Drinks, food

DRINK THIS: Springfield Whole Berry Cab Sauv

There are some wines that stay with you, long after the bottle has been emptied and tossed out with the recycling. It can be based on a single hallelujah moment, just the right configuration of location, company and perhaps occasion, and the fact that this particular wine was on the table, in your glass, and going down with consummate ease. It becomes your go-to choice in times of optimism and celebration, though you’ll be inclined to open a bottle when you’re feeling sad. The wines of Springfield Estate in the Robertson valley seem to pop up a lot when surveying friends’ ‘hallelujah’ labels, unsurprisingly really. It’s not just the poetic names – Method Ancienne (for a Cab), Life From Stone (a Sauv Blanc), The Work of Time (the Bordeaux blend) – that evoke visions of goodness, earthiness, a certain nobility in the making of these wines (and in the drinking of them). It’s also the philosophy behind the wine and the people behind the Springfield brand - present day custodians being siblings Abrie and Jeanette Bruwer, the former both viticulturist and winemaker. At the heart of their ethos is producing wine as naturally as possible, from vineyard to cellar, with the least amount of intervention they can get away with. Thus, fining and filtration are kept to a minimum, and wild yeasts are employed to ferment the grapes. The wines produced are, in turn, unconventional and quite wonderful to drink, not least the Springfield Estate Whole Berry Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 (R111), the grapes of which were hand-harvested and placed uncrushed into open tanks to ferment with natural yeasts. The result is a bright, ripe, velvety smooth wine about which you could wax lyrical for hours if you weren’t simply happy to quietly sip and enjoy it. Text Leigh Robertson