June 2024

June 2024

South Africa


Salut and welcome to the June edition of the l’Art du Vin wine club!

It feels like summer is finally here in Scotland after what has felt like a particularly long spring! Finally, I can crack open all the wines that I tasted at the beginning of the year but earmarked for a sunny evening on my patio at home or on the terraces of my favourite restaurants.

This month we are heading to one of my favourite wine producing countries – South Africa. Focussing on the twin estates of Radford Dale and The Winery of Good Hope, I hope that this month’s selection illustrates the incredible value for money and varietal range that can be found in the beautiful vineyards in and around the Western Cape.

I deliberately chose these wines this month as I believe all four can play a great role in a BBQ setting but also are all fruit-forward enough that they can simply be enjoyed on their own – preferably paired with summer sunshine!

For those of you fortunate enough to be heading off on summer holidays, I hope that you enjoy your trips. If you are heading abroad, my advice would be to explore the local grape varieties and endeavour to come back home with a new favourite wine! And of course, if you uncover anything particularly exceptional then please do let us know – we are always on the lookout for insider tips!

I hope that you enjoy this month’s South African focus and many thanks for your continued support!




The Winery of Good Hope & Radford Dale

These estates are the brainchild of Aussie Ben Radford and Brit Alex Dale who crossed paths in Burgundy and later in South Africa. They eventually set up the Radford Dale estate in 1998 in the Stellenbosch region of South Africa. Ben returned to the Barossa Valley but Alex remains at the helm, producing wines that are renowned for their eco-friendly production methods and great value for money. Their key aim to produce wines that are both innovative and sustainable.

Despite being a modern winery, they seek to preserve the sense of terroir by working with as little intervention as possible. Disease-fighting chemicals, pesticides and additives are now outlawed in the production because of the care taken to promote the vine’s health and own immune system. A living ecosystem is also encouraged, promoting beneficial microorganisms and decreasing the effect of nasty ones. They have also replaced fertiliser with a composting system and bottle with as little sulphur as possible.

As well as the Radford Dale range, which uses grapes grown in some of the best sites in the area, they also produce the Winery of Good Hope range. These wines are produced using many of the same principals of the premium wines, but at a price point which offers exceptional value for money.

Chenin Blanc ‘Bush Vine’, The Winery of Good Hope 2022

Tasting Note

This example of Chenin Blanc is wonderfully lively, intense, fruity and beautifully balanced. Expect aromas of green apples and white peach leading to a juicy, taut palate that possesses impressive depth of fruit. It shows great persistence of flavour and freshness that linger on the palate long after the wine has gone. There is no question that this is definitely the sort of wine that is the perfect companion to warm summer days and long balmy evenings.

Food Pairing

This style of fresh, zesty and, crucially, dry Chenin Blanc is the ideal partner to all kinds of fresh seafood including crab, prawns and, most particularly, oysters. It also works well with avocado, asparagus and light pasta dishes.

Chardonnay (Unoaked), The Winery of Good Hope 2022

Tasting Note

This unoaked Chardonnay is an easy-drinking yet classy, affordable wine with bags of freshness, elegance and depth. The fact it is produced using fruit from the ageing vineyards of Stellenbosch and Wolseley only adds to its complexity and texture. The nose highlights lots of bright orchard fruits before a silky palate that carries great weight yet with refreshing acidity. A style of Chardonnay that is equally at home with or without food.

Food Pairing

Opt for lighter fish dishes, fresh salads or simply by the glass in the sunshine!

Syrah ‘Mountainside’, The Winery of Good Hope 2022

Tasting Note

This is a refreshing Syrah from the Cape which shows elegant spice, delightfully combined with ripe red fruits. Often, Syrah in the Western Cape can be used to make big, polished and powerful wines. However, the team at Radford Dale have chosen the path less travelled, deliberately fashioning a restrained and subtle expression of one of the region’s most exciting varieties.

Food Pairing

A prime candidate for inclusion on the table alongside braised meats or stews. However, at this time of year, this wine is a BBQ Swiss army knife – perfect with just about any ingredient that has been cooked over charcoal! Enjoy!

Pinot Noir ‘Vinum’, Radford Dale 2022

Tasting Note

Fruit for this wine is drawn from two vineyard sites, one in Stellenbosch and the other in Botriver. As a result, they manage to produce a more complex, fleshier expression than they do from their other vineyard site in the slightly cooler region of Elgin. The nose opens with lots of strawberry and damson notes, backed up with subtle hints of cardamom. The palate shines with satin texture, beautifully refined tannins and dark plum fruit before a long, silky finish.

Food Pairing

An extremely versatile wine that can cover dishes like salmon or tuna all the way through to chargrilled steak. Equally, doesn’t need to accompany food, can be enjoyed perfectly well on its own – preferably in the summer sunshine!