What is nuance? By definition, nuance means ” A subtle or slight degree of difference, as in meaning, feeling, or tone; a gradation” according to freedictionary.com.
I received two bottles of nuance wines to try; a Cabernet Sauvignon / Malbec blend, and a Sauvignon Blanc / Pinot Grigio blend from South Africa. I do like South African wines. They tend to be food friendly, and in style are situated the more austere Old World (European) style, and the more fruit forward, New World (e.g. North America) style. Where will these wines fit in?
Nuance is a brand of wines produced by Distell, a large South African wine and spirits company. They produce many wine labels, some you may recognize such as: Stellenzicht, Fleur du Cap, Drostdy-Hof, and Nederburg. What is special / peculiar about the nuance wines is that they are crafted exclusively for the Canadian market. I take it to mean that there is a particular wine flavour palate for Canadians and that these wines are crafted to bring out those flavours. The two wines are both priced at $10.99 a bottle, so before tasting I would guess that they would be in the “cheerful” category. Fruity with little structure to make it easy for most people to drink.
My Tasting Notes
Nuance Sauvignon Blanc / Pinot Grigio, 2011, South Africa ($10.99 in BC). Medium lemon in colour. Youthful nose with stone fruit, tropical fruit, yeast, and quite a bit of oak. Medium acidity and body, with some roundness on the palate. Flavours of stone fruit, tropical fruit, pear, yeast, and a hint of grapefruit and vanilla. The wine leaves you with mouthwatering acidity in your mouth. Medium length. I’d rate this as an OK everyday wine to enjoy with fish or poultry dishes that are lightly cooked and spiced.
Nuance Cabernet Sauvignon / Malbec, 2011, South Africa ($10.99 in BC). This blend is 80% Cabernet and 20% Malbec. Translucent medium ruby in the glass. Quite a youthful aroma, with red fruits, raspberry, vanilla, and some cinnamon and chocolate in the background. This wine feels quite light in your mouth, in part due to the lack of tannins (making a soft wine for the Canadian palate?). Black cherries, red and black fruits, plums, and blackberry flavours. In addition some black currant leaf and oak. The wine has a bit of smokiness and leafiness on the finish together with some sweetness (whether it is from any residual sugar, or from the overall fruitiness of the wine). Another OK everyday wine to enjoy. Serve this one with a not too heavy beef dish, or maybe some grilled sausages.
I’m not sure that I found nuance in these wines, but they are produced in an easy drinking, fruit forward style at a very reasonable price. If you are looking for nuance in your wine, try Distell’s Fleur du Cap. Enjoy.