Thursday, May 24, 2018

Cabernet Franc Carnival at Avontuur, Stellenbosch

Rain was promised for the weekend and luckily it did not rain on Saturday, although we do still need it desperately. So this interesting single varietal carnival was able to be held outside and was very much enjoyed by all who attended
There were some very interesting Cabernets Franc, some absolute classics, some high scorers, some wild children and sadly just a couple that bore little resemblance to this noble grape. Many thought one was a Pinot noir, rather than a Cab Franc! It was so light and perfumed
For your R200 entrance you were given a glass and could taste everything on show. We think this is the best way. Coupons and tick sheets restrict you and make you choose, which means that you might miss an interesting gem. And we didn’t see one incidence of over imbibing
Snow Mountain from Nabygelegen in Wellington is made by James McKenzie. Their Kalk Bay Cabernet Franc is made for the Olympia Café in Kalk Bay and was shown by his partner Adele Strachan
The second time in  three days we have tasted the Cabernet Franc Rosé from Delaire Graff; it is a very good rosé
Raats had three of their special Cabernets Franc. The Red Jasper is spicy, fruity and long, the Family has lovely herbaceousness with sweet fruit and incense wood. The Dolomite is fairly classic too
Callan Williams, aka The Garajeest, showed two vintages of her Bruce (named for Springsteen) Cabernet Franc. Lovely stuff!
Winemaker Reino Thiart showed us his Whalehaven 2011. It was aromatic with violets on the nose, chewy, robust and warm on the palate with still fresh fruit acidity on the palate. Needs more time
David Wibberley from Oldenburg was decanting the wine first. It was a 2014 and needs time to open up. Intense nose of musk or myrrh
Avontuur’s winemaker Jan van Rooyen was showing their 2014, which was soft, layered with good classic Cab Franc fruit and lots of length. One of our top wines of the day
Vrede and Lust Artisan 2015 also scored high with its incense wood and classic French style. Elegant and proper. Rather special
and Chamonix produced our favourite wine of the day with a score of 18. It's absolutely a classic Cabernet Franc (2015), with herbaceousness, depth and length in beautiful fruit. Drinking beautifully now and has promise for the future. Handsome winemaker Thinus Neethling was having a great day. It’s a Platter 5 star wine too. It was our Wine of the Week on 29th March
Catching up with an old friend, teacher and mentor, Cape Wine Master Clive Torr
We took a break at 1 and went and had a light lunch using the R50 food vouchers we had been given. There were food trucks, 
tables and chairs on the lawn,
John had a chicken curry,
Lynne had a hamburger for a change. Not bad, but terrible chips, half cooked and still hard in the middle. Adding paprika to the seasoning makes them look crisp, it’s a cheat and a bad fail
Now here is a ‘marriage’ made in heaven. They were having such fun, sparking off each other. Razvan Macici is now cellarmaster at Ormonde and Adré Rheeder is their general manager. It is going to be so great to see what happens next. We have great confidence that it will be excellent. We tasted two of their older wines, the Ondine 2008 was marmite and limes, lots of umami flavours, delicious with food, the 2010 was pretty and floral on the nose, savoury too, but lighter in style, the 2013 was soft and perfumed on the nose, classic green herbaceousness, incense wood, and loaded with dark berries. Still to reach maturity, but getting there.
Holden Manz had owner Gerard Holden on the stand, showing their Big G Bordeaux blend and Reserve 2015 Cab Franc which is classic, rich and maturing nicely.
Nothing like a sleeping infant to give Mum a bit of freedom to taste
The festival was well attended but well spaced out, so not crowded. We enjoyed the day. Two other Cabernet Francs of note were the Spookfontein 2015 which is silky, herbaceous, full of dark berry fruit with try tannins, another to put down in your cellar. And the Morgenster 2015, which is a classic example of Cabernet Franc, drinking so well now, with lots of depth and elegance
Tasted almost all the wines
And met some old, and made some new, wine friends
And someone John knows well, Greg Bredenkamp, who used to work with him at AGFA. Aquacello which he sells, is a unit that distils water from the moisture in air. The water tastes lovely and it is a great innovation

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