If we had to pick a favorite winery from just about anywhere, an almost impossible feat, as there would be many, one of top choices would have to be Stark-Conde out of Stellenbosch’s Jonkershoek Valley. They do everything well, in fact exceedingly well, be it with their red wines, their Cabernets are some of the finest out of the Cape, to their stellar whites, nothing is amiss.
Under the tutelage of owner, cellar master Jose Conde and his chief winemaker Rudger Van Wyk, the whites, at one time lagged a bit behind the reds, but that gap has narrowed, which has showed so over the past few vintages with a number of Platter 5 Star awards as well as international recognition of their quality. Case in point is the just released 2021 Stark-Conde Field Blend, which was not only anointed with it’s second straight Platter 5 Star review (95 pts), but it was also recognized as a wine of serious merit at the 2022 Decanter World Wine Awards where it also received a 95 pt score as well as a Gold medal.
A single vineyard offering planted at the lower lying entrance to the winery, this field blend of Roussanne, Chenin Blanc, Verdelho and Viognier working together in unison creates a sensory delight. A great call for the summer months this has the stuffing to show well for a few years down the road, and as the 2023 Platter review states, “Pretty irresistible, but save some for later”. So enjoy it now or hold off a bit, anyway you approach it, it’s a great bottle of wine that has value added pricing that makes it a stellar offering.
5 Stars 2023 Platter’s South African Wine Guide
Harmonious, generous & textured expression of low-lying riverside vineyard. 21 (95 pts) mostly roussanne & chenin (41/38), dashes viognier & verdelho co-fermented in oak, 5% new, & concrete egg. Captivating aromas of white flower, white peach & Golden Delicious apple, full & rounded, with spiced pear note on the finish. Pretty irresistible, but save some for later.
95 pts – Gold Medal 2022 Decanter World Wine Awards
An elegant white that has chalky freshness and an Old-World-like dry and delicate complexity. A complex white fruit and white flower aroma leads to savoury thatch and spice. The tangy, crunchy, and bright palate has lemon, white pears, and a real savoury delicacy.
91 pts Wine Advocate July 2023
Made from a blend of Roussanne, Chenin Blanc, Viognier and Verdelho, the 2021 The Field Blend is fresh, ripe and bright on the nose with a juicy and floral essence in the glass. Medium to full-bodied, the white blend offers delicate mineral tension with a kiss of phenolic bitterness before exposing flavors of white peach, wax melon and citrus blossoms. The wine continues to reveal layers of complexity over the lingering and fresh finish. It’s a delightful wine that will pair beautifully with a wide variety of dishes. Give it a try. 2023-2028
90 pts Wine Spectator May 2023
A vivacious white, with ripe green melon and honeysuckle notes backed by crackling acidity. Light- to medium-bodied and finely meshed, with a salty underpinning and accents of mandarin orange, fresh tarragon and graham cracker. Roussanne, Chenin Blanc, Viognier and Verdelho. Drink now through 2026. 879 cases made, 200 cases imported.
This aromatic white blend is made from a single vineyard block which consists of 4 different grape varietals. The grapes were planted with the specific intention of creating this unique blend. Roussanne and Viognier add richness and texture, while Chenin Blanc and Verdelho add bright fruit and acidity. The wine is delicately oaked, and handled as carefully and naturally as possible.