Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Durbanville Feast of the Grape

The Feast of the Grape was held this year at D’Aria farm.  It was a very popular and good “one venue” festival, with all the local farms showcasing their wines, lots and lots of different food stalls and much else besides to amuse the visitors, including grape stomping. 
Karin de Villiers of Klein Roosboom with one of her chefs and their charcuterie platter
A warm welcome from Benny Howard on the Meerendal stand
There was lots of seating this year and, thankfully, lots and lots of umbrellas as it was a hot day
Or you could picnic on the lawn on beanbags
People at tables enjoying the wine, food and the live music
The De Grendel team
These Sauvignon Blanc Slushies were remarkably popular. You could have them with or without alcohol
A new concept for us, Biltong pies. They were a bit small though
Good Namibian biltong was also a popular choice
Pony rides for the children
People having fun
And building their relationships
All the essentials of a festival - Wine and water
Martin Moore, Cellarmaster at Durbanville Hills about to start his presentation of some older Durbanville reds. He began with a harvest joke: What is the difference between a winemaker and God? God doesn't think He’s a winemaker
He was ably assisted by Lombard Loubser of Bloemendal
Presentations by Martin always hold the attention of the audience as he is full of good information and irreverence, and amusement
“So he said..”
Martin gave us a very informative view of the wines we tasted, including information about the harvest of that year, the terroir, their constituent parts and quality. It is always a great opportunity to taste older wines from a specific area that have been kept correctly and are ready for drinking. We learn a great deal.  Several of these have won major awards
These were the wines we tasted. The Altydgedacht Pinotage 2011 is full of spicy dark fruit with a soft velvety mouthfeel. The Pinot parent shows with plums and cooked cherries and enjoyable chalky end.  The Diemersdal Reserve 2013 has sweet vanilla wood, a herbal nose with cassis and cherries.  Major cassis on the palate, it shows long restrained flavours with slight acidity on the end, held together by wood.
We liked the 2011 Kleine Roosboom which was spicy with sweet fruit and some umami notes with red and black cherries and some mint chocolate. It is ‘sappig’ (juicy) and worth drinking now.  The Meerendal Merlot 2004 has After Eight mints on the nose and triple fruit layers with nice wood and a tomato cocktail end. SA can make good Merlots. The Durbanville Rhinofield 2008 Shiraz (made by Martin) has buchu, spice and black pepper on the nose with warm chilli, turmeric and coriander seed hints on warm cassis fruit and soft chalky tannins.  Eminently drinkable, this wine got into the Vin du Mond Top 10.  D’Aria SV has only 2% of Viognier added to the Shiraz but it shows well. Nice soft sweet fruit, very feminine floral notes, violets, rhubarb and red cherries with chalky tannins on the end.
It was good to taste Bloemendal’s (to be released later this year) 2013 Shiraz as an extra. It has marzipan, pepper and chocolate over red fruit, it is a very concentrated and layered red wine, still chalky but has the guts to go far, with umami tomato cocktail on the end.   Is this a Durbanville identifier?  We usually notice salt, but probably more on the white wines
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2015

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