Unusual Wine of The Month – Bukettraube

I’m so excited to introduce to you my …

Unusual Wine of the Month!

These are wines that are unusual – either to South Africa, or even just to me, and, sometimes, to you. I’d like to introduce you to the cultivar and tell you where you can get a good example, right here in the Western Cape.

This month, I’ll be starting with a VERY unusual wine.


Unusual Wine of the Month – Bukettraube (Cederberg 2017)

What is it and where does it come from?

The Bukettraube (pronounced bu-ket-trau-be) is a varietal that is so rare that there are only 77 hectares left in the world! It is white grape varietal that is thought to have originated in Germany and is believed to be a cross between the Blauer Silvaner and Trollinger grapes. It has a few other names too:  Bouquet Blanc, Bouquettraube, Sylvaner Musqué and Bukettrebe.

It was brought to South Africa in the 1960s and began to flourish here. South Africa is now known to be one of the few wine-producing countries in the world that bottles Bukettraube as a single varietal wine. However, it’s not a very easy grape to grow. It’s prone to rot and typically ripens late. Within South Africa, there are only a couple of wine farms producing this unique varietal and Cederberg is one of them. Cederberg’s climate is well-suited as it’s hot and not very humid, so the grapes have time to ripen and grow big, without being affected by diseases.

(Swartland winery also makes a Bouquett and Simonslvei does not seem to be producing a Buckettraube any longer.)

What does it look like?

As you can see in the glass above, it’s a pale, gold colour.

What does it smell like?

The grape varietal is known to have light-intensity floral, muscat-like aromas with hints of dried apricot. I also picked up a slight honeyed aroma.

What does it taste like?

First of all, it’s off-dry, so you are hit with a delicate sweetness on the palate which is balanced out by the high acidity. The wine had the expected floral and dried apricot flavours that were picked up on the nose. I also picked up some tropical flavours, like litchi and pineapple. I’d say it’s medium bodied with a long finish.

What temperature should it be served at?

Although it is a white wine, it’s slightly sweeter than the dry whites, so I’d serve it chilled at 7 to 10 degrees celsius.

How long can it age for?

This wine won’t keep for very long as it’s meant to be drunk young, so I’d keep it for one to two years (if you can).

What food can it pair well with?

Due to it’s good balance between sugar and acidity, and the fact that the acidity levels are quite high, it would pair well with spicy foods, like prawns with a touch of chilli or a mild, chicken curry. It would also pair nicely with spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, so I reckon it would be a real treat to pair with a warm, apple pie and a small dollop of ice cream.

Where can I get it?

Well, that is a challenge…but you can order the 2018 Buckettraube online from Cederberg HERE. It will cost R112 per bottle or R673 for 6 bottles. I have not seen it any local stores.

In a nutshell:

A good, easy-drinking, aromatic wine that can be enjoyed on it’s own, or with food, across all seasons. (Also, I need to get another bottle!)

Thanks for reading! Cheers!

Disclaimer: I am a huge wine lover as I’m sure you know and am most certainly not a connoisseur, so this is just my opinion of this particular wine.