Wednesday, April 06, 2016

A day of tasting in Bot River: Beaumont, Luddite & Manny's Portuguese prawns

As we were in Botrivier, we thought we would visit some of our wine friends in the area. We had just received an email from Beaumont, telling us about their new releases, and we had been meaning to visit Penny and Niels Verburg on Luddite for ages. Appointments were made during the week and off we set on Saturday morning. Lunch was to be at Manny's 'on the plein' in Botrivier - a Portuguese restaurant with great sea food, we were told.
We hadn’t visited the Hermanus market at Hermanuspietersfontein for a few years, so we drove through after breakfast. It has shrunk a lot, but there is still humour about. A vernacular Afrikaans sign which translated says "Smile Madam, our tents are full of happiness "
People arriving for the market. It now has mostly food to eat there, with a small selection of products to take home, like cheese and honey
Seating in the wine cellar and plates ready for food
The morning was chilly, so perhaps people stayed at home Those there seemed to be enjoying the day
Kids playing on the slide and in the sandpit
Perhaps you are getting a bit big for this? We left and headed for Beaumont in Botrivier
where we met our friends, Peter and Michele, who joined us for the wine tasting, ably led by Beaumont's Lynne, who was on duty in the tasting room
Really enjoying the newly bottled 2015 Unwooded Chenin Blanc, full of apple and pineapple flavours, R90 from the farm. Then the Hope Marguerite 2014, R240, their flagship wooded Chenin, made from old vines. It needs time to open up in the glass or in your cellar but, when it does, it’s full of golden fruit layers, smoky oak and very elegant. The 2015 we were allowed to taste, smells of warm linen, it's fresh with lime and apple notes, as good as it ever could be. The wood is holding it, but not over commanding. It has been a great harvest; the wines are going to be sensational, we hear
These were the wines we tasted. The Ariane 2014 (R180) is a Cabernet led Bordeaux blend. It is perfumed with mulberries and cassis and soft wood, silky on the palate with some salty liquorice on the end. We also tasted the 2012 Mourvedre, which has wildness on the nose, savoury and dark with lots of wood. The 2013 Mourvedre is exciting. It has more smoke and vanilla and notes of marzipan, it is full of soft, juicy fruit that gets the juices flowing and is a definite food wine for red meats. Lynne could not resist buying a case and a bottle each of the Ariane, Hope Marguerite and Shiraz Mourvedre. The Vitruvian 2012 is newly released. It's a blend of 42% Mourvedre, 34% Shiraz, 12% of both Pinotage and Cabernet Franc. Roses, cassis and cigar box; soft and chalky tannins with good fruit, but tight. Will be perfect in 6 to 8 years time. We also tasted the Goutte D'or NLH chenin, which is sweet with honey notes
Then we were off round the corner and up the hill to Luddite. We have known the Verburgs for many years, and their wines, but this was the first time we had been to the farm. This is the entrance to the tasting room and the winery
Lovely views looking across Beaumont and Wildekrans to the Babylonstoren
The cellar is below the tasting room
Penny was there to take us through their wines. Niels was playing cricket
A wine barrel floor pattern. The dogs stay outside
More great views from the picture windows
Great packaging. They recently won the award for the best label for the Saboteur red blend
Logs for winter fires and decor
Good paintings too
Their mission statement on every bottle. We found that the 2014 Chenin had slight notes of wet dog and smoky wood and, once it has opened up, has lovely layers of zesty fruit. Needs decanting. It’s from 60 year old bush vines, whole bunch fermented in old barrels and treated like a red wine. No added yeast and sulphur only at the end. Matured in 5th fill barrels. R250
Saboteur was Penny's idea, not associated with Luddite. It's a blend of Shiraz, Cabernet and Mourvedre. They used to put the cabernet into Niels' Cape Winemakers Guild blend and feed the Mourvedre to the guinea fowl, but now, after 10 years, the vines have come into their own, so they blend the two and use new oak and yeast. The first sold out immediately. It's their Julius Malema wine with a red beret, in your face and a 5 star Platter wine. Not closed with a cork, but in a cider bottle topped with a crown cap. Distributed by David Clark. It shows the expensive wood, bruléed sweet and sour fruit, almost cola like with lots of depth and different flavours appearing, like spice, pepper and liquorice. It has a lovely light mouth feel and changes as it opens up. R230
The award
We also tasted their 2011 Shiraz. They are changing from cork to Diam, as they have had too many problems with bad corks. It is a full-on wine, with fruit, alcohol and wood to the fore. Incense and violets on the nose, sweet, savoury and balsamic mulberries and dark plums on the palate, with pepper, bruléed wood at the end, a lovely wine, to mature for 5 to 7 years
Their price list, but some are sold out
Then it was time for lunch in the Plein in Botrivier. The hotel is across the way from Manny’s
The autumn weather was pleasant enough for us to sit out on the terrace
Manny, the owner and chef, is quite a character
The menu is on a blackboard and we were concerned to see that most things were sold out. Manny said not to worry, he could find us some prawns and calamari
The bar and the inside of the restaurant
We did have a bit of a misunderstanding, as Manny thought we were waiting for Penny to join us, so lunch took a very long time to arrive. We comforted ourselves with some of the Luddite wines Penny had opened for the tasting and then given to us. Prawns Calamari and Rice platter
Note the peri peri sauce on the table.
Or you could have Prawns, Calamari and VERY crispy chips. This is how they should be done. Bravo Manny. The price came to R625 with service for four plates. They do not have a licence and don’t charge corkage
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus

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