Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Cape Winemakers Guild Auction Preview

This is one of our best tastings of the year and this year we could taste 44 of the upcoming auction wines, guided by each winemaker, and several more after the tasting. We are heading for Wine Auction time in the Cape. The Cape Winemakers Guild auction will be held at Spier again this year on Saturday the 30th of September. This auction is open to everyone so, if you are interested, do register with them. Further registration information and details on the Telephonic and Proxy bidding options are available from the Cape Winemakers Guild Office via email at info@capewinemakersguild.com or call +27 21 852 0408. We hope to be there
The tasting was held in the ballroom of the Westin International Hotel next to the CTICC. It’s a rather friendly event, as most people there know each other and have an idea of what to expect from the wines. The wines were, as expected, extremely good; there is lots of variation, some newer and unusual varietals and blends and some of the winemakers are being adventurous. We are starting to see more southern European varietals. It is going to be an exciting auction. We hope the downturn in our economy will not affect it too much. After all, good wine is a marketable asset
Charles Hopkins plants a smacker on Winnie Bowman CWM. From left to right, Louis Strydom, Andries Burger, Coenie Snyman; behind are David Finlayson and Mark Kent
The winemakers are lined up so that they can follow each other to the podium to talk about their wines. Here Bartho Eksteen chats with Gordon Newton Johnson
Ah, the helpful pouring staff was so good this year. It is great training for these wine students from Elsenburg. Take a good look, they are the future of Cape Wine
The line up of wines for tasting. It is a fast and furious tasting. There are two glasses in front of each of us, and while you taste the first one the second is poured. You taste and write your description while the winemaker speaks and immediately move on to the next wine, having emptied the first glass to receive the next wine. You have about two minutes for each wine
Beyer Truter presented his Traildust Pinotage 2015
Bruce Jack doing some early sampling to see if the wines are OK. They all were. He has The Drift Comfort Zone 2016 'Whole Bunch Tinta' and the 2013 Die Kans Vat (an Afrikaans pun on "The Chance Barrel" and "A Chance Taken") in the auction
Duncan Savage doing the same
It is a packed hall
Chairman Miles Mossop begins proceedings
Sommelier Pearl Oliver from the Taj Hotel
John Loubser has the honour of presenting the first wine of the day and the only Mèthode Cap Classique in the auction, his 2012 Silverthorn Wines Big Dog III
Duncan Savage and Adi Badenhorst exchange a bit of banter about their collaboration, a first for the CWG. It is the 2016 Love Boat White, a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Semillon, Chenin Blanc, Viognier. They also have a Love Boat Red blend in the auction
David Finlayson introduces his Edgebaston 2015 Rooi Trekker (Red Tractor) Viognier
Kevin Arnold presents his Waterford '1988 Kept Aside' Chardonnay
Walter Finlayson tasting. He is David's father. He grew up on Hartenberg Estate (then called Montagne) and was the winemaker at Blaauwklippen, where he planted the first Zinfandel in South Africa. After that, he and David worked at Glen Carlou before he sold it to the Hess Collection and retired to his dairy farm
Charles Hopkins introduces his De Grendel 2015 Op die Berg Pinot Noir
Gordon Newton Johnson presents his 2016 Windansea Pinot Noir. He also has his 2015 Seadragon Pinot Noir in the auction
Serious winemakers: Duncan Savage, Boela Gerber, Teddy Hall and Louis Nel
David Trafford presents his de Trafford 2015 Perspective
One of the two ladies among the Elsenburg students pouring the wines
Teddy Hall announces his 2014 Nico Theunissen Cabernet Sauvignon. Teddy also has 2015 Hendrik Biebow Chenin Blanc in the auction
Journalist Neil Pendock
Dewaldt Heyns presents his Saronsberg 2014 Die Erf
The Wine Concepts team tasting together: Mike Bampfield Duggan with Sue and Neil Proudfoot
and Abrie Beeslaar looking thoughtful. In last year's auction his Kanonkop Paul Sauer received the highest price. This year he has Kanonkop 2015 CWG Pinotage and Kanonkop 2014 CWG Paul Sauer
The tasting over and we adjourn for some snacks and some chatter in the lobby. These were the best snacks we have ever been served after these tastings and they were well received. You do need something to soak up 44 or more wines, even if you spit everything you are served
Fresh oysters
Good fresh sushi was popular
Sue Proudfoot and Anel Grobler having fun
Michael Pownall and Pearl 0liver
Following the guided tasting, we were given tickets to the Public Tasting held next door at the CTICC where the wines were available to taste. Here is Gottfried Mocke with his two CWG wines: the Wine Projects 2015 and the 2016 Pinot Noir
Frans Smit, CWG member, with Fellow Spier winemaker Johan Jordaan. Frans showed his Spier Auction Selection Frans K Smit 2013 and the Spier Frans K Smit Red 2012

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