Almenkerk in Elgin is worth a stopover. I have known its flagship wines for their reliability, whereas their Lace range is making head way when it comes to value.
I tasted their wines recently and here are my two cents:
Lace Sauvignon Blanc ’13
It had generous sweet tropical fruits of peaches and pineapples with succulent acidity. Fun.
Lace Rosé ’12
Made from Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, it had an enticing salmon colour with a dusty gravel depth, married with delicate lemon acidity. Refreshing.
Lace Vineyard blend ’11
A blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Shiraz. Dark fruit and berries mixed with earthy character. I picked up cigar box bouquet, a slight salty quality in the mouth and ample acidity. Somewhat lacking in depth, however reasonable good complexity. Great value.
Almenkerk Sauvignon Blanc ’13
I enjoyed it just as much as the 2011 vintage that was a notch more restrained. Forward green pepper aroma intertwined with clean kiwi and grape fruit. Rich leesy (dead yeast cells character) mid-palate and refreshing lengthy lemon finish. Could be aged.
Almenkerk Chardonnay ’12
Skilful delicate oaking regime. I pick up caramel and vanilla nuances that are backed by a citrus palate. Dusty component (seemingly characteristic of the vineyards) comes through followed by intricate aromatics. Great balance and finesse.
Almenkerk Syrah ’11
A little underwhelming considering the 2010 that I adored! (My notes say they both have 15% Cabernet Franc added, but the website states ’11 is 100% Syrah.) A little tight at the start, but opening up to produce violet like fragrance. Plums and grippy tannins. Its predecessor had more luscious fruit, was rounded and finished off with a mischievous caramel note.
Interestingly, all wines other than the Sauvignon Blanc and Lace Rosé have Residual Sugars higher than 5 g/l, yet they do not come across as being slightly off dry (sweet). The natural acidity achievable because of the regions cool climate probably balance it out.