Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Boland Cellar Chenin blanc tasting with lunch at Cascade Country Manor

Boland celebrates Chenin Terroir
Johan Joubert has left Kleine Zalze and “returned home” to Boland Kelders after 12 years of award winning winemaking elsewhere. He is now the Cellarmaster and was joined on Tuesday by CEO Paul  Malan and Sales & Marketing Director Maraleze Knoetze to present eight different examples of different Chenin Blancs they are producing. These are from different soils on their 2,200 hectares from five different wards in Berg River, Swartland, Philadelphia, Wellington and the Paardeberg. 
It was a fascinating tasting, especially now that site specific wines are the current subject of discussion in the industry and we gain momentum mapping our soils, climate and terroir.  You can indeed taste the different terroirs in the wines.  We got to see some of the different soil types and they are amazingly different from their farms all over the Boland.  Don’t let these wines slip off your radar, we think they are about to do amazing things.  And if you don’t know their wines you can go to their tasting room in Wellington. They are sold at very reasonable prices for very high quality
The entrance to Cascade Country Manor. It is in Waterfall road in Paarl, off the R44, near the Tunnel. The perfect place to hide away on holiday or to have intimate weddings or weekends away. It has a Cascading waterfall on the property and a Spa and their own in-house restaurant who cooked lunch for us.
Lynne chatting to Cellarmaster Johan Joubert and CEO of Boland Cellars, Paul Malan on the colonnaded terrace
Canapés were served with Boland wines
A welcome glass of Perdeberg Winery Brut Reserve MCC made from Chenin Blanc
The canapé selection. Melon wrapped with prosciutto, goats cheese on peppers and parcels of smoked springbok carpaccio
Lunch was held in a room just off the terrace with lovely views. We sat and watched Steppe Buzzards wheel in thermals over the hill in front of us
CEO Paul Malan welcomes us and tells us about Boland Cellars. He thinks Chenin Blanc can overtake Pinot Grigio to become the most popular white wine worldwide. Steen, as Chenin was called in the early days in this country, was, after all the Hoeksteen (transl. Cornerstone) of the wine industry here. When taking soil into consideration, we need to know that, on shale, Chenin ripens quicker whereas, if it is on quartz, grapes hangs longer on the vine, making the wines more rich and round. The two most important terroirs for Chenin are Paardeberg and Drakenstein, both have shale and granite
These are the wines we tasted
The General Smuts Trophy, presented to Boland Cellars in 2014. This year, Chenin was honoured with this sought-after Trophy at the SA Young Wine Show. It is the highest honour to be bestowed on a young wine – and Chenin received it for the first time since the Trophy was inaugurated in 1952.  This wine, made by Boland winemaker Bernard Smuts and his team, was also crowned as SA Champion Chenin Banc.
Making notes
The line up of the first 4 wines, nicely chilled and ready to taste.  1. From Perdeberg region, grown on granite soil, was full of stony minerality, litchis, light and crisp and was a tank sample. It needs some wood maturation. No.2  was from Perdeberg but on shale. It was more spicy and herbal, with a hint of honey on the nose and palate, with pineapple, marmite and white peaches. No.3 was from the Swartland, on granite and clay and was grassy and full of minerality. Dry, lean and crisp with almost a bitter end.  No.4 was the Boland no.1 Reserve 2014 tank sample. A blend of all the above. Still shy and waiting, it is clean and fruity, very elegant with pineapple and limes and warmth. One to watch
Johan talks about his passion for making wine in this area
and takes questions from the floor
The second flight. No.5 Boland Cellars 5 Climates 2014 Chenin. Grassy, still not ready, but opening up in the glass. Sweet and sharp with layers of fruit and rich potential. No.6. Boland Cellar Reserve 2014 unwooded chenin that won the trophy. Grassy, with hay and green leaves. A typical chenin nose with layers of fruit and herbs and freshness on the palate. No. 7, Boland Cellar Reserve No.1 2013 Chenin. Golden, almost bruléed fruit, rich and creamy on the palate, with glycerols and good balance. No.8 was a treat, a chance to taste Johan Joubert’s own Cape Winemakers Guild Granite Selection 2013 Chenin Blanc. Grassy minerality on the nose with rich fruit. A nice fresh acidity and a golden fruit palate with long, long flavours
Lunch was a trout fillet on top of a perfectly cooked mushroom risotto, accompanied by snap peas, yellow courgettes and red peppers with lemon
Another treat. A 1994 Boland Muskadel served with dessert. Sticky sweet, full of strawberries and raspberries, it went perfectly
The triangle is a rooibos panna cotta. Perfectly made but absolutely not a favourite with some of us who don’t like the Rooibos medicinal flavour. The round dish tasted like a condensed milk cream and went well with the strawberries.
The main house
The very different soil types that Boland Chenins are planted on. From yellow honey shale in the front, red iron rich soil from Darling area and granite and other soil samples from elsewhere
The central courtyard
Leaving in the late afternoon clutching gifts of Boland wine. Thank you for a very interesting and informative day; we learned a lot more about terroir and Chenin
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2014

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