraminer but Sauvignon Blanc. Whodunit? What is this, a Murder She Wrote episode?
Lest I encourage the marketing people to continue such inanity, let me say that I would have spent the last one hundred words praising the wine if I didn’t feel the need to bitch about this typically KWV-ish secrecy. But I guess the folks that brought you green pepper extract in Sauvignon Blanc feel like being a bit coy…Bitchslap!
Okay, that was unfair. I just don’t understand why wine marketers think we’re stupid consumers or treat us as children who don’t deserve to know the details. But again, I’ve lost the thread of why I wanted to write this review. I didn’t intend to complain; I wanted to praise the wine.
And so I will. Sweet citrus, some fresh herbs and lemony warmth make for a pretty, textured and barely smoky wine. The barrel presence is very minimal, indeed, it may be more lees stirring then barrels. It tastes like fun and friendly South African Chenin Blanc with a whisper of Chardonnay and a touch of Gewurztraminer, Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc and Roussanne (well, I told you it was a bit warm). Of course, it’s not comprised of all of those grapes but the wine has complexity, as you might guess from these notes. It has something that is pleasing like fatness so maybe it’s not much of a keeper but who cares? Drink tonight with citrus marinated grilled shrimp. Smile and stop complaining.