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wine of the week 01/03/2009

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  Hartenberg (South Africa) Weisser Riesling 2007
The roots of the Hartenberg estate in Stellenbosch can be traced back to 1704, but it is only since January 2008 that they have been brought to the UK as an exclusive agency of the excellent wine merchant H&H Bancroft. At a recent tasting I was tremendously impressed with their range, including a delightful Sauvignon Blanc, brace of fine Chardonnays and some terrific reds including the 'Stork' Shiraz: one of the finest I have tasted from South Africa. However I have chosen this as Wine of the Week as it something just a bit different. Around 30% of the grapes for the wine were Botrytis affected, adding just a touch of honey and apricot to otherwise clean, zesty, herbal aromas with hints of wax and a touch of paraffin. The palate has some lemon rind, waxy fatness, but then keen acidity leads into a juicy, concentrated finish which is off-dry, with a nice combination of tang and richness. A versatile wine for drinking as an aperitif or with food. £8.95, H&H Bancroft