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Boplaas Family Reserve
Gamka Branca 2017

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Alwyn van der Merwe

Director of Investments

So-called ‘new wave’ winemakers have played a significant role in lifting the overall quality and reputation of South African wines globally. While Boplaas isn’t usually associated with this epithet, the estate has produced the Gamka Branca 2017, a white blend with many of the virtues of trendy new wave wines that still captures the winemakers’ unique style.

South Africa’s top-end wines have improved noticeably over the past 10 years, due in no small part to the efforts of the current crop of our country’s ‘new wave’ winemakers. Leading wine writer Michael Fridjhon remarked recently that the new wave is largely identified with older, generally virus-resistant vineyards. Their single-variety wines or blends are represented mainly by Mediterranean cultivars, such as cinsaut, mourvedre, shiraz, roussanne and clairette blanche, and chenin and grenache blanc from central France.

Located on the eastern edge of the Cape winelands near Calitzdorp, Boplaas isn’t ordinarily described as a new wave wine producer. The 60-hectare estate is renowned for its world-quality, port-styled wines. However, the Nel family has always been known for innovation, so it’s not surprising they’ve crafted a white blend featuring the best of the new wave cult wines while still putting their unique stamp on the product.

The Gamka Branca 2017 is blended from a diverse selection of varietals, vineyards and sites to highlight the intrepid nature of Cape wine. This maiden release combines the Portuguese variety verdelho – a recent addition to the Boplaas plantings – with cool-climate chardonnay, exotic viognier, Stellenbosch grenache blanc, and importantly, old dry land bush vine Swartland steen and roussanne.

Boplaas Family Reserve Gamka Branca 2017

This barrel-fermented and matured white blend displays an exotic mélange of citrus-blossom flavours, tangerine and lime marmalade, and a hint of toastiness on the nose. These flavours repeat on the palate, but ripe pear, white peach and melons enhance the complexity of the wine. The mouthfeel is full, with a mild tannic grippiness and an acidity that provides decent structure to the wine. It ends with a long saline finish with undertones of subtle white spice, preserved lemons and melon.

The Gamka Branca 2017 is a wine that makes the consumer think, and is to be enjoyed sip by sip. Like many crafted wines, this one can confidently be cellared for the next the next five to 10 years.


Sanlam Private Wealth clients can purchase the Boplaas Family Reserve Gamka Branca 2017 for a special price of R135 per bottle (cellar price R150).

The offer is open exclusively to Sanlam Private Wealth clients. All wine offers expire after 30 days. Subject to availability.

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