Tuesday, August 22, 2017

John Collins trade tasting at Den Anker, V&A Waterfront

Hallelujah, it's Trade Tasting time again in the SA wine world. Two tastings on one day make it rather hard to stay focused. The first was at Den Anker in the Waterfront: John Collins' stable of excellent wine farms and independent producers that he represents; all top names in the industry. It was a very popular and well attended tasting
We watched families playing chess while we tasted wine
There were some great canapés to keep us from drowning in wine. But you should know that most people do spit, even if they are using Uber or the bus. Above all, they will not drink and drive
Fresh tuna, seared and served with a soy dressing and wasabi
It's a Belgian restaurant so, of course, they serve bitterballen with mustard
Chris Keet was showing his 2012 First VerseA really good quality wine; one to put down and keep for a few years. We asked when he will produce a second wine; he replied that he would rather produce one excellent wine under his own name than risk diluting his effort with two labels
So pretty, crisply battered tempura prawns with a good sweet chilli dressing
On the Le Lude stand, Paul Gerber with his excellent MCCs, which are so restrained and very much like Champagne. He is joined by someone quite new in the wine industry, Emma Bruwer, just trained as a wine maker. Yes, she is Abrie Bruwer's daughter (Springfield in Robertson), so the dynasty will continue. Her brother is currently studying wine at Elsenburg
Friendly faces on the Jordan stand, where we were able to taste the whole current range; all are excellent. We love the Inspector Peringuey Chenin Blanc; the 2016 is no exception. And the Outlier Sauvignon Blanc is one we love to drink in the restaurant at Jordan. A new wine was The Long Fuse, 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon with its elegant fruit and violet notes. For Lynne, the best wine of the evening to drink now
And on the Springfield stand, Jenna Bruwer who handles their marketing
We tasted the two new flagship Sauvignons Blanc and for us the Special Cuvée just has an edge over the Life From Stone right now, but they have just been released and they will change during the year. Miss Lucy, one of the nicknames for the Red Stumpnose on the label, is a blend of Pinot Gris, Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc and is very quaffable with food
John was very taken with the 1997 Mèthode Ancienne Cabernet Sauvignon. This vintage has just been released; Abrie Bruwer believes that it is just now ready to drink, after 20 years. Order now
The two chardonnays always impress and it is so nice to see that Pinot Noir is back at Springfield
Tender steak en brochette with Béarnaise sauce
The famed Den Anker mussels, a little dry when served without the usual broth
Jessica Peens was showing the four Kleinood wines and their olive oil. The Rosé is a lovely summer indulgence, and the two Syrahs really impressed us - as they usually do.
It was good to see David Sonnenberg on the Diemersfontein stand. Now here are some good Pinotages, that Lynne really enjoys. She especially liked the 2015 Carpe Diem Malbec, which is meaty and savoury and wrote one word: Yum. Wellington can produce great Chenin Blancs as the Carpe Diem 2016 shows. A farm worth visiting to taste the large selection for yourself
Bevan Newton Johnson was on their stand with 10 wines to taste, a treat. Their 2017 Sauvignon Blanc is exactly the style we enjoy drinking; the Chardonnays vary in wooding, but are all approachable and layered with good limes and minerality. The Felicité Rosé is summer in a glass. And then, of course, there are the Pinot Noirs, Felicité a bargain, at just under R100. The Family Vineyard is smoky perfumed heaven with layers of soft fruit and the Walker Bay 2016 is perfumed and spicy with classic raspberry and strawberry fruit, very satisfying. Full Stop Rock red blend always pleases and the Granum with its deep black fruit is for keeping
Thank you, John Collins, a really great tasting, again
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