Sited in the supremely beautiful Devon Valley, and named after the friendly Zulu greeting that can be translated as “Hi, how are you?” Kunjani wines start any encounter with the twin advantages of an enviable location and a companionable name.
Comparatively new on the block, this multicultural enterprise is owned by German entrepreneur Paul Barth and South African businesswoman Pia Watermeyer, while the wines are made by well-known, well-travelled winemaker Carmen Stevens. Their website reveals that they also operate a restaurant and cottages for travellers to hire.
Their trio of warming reds arrived , each in a dark bottle, with cork closures, adorned with black labels bearing gold lettering. The back labels offer brief notes on the nose, palate, and expected life of the contents.
Kunjani Shiraz 2015 sports a gold from Michelangelo 2018, produced from homegrown grapes, which underwent malolactic fermentation in barrel. The wine matured in French oak for 12 months in a combo of new, second- and third fill French oak. The characteristic white pepper is there, spicing up the juicy flavours of red and black berries, balanced by some acidity for freshness. Alcohol levels of 15% are on the hefty side. The website lists the price at R220.
Grapes for the Kunjani merlot 2017 were also sourced on the farm. They were destemmed and cold -soaked for a few days before pressing. Secondary fermentation took place in barrel and the wine matured for 14 months in French oak. Moderate alcohol levels are in keeping with this medium-bodied merlot that presents tobacco and spices along with fruit on the palate, with no trace of greenness. It is priced at R190 and will pair happily with a wide range of winter fare, both casual and formal.
As with the other two, homegrown grapes were harvested for the Kunjani cabernet sauvignon 2017 , then sorted into two lots to provide blending components. Yeast was added to one after four days but the second lot was left to ferment spontaneously for some time. The blend was matured for 14 months in French oak. Characteristic hints of chocolate, mint, blackcurrant and dried herbs are there, along with a hint of vanilla. This Stellenbosch cab has good ageing potential and costs R220.
Visitors can head to the tasting centre on any day of the week. For more info, visit www.kujaniwines.co.za.