Simply great! Colombard is perfect for picnics and patios

COLOMBAR is not considered to be one of the so-called noble grape varieties, but man can it make for a good drink. Few would argue that it could rival fine Chardonnay and Chenin for complexity and class, but it can be a delightful white wine when originating from healthy vineyards and entrusted to a winemaker willing and able to coax the best from it.
Generally speaking, Colombar – or Colombard with a ‘d’ as the French and a few of the South African producers prefer to spell it – is quaffing stuff, particularly well suited to being enjoyed well chilled and served outdoors on a sunny day. In years past, the name of the variety was seldom included in the name of the wines made from it, and it was often used together with other varieties as a component for simple white blends.
Andre Bruwer of Bon Courage Estate between Robertson and Bonnievale was one of the first winemakers to proudly state ‘Colombard’ on a wine label and today Jacques Bruwer – who took over the winemaking from his pa quite a while back – makes one of the country’s top examples. The Nuy Winery outside Worcester produces a dry as well as a semi-sweet Colombar, both priced at only R30 a bottle, whereas the off-dry Bon Courage Andre’s Fame Colombard another good-value white at just R32pb – very fruity and, with the recently-released 2012, also characterised by a hint of petillance. “Lively,” as the cellarmaster puts it.

According to Jacques Bruwer, the 2012 Andre’s Fame exhibits fresh, exuberant aromas and an invigorating palate. “The concentrated guava and pineapple fruitiness on the nose spills over onto the palate… Full of flavour, yet light and lively… A lovely patio wine – best consumed in its youth… Lingering fruity after-taste… Ideal with seafood and lightly spiced meats.”

The 2011 vintage of this niche wine from Bon Courage still makes for good drinking, but when compared with the 2012 it’s proof that by and large SA Colombar should be consumed in the year that it was made.