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The wines of Fairview Estate, Paarl, South Africa

PO Box 583, Suider Paarl 7624, South Africa
Tel: +27 21 863 2450 Fax: +27 21 863 2591
E-mail: fairwine@mweb.co.za Website: www.fairview.co.za
UK agent: Charles Hawkins (01572 823 030, email charles@charleshawkins.demon.co.uk)

N.b. See a more recent report on Fairview based on a visit in December 2005, and another based on a visit in November 2009

Fairview is one of the leading producers from the Paarl region in South Africa, which adjoins Stellenbosch but has a slightly warmer climate. Moving away from the common estate model (in South Africa, until this year wine estates have only been able to use their name for wines made from grapes grown on the estate), Fairview have been highly successful in developing the Goats du Roam and Goat Roti blends. These are simply brilliant commercial wines, packing in a lot of flavour and class at their respective price points.

The Fairview range is uniformly good, and in places very good indeed. Winemaking is of a high quality. While they donít quite reach the peaks of some of the top (smaller) South African producers, itís rare to find such consistency, interest and value for money in a line up of wines as I encountered here.

The estate itself has a tasting room where for a small fee you can try the line up of wines alongside some of the cheeses they produce. But as this is one of the favourite haunts of tour buses who regularly disgorge their hordes of semi-pissed, camera-clicking passengers, Iíd phone ahead to make sure there are no such buses due to coincide with your visit.

Goats du Roam White 2002 Western Cape
Brilliant commercial style here, with a blend of Cruchen Blanc, Clairette, Grenache Blanc and Muscat Frontignac. Lovely open fruity nose which is modern with an aromatic lift to the lemony floral fruit. The palate is rich and fruity with lots of personality. Very good+

Goats du Roam Rosť 2002 Western Cape
Nice pink colour. Attractive herb-tinged strawberry and raspberry fruit here. Drinks nicely. Very good

Goats du Roam Red 2002 Western Cape
Brilliant commercial winemaking, again. Lovely rich raspberry fruit with a cherry/herby edge and a touch of medicinal spiciness. Chewy, savoury palate with a spicy edge. Very good+

Goat Roti 2001 Western Cape
A cheekily-titled blend of Shiraz, Mourvedre, Grenache and Viognier. Good concentration of chewy, savoury, spicy fruit with some meaty complexity. Compelling stuff. Very good/excellent

Fairview Viognier 2002, Paarl
Half stainless steel, half barrel fermented. Very pretty floral nose is quite delicate with a lifted limey edge. Nicely weighted palate has good balance. Very good

Fairview Semillon 2001 Paarl
Very appealing toasty  barrel-ferment character and lemon on the nose. Really attractive creamy, spicy palate is oak dominated but works well. Brilliant wine making. Very good+

Fairview Oom Pagel Semillon 2001 Paarl
Wonderful complex intense, nutty toasty nose with a lemony, herby lift. Palate is bold, rich textured and with good intensity, with a creamy vanilla edge. Great concentration. Very good/excellent 

Fairview SMV 2001 Paarl
A blend of Shiraz, Mourvedre and Viognier. Very deep coloured. Distinct spicy, savoury nose with a bit of medicinal character. Very concentrated firm, spicy palate with a savoury, slightly woody edge. Great depth here. Very good/excellent

Fairview Peg Leg Carignan 2001, Coastal Region
Savoury spicy nose with a roasted edge. Chewy, concentrated chunky palate is quite savoury with good tannin and acidity. Satisfying stuff. Very good+

Fairview Primo Pinotage 2001 Paarl
This is a huge wine. Deep red/black colour. Quite open herby, sweetly spiced fruit on the nose. Intense herbal fruit on the palate. Great concentration with an appealing sweet edge. Very good+

Fairview Beacon Block Shiraz 2001 Paarl
Fairviewís two premium Shiraz wines come from different soils. This one is from metamorphic shale. Quite an exciting open nose with great depth of rich, tarry fruit. Hugely concentrated savoury palate with intense spicy fruit and good balance. Rich and structured. Very good/excellent

Fairview Solitude Shiraz 2001 Paarl
This one is from decomposed shale, and is a little riper and smoother. Hugely concentrated in a rich, spicy style with bold, rich fruit and quite a bit of spicy oak. Lots happening. Very good/excellent

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