The Durbanville Hills Light Chenin Blanc and Shiraz wines are both at 9% alcohol and around 30% lower in calories.
Martin Moore, Durbanville Hills’ Cellar Master, says taste is the most important factor in wine consumption decision making and even more so for wines lower in alcohol.
“We wanted to create a low alcohol wine that does not compromise on taste or quality, that showcases our cool climate terroir and is a joy to drink. We certainly didn’t want to release a wine that would be reviewed as ‘fair or passable’, so we took our time in investigating all the options, including experimenting with the various methods of dealcoholisation.”
Martin says that although they harvested the grapes for the Chenin Blanc around two weeks earlier than normal, they were astounded at the abundance of flavour present even at a lower sugar level. The wine was made following the same methods than normal for the full-alcohol wines with no short cuts and no additional technology.
“The red was a bit trickier. We realised we had to harvest the Shiraz grapes fully ripe to counter green, harsh tannins, so off I went to hand-select a block with thin skins and naturally lower in tannin. In the cellar we dealcoholised some of the wine, to bring down the alcohol levels, before blending with the rest of the wine made as per normal,” he said.
The taste is fruit-forward, well-balanced and not much change from the cool climate elegance that Durbanville Hills’ wines has been known for over the years.
“I believe that great wine should always be the cornerstone of any new product – whether lighter in alcohol or a different style – and this new range, in my opinion, is a clear winner,” says Martin.
The Durbanville Hills Light Chenin Blanc 2021 is brilliant clear in colour with olive green edges. Inviting vibrant tropical fruit, pear, lime, pineapple, paw-paw and floral notes unravel on the nose and leads to a refreshing, crisp taste brimming with fruit flavours.
Although the Durbanville Hills Light Shiraz 2021 is a young wine, it is very drinkable. The wine holds a ruby red colour with a lovely combination of ripe plum, black cherry, liquorice, hints of vanilla and star anise on the nose. It’s a mouth-filling wine with soft, silky tannins, sweet dark fruit and hints of vanilla.
The Durbanville Hills Light range is available nationwide and retails for about R79.99 each.