Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Overnight and Wine tasting at Bushmanspad, Robertson

We had an invitation from Aldert Nieuwoudt, Cellarmaster at Bushmanspad, to stay at their cottages and taste their wines. We were able to stay for two nights and could then go to Wine on the River and also visit some wine farms in the area that we have not been to before, including Bushmanspad. The farm is nestled up against the Langeberg Mountains on the R60 between Ashton and Swellendam. It is owned by Dutchman Menno Schaafsma, who had the vision to build the five self catering guest cottages high on a ridge with spectacular views of the farm and the countryside beyond. There is a trail on the farm near the dam and the kloof which shows evidence of where Bushman travelled over the mountain to trade or hunt in the valley
The views from the cottages, over the farm and toward the coast many kilometres away
The cottages from the side. They all have vine covered pergolas, outside seating and braais
Looking down to the farm cellar and tasting room
The lounge with the kitchen at the back. It has the usual supplies for self catering, a stove
and a microwave, kettle, fridge and toaster. And a TV and WiFi
The other end of the lounge area with the French doors to the patio
The bed is comfortable with good linen and lots of pillows
The bathroom has a shower, a bidet
and the other necessary conveniences
The hills, looking towards Ashton, which is about 15 minutes away
Very rural, with great views
Dams in the valley. There is another dam behind the cottages and you can walk up to it and swim
Suckering in the vineyard. Work never stops on a farm
Aldert Nieuwoudt is the winemaker. He took over from Arthur Basson this year. He was previously viticulturalist and assistant winemaker at Haskell Vineyards in Stellenbosch with Rianie Strydom. He gave us a tasting of their wines; most of them were made by Arthur Basson. Just the 2018 Sauvignon Blanc with its ripe figs and leaves with mint on the nose has been made by Aldert. On the palate, it is crisp and minty, refreshing, very different and interesting with limes, tannins; kiwi and gooseberry follow. Time will aid this new wine. R59. The rosé is a 2018 Malbec, pretty with rose petals on the nose, delicious light and fruity with mulberries and raspberries. R54
In the tank cellar
The barrel cellar
We tasted from the barrels; the wines are maturing nicely
The outside tables for tasting. Aldert has plans to change this area and make it larger
The red wines. We really like the new labels on the right, much clearer. The 2017 Red Gold 07 is a blend of Cabernet, Merlot, Shiraz and Mourvedre. Incense and spice on the nose, good fruit; a braai wine. China buys lots of this. The 2016 Malbec has richness, floral notes, cassis leaves, and mulberry on the nose; sweet juicy fruit some with some wildness, R95. The Cabernet Merlot 2017 was bottled and released for the first time this year. Incense wood, cherries and fruit acidity, then chalky tannins remain; needs time, R75. We also tasted and bought the 2015 Cabernet Franc, R120. Elegant with minerality savouriness and some of the green leaf notes you get with Cab Franc; with lovely fruit and elegance on the palate, layers of cassis and mulberry. We could not resist. The 2015 Shiraz is pretty with a dark berry nose, soft and spicy with good fruit acids to support. The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, R120, has richness, a classic Cabernet with green leaves, savoury marmite, with chalky dark tannins, the Cassis fruit is heavy and heady, with puckering tannins on the end. Keep!
Their top wine, The Menno, named for the owner. This is a blend of Shiraz, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc, Merlot and Mourvedre. A classic nose: incense wood and dark fruit with some balsamic hints, cherry berry with chalky tannins. 4 stars in Platter
The back label
Thank you so much Aldert and Ronel and all at Bushmanspad
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