Friday, 7 October 2016

An evening with the CWG and George Spies

CWG members receiving a standing ovation
Last week we celebrated the 32nd Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction. In true Boland style, one day is simply not enough to mark such an occasion and work pretty much took a back seat while prospective buyers and wine lovers ventured around the Winelands, attending gourmet evenings and pre-tastings or playing a round of golf in the CWG Classic - which my hubby's team won by the way! #welldonebokkie.

I attended the annual pre-auction tasting for the very first time at Spier last Friday night.  Now, these wines are made in super small batches and they truly are the 'cream of the crop'.  Although they were all exceptional my human nature allows me to have here they are...

Simonsig Mediterraneo 2015
66% Roussanne, 28% Granache Blanc, 6% Verdelho
Fragrant and creamy turkish delight nose with lots of floral and sweet fruit aromas.  The mouthfeel is broad and lovely with a good acidity that provides length and follow through.  I just love these punchy white blends.  They are perfect food wines and age so well.

Kaapzicht Estate Auction Selection 1947 Chenin Blanc 2015
100% Chenin Blanc
Beautiful perfumed nose laced with flowers, clementines and subtle spice.  The entry is quite powerful and broad.  This wine grips your palate's attention right to its mineral lipsmackingly-good finish.  Not bad for a 69year old bush vine that has stood the test of time.

Tokara Siberia Chardonnay 2015    
100% Chardonnay 
Pure Chardonnay fruit.  On the nose pineapple and lemon drops take centre stage while subtle brioche nuances dance in the background.  The palate is round and ripe with excellent balance and concentration.  As a Chardonnay lover it was hard for me to pick only one favourite.  The Jordan Auction Selection 2015 as well as the Waterford Kept Aside 2015 trailed closely behind my first choice.  In the end it was the Tokara's drinkability that won me over...I just couldn't spit it out.

Newton Johnson Family Vineyards Seadragon Pinot Noir 2015
100% Pinot Noir
Gorgeous spice, ground cloves and black pepper meets pure untainted Pino fruit.  Complex but still so straight forward.  It's depth and concentration will make for an excellent food wine.  I must admit, the Paul Cluver Auction Selection Pinot Noir 2014 came a close second.  I just love Pino's that display true fruit character and superlative oak balance.

The Drift Farm Kindered Shiraz Malbec Barbera 2014
33.3% Shiraz, 33.3%Malbec, 33.3% Barbera
Inky, concentrated and painstakingly well blended.  Black cherry and plum flavours ooze onto the palate with characteristic dark spices adding more drama.  The melange of cultivars are perfectly integrated.  A super blend - my favourite of the tasting.  Bruce Jack is to viniculture what Karen Zoid is to musical collaborations...a true genius.

Rust en Vrede CWG Auction Estate 2013

60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Syrah, 5% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot
Pure cassis, plum and blackberry aromas on the nose follow through on the palate with elegance and poise.  This is a beautifully balanced blend, a true classic with loads of complexity and a creamy lingering finish.  This property has paved the way for icon blends in Stellenbosch and with this wine they have proven themselves yet again.

Kanonkop CWG Paul Sauer 2013
69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Franc
Perfumed cassis, sour cherries and hints of sweet liquorice tease the nose while a broad and structured palate grabs your attention!  This is truly a South African classic that 'hits all the right spots'.  Not many can perfect the alchemy of such balanced richness.

Rijks CWG Pinotage 2013
100% Pinotage
The sweet and spicy plummy nose that firsts greet you has 'Pinotage' written all over it.  But, nothing can prepare you for the bright red juicy fruit flavours and great follow through on the palate.  The finish is silky smooth and creamy.  A well made delicious wine with just the right oak/fruit balance.

The highlight of the evening was a bottle of very special wine my husband Jakes brought to dinner after the tasting.  It was a bottle of 1962 Cabernet Sauvignon (rumoured to have been) made by George Spies for 'AndrĂ© Simon's Memorial Dinner' pictured left.  Now this wine is even rarer than the fabled 1966 and 1968 GS Cabernet Sauvignons that Spies made at Stellenbosch Farmers Winery in the late 60's.  I've have had the privilege to taste the 1966 GS and I was blown away by the wine's character at such an old age.  But the 1962 we tasted that evening reawakened the myth of George Spies.  The wine was still so youthful...even the colour was crimson red with only a faint amber tinge.  The nose was quite austere with leather and forrest floor aromas masking the fruit initially.  In hindsight we needed to let it breath for longer because fragranced red berries only emerged later in the glass. The wine still had excellent structure and such a great length.  

Wow...can we still make wines like that?  Wines that will age 50+ years?  Funny that we as humans go to great lengths to live longer and look younger these days, but lately we don't put much effort into making and preserving things that can be enjoyed by generations to come...   

Record sales were achieved at the auction on Saturday amounting to a total of R13 833 200!  The highest price went to the Kanonkop CWG Paul Sauer 2013.  

I wonder what a bottle of the George Spies '62 would have fetched...

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Review: FRAM Chardonnay 2014

So, a few weeks ago while drinking my second cup of coffee in an attempt to wake up whilst also checking on my morning emails, I received a very innocent note from my favourite online retailer aka Yuppiechef. Now, I don’t know why, but when they send out promotional stuff I get this inexplicable urge to spend money.  Every product is a 'must have' (YES IT IS) and 'how could I have lived without it for so long'.  

Yes, the beast known as online-retail-therapy is real and it is here and I confess, I am a total junky.  So, you can understand my excitement when the email shared Yuppiechef’s launch of their new Mystery Mixed Case Wine offers.  There goes my budget…two of my vices combined in an irresistible surprise package. Click-click, ding dong.  Fourty-eight hours later my order arrived and I discovered an awesome new Chardonnay that I liked so much, I just had to share it.  So herewith my official first wine write-up.

FRAM Chardonnay 2014.  

Ex-Boschendal winemaker, Tinus Kruger is the 'CEO & President, grape crusher and sole employee' of Fram Wines.   His relentless search for super special grapes lead him to Robertson for this Chardonnay where the limestone rich soils are renowned for giving wines zingy minerality.  

This wine's yellow brilliance and fragrant notes of honey candescence on the nose are warm and inviting.  Lashings of juicy citrus and a refined minerality greets the palate and continue to the finish.  This lively unoaked Chardonnay is a true all rounder with personality.  There is a great balance between quirky freshness and commercial appeal.  It can be enjoyed on its own and will pair well with sushi or salt and pepper squid.

FRAM Chardonnay 2014 retails for R89 per bottle on Yuppiechef

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Taking Rosendal Tasting Room into the digital age.

So, yesterday I presented my first virtual tasting...I know, in this day and age I'm way behind!

Rosendal has a club called 'Tasting Room'.  Our members receive three newly released wines every three months, a kind of try-before-you-buy-seriously exercise.  I usually spend a lot of time on the tasting notes as well as the newsletter (thats included in the case of wine you get) to make the experience more informative.  But no matter how many pretty pictures of vineyards or chilled glasses of wine I add to increase visual effect, nothing works better than to hear and see it 'out of the horses mouth'.  So, I suggested a virtual tasting.

Last night we presented the first of these tastings primarily aimed at Tasting Room members.  Now you can actually taste the wines with me and Johan (one of our senior wine consultants) in the comfort of your own home and even get your questions answered in real time.   Please contact Rosendal for more details on how to become a Tasting Room member and check your emails for the next Virtual Tasting date in June! Hope to see you there.

An evening with the CWG and George Spies

Review: FRAM Chardonnay 2014

Taking Rosendal Tasting Room into the digital age.