Thursday, October 27, 2016

Three Robertson wine farms: 2. Tanagra, McGregor

The owners, Robert and Anette Rosenbach, have been pressing us to visit for several months; we were so pleased we could finally get there. It's a small farm in the McGregor valley with interesting wines and lots of different grappas and other tempting fruit and grape spirits. They also have guest accommodation and we were taken to see one of the most beautiful houses for hire, set in the middle of the wilderness. If you feel the need to get away from it all and contemplate nature, this is the place for you. Especially with a bottle or two of Heavenly Chaos red wine and some Eau de Vie de Lie
We were welcomed by Anette Rosenbach
and their lovely dog
Robert makes the wine with help from Lourens van der Westhuizen, who is also their viticulturist. This is the tiny winery and distillery
Their house contains the tasting room. The basket press is still put to use in harvest time
Cooled by a huge wild fig tree
A swimming pool for guests who stay in the cottages
They took us on a trip down the valley to see some of their cottages there. This is the Honeymoon Hill cottage, which was occupied for the week
The land they own borders the Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve, a birder’s paradise, with hides and walking and mountain bike trails in the area
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Magnificent views from the house for hire called Faraway, which is off the grid
Its kitchen
Bathroom and bedroom
A bathtub with a view
The lounge with fireplace for chilly evenings, There is a barbecue on the veranda
The house from the outside. It has solar panels, gas fridge and cooker and LED lighting
A fat beetle in a vygie. The plants in are area are very interesting dry land Karoo with many succulents
The house also has a small plunge pool off the veranda
Robert shows us the distillery with its modern German still
In the tasting room, there are lots of different things to buy besides the wine and the spirits. Local jams and olive oil, booklets, local handicrafts and droëwors
First the 2016 Blanc de Noir made from Cabernet Franc
It is yeasty with vanilla perfume, dry crisp and clean with long refreshing flavours
Then on to the reds. The 2014 Cabernet Franc, is dark brick red, cherries, savoury umami nose with green leaves and black cherries. More cherries on a palate with salty liquorice drop, a very deep and sophisticated food wine which finishes with more cherries. We liked it a lot. All the wines are certified as Single Vineyard. The 20124 Cabernet Sauvignon has cassis berries and leaves on the nose. minerality and elegance with soft sweet cassis fruit. Its juicy with a nice kick of alcohol and a finish of more liquorice drop and cherries.
Some guests were also tasting with us . Next was the 2014 Shiraz. The first hit is black pepper and spice with some peppermint, then soft fruit with some green leaf notes and chalky cheek coating tannins. This needs time to develop. The 2014 Carah is 40% Cabernet 60% Shiraz blend with cassis and spice on the nose, very soft sweet entry with spice and pepper then long cassis flavours remain. Heavenly chaos is made on the farm by Robert in his old basket press. It’s a lighter style red wine, 50% Merlot, 25 % Cabernet and Shiraz. Smoky from the wood, with cassis, red cherries, warm linen nose and is nice juicy fruity bound wine.
Swallows nest inside and outside the house. We are sure they can read. They keep flitting in and out feeding their young
Time to taste some of the spirits. We began with the Marc de Hanepoot. its grippy with heat, good sweet nuances rather than flavours and a hot chilli burn Then the Marc de Chardonnay Barrique made from Springfield wineries chardonnay skins. With oaty flavours, like a soft malt whiskey with wood, it really impressed us. The Eau de Vie de Lie is made from Springfield’s Life from Stone fruit skins and indeed has a familiar nose and taste, with some apricot and fullness on the palate. The Marc de Sauvignon Blanc also from Life from Stone skins has green leaves fully perfumed warmth and is pretty and deadly! The alcohols were beginning to get to us even though we were taking tiny sips and John was spitting. The Shiraz Eau de Vie is pretty and perfumed with wood like a Speyside whiskey with some cherry and spice. The Lemon Eau de vie is just pure lemon, you cannot miss it And the Orange Liqueur is bitter orange marmalade with an orange oil nose and soft orange sweetness on the palate. very pure fruit flavours. We had to stop regretfully as it was time to rush to our next appointment. Robert generously let us pick our favourite and a bottle of the Marc de Chardonnay Barrique came home with us to be enjoyed on special after dinner occasions. Thank you both for a lovely meeting. We shall be back in the new year with friends from Holland
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2016
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