Thursday, November 22, 2018

The 2018 Elim Wine Festival

We were glad we could get to the annual Elim Wine Festival this year; it was it was an easy detour on our way home from Robertson. We love the area, but it is rather far from Cape Town. The day, thankfully, began with a bit of cloud, which kept the temperature down. The weather forecasts had been promising temperatures in the 40s; it stayed comfortable all day. It was held at Black Oystercatcher winery, which has a great spacious venue
They had lots of canopies for shade and quite a lot of seating and tables
Inside the restaurant, we tried some Sijnn wine from Malgas, owned by David Trafford,
and chatted to the winemaker Charla Haasbroek
And then to the Black Oystercatcher stand to taste the wines and chat to Annemie Adriaanse
The seating inside the restaurant was popular
Time to attend the Master class tasting of some older wines from the area. This was held in the wine cellar. And gave us some more "Wines we wish we had bought then and kept". As we keep thumping on our drum, South African white wines do need time and are worth keeping. This tasting certainly showed us some beauties. We were so impressed with the Adamastor 2008 that we made it our wine of the week last week, alongside its younger 2016 sibling. A blockbuster of a nose with tinned asparagus, this is a BIG wine. Golden fruit with soft warm alcohol, nice minerality and long flavours. A complex food wine. Still fresh, too. Amazing for a 10 year old white wine The Ghost Corner Wild Ferment 2013 was full of Asparagus and fynbos clean and crisp with lovely fruit, long flavours and a winner of awards. The Black Oystercatcher 2008 Sauvignon Blanc with its green pepper and asparagus nose, still had some honey and lime on the palate. The reds were also excellent. Two particularly impressed. The Strandveld Syrah 2006 has 7% viognier which softens it. Some tomato cocktail, balsamic aromatic nose, soft sweet berry fruit, chalky tannins, lots of fruit; silky soft with a shake of black pepper on the end. And finally, the pinnacle was the Sijnn Red 2008, a blend of Shiraz, Mourvedre, Touriga and Trincadeira, which we confess we did not understand when we first tasted it on release. Now it has spice, red berries; complex and foreign on the nose with violets and perfume. Superb flavours of perfumed red and black berries; so full and elegant, so amazing, so delicious
The line up of bottles
Going through the wines with Conrad Vlok of Strandveld Wines
Jean Daneel also had two of his wines in the tasting. First, the 2012 Signature Chenin, from 66 year old bush vines in Paardeberg, the wine is dusty with wood smoke, melon peaches and herbs on the nose, Peaches apricots and nuts on the full warm palate. And then his 2009 Signature Cabernet Merlot Cab Franc Shiraz red blend. This was so fruity and layered with chalky tannins. It tastes like a classic Bordeaux, despite the addition of the shiraz. A food wine. Next to Jean is Hannes Meyer, winemaker at Lomond and Pierre Rabie of The Giant Periwinkle, whose Blanc Fume 2013 also impressed. Slight smoke, very elegant nose, round on the palate layers of golden fruit then smoke
The tasting sheet
Hannes Meyer talks about his wine
Strandveld’s Jackie Rabe who organises the festival PR
Pierre Rabie of The Giant Periwinkle. He is an Advocate who loves of wine, so he made his own
Lads together, Hannes Meyer and Conrad Vlok
Outside, the sun was out and people were heading for shade
Elim is the most southerly wine growing area in Africa and it is classified as a cool area
Over the kitchen garden the food tents with lots of seating
and live music
Even some dancing
On the terrace lunch was being eaten with good wine
Wine or Beer?
Lots of food trucks
John went for the beef burger, Lynne had some calamari
All yours sir!
The Ice house. And as shadows lengthened, it was time to drive home to Cape Town,
it took us a little under three hours
L'Agulhas is the southern tip of Africa and is the approximate point
at which the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet

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