2018 Mont Blois Estate Colombard Keller Vineyard
Have you ever underestimated somebody or something? An acquaintance, a colleague, a player, a team? That’s what happened to me with Colombard.
Do you know that feeling when you realize whoever or whatever you underestimated could do more than you thought they could? That’s how I felt about Colombard after I drank the 2018 Mont Bois Keller Estate Colombard from South Africa.
Sure, I knew about the importance of Colombard. About its use as a blending grape for Bordeaux Blanc. About its origins in the southwest of France, where nearby wine regions cultivate it for vins de pays, and where it’s one of the principal grapes used for Cognac and Armagnac. But I didn’t know Colombard was South Africa’s most popular grape. And I didn’t know Colombard’s qualities of green apple, sweet melon, almond, and peach could make such a glorious, single-variety fine wine — until Mont Blois showed me.
The history of Mont Blois Wine Estate begins in 1869, when the Bruwer Family acquired their first vineyards. Today, Ernst Bruwer and his wife Nina-Mari make their family’s wines on three farms in the Robertson region of the Western Cape of South Africa. The Bruwer family take the name of their estate from the town of Blois in the Loire Valley, where the first Bruwers immigrated from. And the character and quality of the wines Ernst and Nani-Mari make show their family’s Loire Valley pedigree.
The 2018 Keller Estate Colombard is bottled from a single barrel of wine made from a 43-year-old vineyard on the alluvial soils of the De Hoop River. The wine has aromas and flavors of honeysuckle and sweet hay, then pear, peach, golden raisin, and vanilla bean. Its body is light and fresh, with a touch of sea salt.
The Keller Estate Colombard is the wine for summer. For picnics in the park and dinners on the porch. For sushi, ceviche, salads, and summer vegetables. And for saying to your friends that you were there at the wine world’s great, single-variety Colombard wine discovery.