Thursday, November 23, 2017

Winemag's White Blends Report at Fairview

Cape White Blends Report
This is the second time has held this competition. Wines entered need to contain some Chenin Blanc (more than 15% and less than 85%). Why do they insist on a Chenin Blanc blend? The panel of judges feel that "If we were to make Chenin Blanc non-compulsory, then producers forfeit a significant point of difference relative to wines from elsewhere in the world. With approximately 18 000ha of Chenin in the ground, it's our most planted variety and we should find ways to celebrate it". Chenin is what we do best, it is a wine with a unique character, identifiable but also able to appear in many different guises and it always adds something unique. Still there is no sponsor for this very important wine blend; it really does showcase the very best of what South Africa can make in the white wine field. South Africans need to be encouraged to drink these delicious blends too, they don't know what they are missing
The Awards were held at Fairview in their Master Tasting facility
It has a good terrace where we all gathered
Andre Morgenthal, who is involved with the Old Vines project, was being abstemious
Fairview welcomed us with their Brut MCC, itself an unusual blend of 50% Viognier with Grenache Noir and Blanc. The early harvested viognier is elegant rather than rambunctious and shows as dusty white peaches with some warm croissant notes on the nose, the long crisp palate has more white peach nectarine and citrus
Time for Jacqueline Lahoud of to begin the awards ceremony
There were 38 wines in the line-up, which are all judged blind, no labels shown. 22 wines were rated 90 or higher on the 100-point quality 95, which is a very high average, an indication of where these white blends are going. Many farms have added Rhone and southern Mediterranean grapes to their vineyards, which are now producing superbly as they can cope with dry land conditions
Editor & Creative Director Christian Eedes announced the wine placings, the wines which scored over 90 points.. Certificates would be given to the 9 wines scoring over 92 points. He said the panel agreed the wines are outstanding. "There is a potential for greatness here, the category is small but will grow, it was the highest coring white wine category this year. It shows adventurous winemaking with some challenges. There are degrees of oxidation and flavours which the average wine drinker won't get, it is demanding and rewarding. If you have oxidation, don't lose the fruit and rely on it too much. Some of the wines have volatile acidity making this too much like sherry, too dark, keep the fruit safe and do persist with these blends as the quality is fantastic, may be difficult even though marketing."
94    Keermont Terrasse 2015 Price: R160
        Lammershoek Terravinum Reserve White 2016 Price: R185
        Solms Delta Amalie 2015 Price: R180
93    Cavalli Cremello 2015 Price: R135
        Lammershoek The Innocent White Blend 2015 Price: R88
        Olifantsberg Blanc 2016 Price: R165
        Painted Wolf Peloton Blanc 2016 Price: R100
92    Fairview Nurok 2016 Price: R170
        Muratie Laurens Campher 2016 Price: R135
91    Bergsig Icarus 2016 Price: R180
        Blake Family Wines Tourmaline 2016 Price: R120
        Darling Cellars Lime Kilns 2016 Price: R100
        Eerste Hoop Lodewijk X 2017 Price: R240
        Miles Mossop Saskia 2014 Price: R257
        Sijnn White 2016 Price: R180
90    Bosman Family Vineyards Adama 2016 Price: R150
        B Vintners Haarlem to Hope 2016 Price: R185
        Leipzig White Leipzig 2017 Price: R110
        Marvelous Yellow 2015 Price: R90
        Rascallion Vinyl Collection 33 1/3 RPM 2017 Price: R118
        Vrede en Lust Artisan Range Chenin Blanc Semillon 2016 Price: R129
        Zevenwacht The Tin Mine White 2016 Price: R79
Then it was time to taste the top 9 wines
 Fairview Nurok 2016 Price: R170 92 points A blend of Chenin, Vigoner, Roussan & Genache Blanc. Some light oxidation, warm fruit, pineapple and figs, very Mediterranean in character on the nose, crisp and full fruit on the palate with nice glycerol, oxidised apple, straw and Bing cherries, a lovely wine
Muratie Laurens Campher 2016 Price: R135 92 points We drink this a lot so nice to see it doing well.. A 47% Chenin led four way blend with 27% Verdelho, 20% Sauvignon Blanc and 6% Viognier. Full on nose with Chenin dominating, lots of fruit on the rounded nose and palate, the other grapes just add that something else. A good quaffing and food wine.
Cavalli Cremello 2015 Price: R135. 93 points A lightly oaked blend of Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay and Verdelho, whiffs of smoke, crisp with lots of limes, lemons and marmalade on the end with some mouth drying tannins, showing age potential
Lammershoek The Innocent White Blend 2015 Price: R88 93 points A blend of Swartland Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Harslevelu, Chardonnay and Viognier.. An interesting integrated nose, some fennel, pine, pears and quince giving it an old fashioned penny sweets nose. Lovely round mouth feel, with warmth and some wood, sweet chenin and melon, with glycerols and more sweetness left on the palate.
Olifantsberg Blanc 2016 Price: R165 93 points A blend of Chenin, Chardonnay, Roussane, Grenache Blanc. This is an appealing dusty grassy warm land wine, A lovely rich and full blend of golden fruit, apples, gooseberries, ripe cling peaches and more, on the nose and palate. Showing so well with more of everything than most of the other wines, it went very well with food too.. It is our wine of the week.
Painted Wolf Peloton Blanc 2016 Price: R100 93 points A blend of Chenin, Viognier, Roussane, Grenache Blanc, Clairette Blanche,. it is full of richness and fruit on the nose. On the palate a rounded mouthfeel but the wine is lighter than the nose indicates. Flavours of the Chenin and the Roussanne, and there are hints of red plums
Lammershoek Terravinum Reserve White 2016 Price: R185 94 points A blend of Chenin Vigonier and Chardonnay. Aromatic on the nose with herbs, buchu and fennel, a lovely palate of delicious fruit salad, apricots, peaches, melon, white cherries. A summer wine for terrace drinking with Mediterranean food
Solms Delta Amalie 2015 Price: R180 94 points A blend ofChenin, Grenache, Roussane, Verdelho. Shy on the nose initially, on the palate Chenin and Verdelho show most, with some salty cherries and warmth.
Keermont Terrasse 2015 Price: R160 94 points A blend of is elegant on the nose with some perfume of fennel and violets, Typical Chenin grapes, with some peach, apricot and white Bing cherry. It keeps evolving in the glass. A blend of Chenin, Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc & Chardonnay
Receiving their certificate are Fairview winemakers Stephanie Wiid, Annette van Zyl and Anthony de Jager
Time for some food and Fairview did produce a very good spread. which we drank with the winning wines. Salmon paté on cream cheese with lemon
Seared sesame tuna dressed with Ponzu
A very good cheese selection with good bread - Fairview could do no less
Some of the excellent breads, available from tasting room deli with the cheeses
Tiny quiches in filo pastry
Biltong and droëwors
A significant number of the wines was made by women
Maggie Venter of Darling Cellars, Elizma Visser of Olifantsberg, Stephanie Wiid of Fairview, Corlea Fourie of Bosman, Annette Human of Cavalli, Danielle Jacobs of Eerste Hoop and Annette van Zyl of Fairview with Jacqueline Lahoud of WineMag

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