Thursday, July 19, 2018

Raath Promotions Trade Show at La Mouette

On to our second Trade tasting of the day, to taste the wines that Raath Promotions represents. The tasting was held at one of our favourite local restaurants, La Mouette, which is in Sea Point, next to Checkers. It was a very busy and lively tasting, with the diverse wines on offer attracting many trade people. We cannot, at a tasting as large as this expect or even try to taste everything

Allée Bleue marketing manager Carol Maggs with winemaker Van Zyl du Toit
The Van Loveren girls had quite a large selection of the farm's wines for tasting
Teddy and Doreen Hall discussing their wines with Lydia Nobrega of the Chapman's Peak Hotel. We tasted Teddy's Pinotage Brut Rosé and the perfumed Doreen Sauvignon Blanc. His Dr Jan Cats 2013 Reserve Chenin Blanc was superb, Teddy is at his best when dealing with Chenin and it so reminded us of those past Chenins he made which got huge acclaim. He is right on form
and enjoyed showing them to a group of sommeliers who were very appreciative
Nadia Beaumont pouring Beaumont Dangerfield Syrah for Jordan Restaurant's Lazz Masango. The Beaumont wines were showing very well. The 2018 Chenin Blanc was full of fruit and class, the Hope Marguerite was as expected, exceptional and covetable. It sells out very quickly, so get your orders in now. The cool climate Dangerfield 2014 Syrah has full fruit in layers, with some spice and long long finish, really good
Beer Merchant Martin Tucker with winemaker Sebastian Beaumont. The two wines that knocked us over were the 2013 Mourvedre, savoury with green herbal notes, full on the palate with intense fruit and a nice kick of salt on the end making this a good food wine. But the wine of the evening for us was the Beaumont New Baby; it so impressed us. After we tasted it, we discovered that it was the wine that everyone was talking about at the tasting. It is an unusual blend of old vine Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Chardonnay and Colombar, all grown on the farm. It is heady with the aromas of the five components and full, with complex flavours taking something from each of the varietals – some ripe conference pear, white peaches and good lemon acidity. The flavours are excitingly mutable and lasting on the palate. It is going to be exceptional with food - seafood, fish, rich mushroom dishes. What an amazing wine, different and delicious
Two of the Beaumont wines, Dangerfield Syrah and New Baby white blend
 We so enjoyed chatting to Tony and Angela da Costa of Liquor City, Claremont about their trip to Portugal
Leigh Lisk and Lucy Beard, distillers of Hope on Hopkins Gin, learning about sparkling wine production with John Loubser, producer of Silverthorn. There are several spirit companies represented by Raath Promotions. Musgrave Gins, Copeland Rum, Scottish Cousin Whisky and even the Franschhoek Beer Company
Winemaker John Laubser and his wife Karen of Silverthorn wines in Bonnievale were both on their stand and we had a great tasting. The Jewel Box 2014 Brut MCC is quite simply, a superb sparkling wine, with brioche on the nose, crisp limes and lemons, length and structure. It was good to be able to taste some of the older vintages of The Green Man MCC; the 2012 is yeasty, bready and lively, SO good. The 2011 is at the top of our list - so crisp and full of life and great flavours, with lees at both the beginning and the end and lots of apples and peach notes
The  Bouchard Finlayson wine range from the upper Hemel en Aarde valley. The table was so popular it was hard to get to taste many; we have to visit the farm soon to do another in depth tasting. They have a very good winemaker, Chris Albrecht. He worked for 9 years under the renowned Peter Finlayson and has now taken the lead. The Kaaimansgat 2015 Chardonnay is absolutely superb, with wood adding structure but not interfering with the fruit and the elegance. The Missionvale 2015 Chardonnay has less wood and is beautifully layered
"You don't say!" Melusi Magodhi of Ellerman House and Lizette Kühn of Bouchard Finlayson
Space for tweeting, tasting and comparing notes in the upstairs lounge, and deciding what they are going to buy for their wine lists
and in the tasting area where many of the spirits producers could be found Lynne tasted the Barker and Quin tonics made without any added sweeteners or extracts and was delighted to see that they have a "Light at Heart" tonic with less sugar. She finds most of the other commercial tonics too sweet. They were pouring Gins and tonic using their John Ross Gin
Darren Hoffmann mixing cocktails with Copeland Rum
Musgrave's Pink Gin had a tonic dispenser
So good to see old friends. Hotel fundis Nils and Sabine Hecksher and Michael Pownall with Philip Engelen

Dane Raath and industry friends
Kathy Raath with Teddy & Doreen Hall and friends
Canapes were served; this was tuna tartare with a dot of chilli
Glazed squares of pork belly topped with sesame
La Mouette's famous Cheese and truffle croquettes and, on the right, some ham croquettes
Joseph Dafana, La Colombe Sommelier and Jeanri-Tine van Zyl, with swapped name tags
Claire Robertson of Devine Intervention with Darren Hoffmann of Copeland Rum
On the Raats stand, we tasted the rather woody 2017 Old Vines Chenin Blanc; age will soften that. The Dolomite 2016 Cabernet Franc is powerful and savoury. The Raats Jasper 2016 Red blend is complex with layers of fruit, warmth and wood, very drinkable indeed. The Raats Family Cabernet Franc delighted with its intensity, incense wood, perfume and soft juicy fruit. Sappig in Afrikaans! 
Melusi Magodhi with Thinus Neethling and Bernard Dewey of Chamonix. We were about to taste when time ran out and everyone had to pack up and go home. But we know the wines are excellent
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