Van Loveren


Upon returning from a weekend in George we decided to break up the journey by stopping for lunch in Robertson.  Coming from Bonnievale side, Van Loveren was the first farm (that we recognised) to pop up right there on the main road.  What a lovely farm!

The tasting room is very simply decorated with a wooden deck outside under the trees.  A short stroll through the garden will bring you to Christina’s bistro which is just lovely.  I think we managed to find the last small unbooked table available as the restaurant was buzzing with families and friends enjoying the good food and the one man band. 

With a very simple menu of salads, burgers, pizzas and a daily special, the restaurant has a relaxed country atmosphere.  The pizzas were fantastic, thin crusted and DE-licious!  We had the ASB (Avo, salami & brie) topped with rocket and the Hawaiian (which is made with pork belly and roasted pineapple).  With a bottle of the Van Loveren Sauvignon Blanc to compliment, it was a great Sunday lunch!

We’ll definitely come back.

After lunch we decided to share one of the tastings.  There are a number of different tastings you can choose from, chocolate, nougat or cheese pairings, a Four Cousins fan tasting, there is even a kiddies tasting which features a non-alcoholic white & red paired with a little bowl of sweets, just so they don’t feel left out. 

We had the Christina tasting which is 5 of the Christina Van Loveren wines with palette cleansers in the form of bread, olive oil and dukka.  It was actually a very nice combination and variety of the different wines.

The white wines were considerably nicer than the REDS and we were wondering what varietals the Robertson valley are better known for. After some research I found out that Robertson is in fact considered white wine territory, traditionally known for it’s Chardonnays. So then it was a good thing that we preferred the WHITES to the REDS.

My wine notes below…

A fantastic MCC, honestly delicious.  Not too dry with almost a rose sort of taste.  A delicious soft (on the palate and the bubbles), sweetish MCC.  We gave it a 5 out of 5 and saved the rest for the end of the tasting.  Very very enjoyable!

This wine definitely has a strong green pepper smell, definitely!  A little bit lemony as well.  It is soft on the tongue with a lovely smooth finish, not tart at all, a little like apple juice actually.  A very nice Sauv B. 
We had a bottle of the Van Loveren Sauvignon Blanc with our pizzas at lunch actually preferred it slightly to this one, it had a fuller flavour.  But both were very good.

The nose on this wine is a very strong butter and butterscotch smell (almost burns the nose hairs).  Having said that the flavour is not nearly as harsh as the nose, and while it has quite heavy legs, it doesn’t coat your mouth like some other honey like Chardonnays.  It has a slightly zingy tart finish taste that almost makes you cluck your tongue.  A well rounded Chardonnay with the citrus zing and buttery notes.  John platter gave it 4 stars, but I think 3 was more in line with our personal preference.

With a dark rich colour this wine smelt like your typical dark berries and earth.  It had quite hectic legs and was somewhat tanniny.  The wine notes did not give an indication of a year, but perhaps it would be smoother if given a little more time in the bottle, I’m not sure.  It has quite a harsh, not very smooth finish.  It was pleasant enough to drink, but it is the type of wine I would expect to see as a house RED at a family restaurant.

This shiraz has a peppery nose, it actually smells a bit like raw meat or blood – it doesn’t sound so nice, but an accurate description.  It has good solid legs on it and a more ruby red colour than the darker wines.  It definitely has a light pepper taste amongst the berry flavours with a subtle nutmeg, clove hint.  Again it was not that smooth and doesn’t quite compare with other Shiraz’s, but I would say it is an easy drinking, braai time RED.

I am glad I now know that REDS are not the valley’s forte and I therefore don’t feel too bad about not loving the REDS.


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