In a nutshell: A luscious, rich and tropical South African dessert wine from the Stellenbosch region.
The lowdown: Vergelegen's Straw wine isn't made every year and even then it's only in small quantities. The estate rates the 2015 as one of the best they've produced of which less than 8,500 half bottles were made. It's a blend of 50% each of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. To concentrate the sugar levels the grapes were either left to hang on the vines or dried on wooden pallets and were then fermented on their skins and transferred to oak barrels part way through fermentation. The result is a wine where ripe, tropical fruit abounds on the nose and where the marvellous acidity and freshness gives it a real lift on the palate.
Vergelegen is one of the oldest wine estates in South Africa with a history dating back as far as the early 1700s. Theyve always been an important landmark but the modern era for them really began in the late 1980s following its acquisition by the global mining group Anglo American. They invested millions in surveying the land and extensive planting of new vineyards in the best sites and in 1992 they opened a truly impressive part sunken four level winery was opened which, using gravity, minimises the use of machinery. Currently headed up by Luke O'Cuinneagain who took over the reins from legendary André van Rensburg in 2022 Vergelegen is an instance where the financial strength of a large conglomerate and the skill of excellent winemakers has had yielded wonderful results.
When to drink: Best served chilled to around 8-10°C and it's great with light, creamy desserts.