Monday, February 04, 2019

Hemel en Aarde Valley Pinot Noir Celebration Part Three Creation Pinot Poetry Tasting

Saturday was Day Two of the Pinot Noir Celebration, and we were all directed to different farms for their showcases of International Pinot Noirs as well as tasting some of their own wines. We were invited by our sponsors, Creation, to their Pinot Poetry tasting
This Poem on the front cover, an ode to Pinot Noir, was written by Burgundian Baptiste Quinard in French and translated by Professor Ian Glenn. It was read to us by Carolyn Martin at the beginning of the tasting
Always a warm welcome
and a glass of Creation's Elation bubbly to keep you going
Lovely classical music was provided by Bulgarian violinist Ivo Ivanov, a talented professional
Fresh oysters with citrus
Pancakes filled with smoked salmon
Dieter Odendaal, their media consultant, chatting to Burgundian visitor Baptiste Quinard
Winemaker Gerhard Smith with owner winemaker Jean Claude (JC) Martin
Professor Ian Glenn has one of the Strawberry and Raspberry skewers
Glasses turned into chandeliers, lots of artwork and some bold and beautiful wallpaper around the door into the winery
We enjoyed the canapés on the terrace
All the correct Riedel glasses were used for the tasting
Some of the Creation wines
A quick staff discussion with Carolyn Martin before people began to be seated
Creation's indigenous gardens are quite amazing
Whoever did the planting was so skilful, the plants harmonise so well together
and the whole garden smells beautiful
Artist Nanette Ranger has several of her very amusing and witty statues scattered around the gardens and inside. We particularly liked this one entitled "I think my Goose is Cooked". Apparently they are selling very well
The wines are poured for the tasting which was entitled Pinot Poetry. We were to do two blind flights
JC Martin welcomed us and told us that, when you talk Pinot Noir in South Africa, you should always mention the Hemel and Aarde. 15 year vineyard age for Pinot is where they are at now; the Old Vine Project is going to have to wait a few years before they are part of it
We were to taste these Pinot Noirs blind and see which of the French wines we could spot. So this tasting sheet was closed to us
The first wine in the first flight had rich red berries, elegance, light wood and was perfumed. A silky texture, it was loaded with raspberries and sour cherry, some chalky tannins and long flavours with a warm ending. 2013 Judge Rock. Central Otago, New Zealand

The second was dark and moody, French in style. Incense wood and integrated fruit on the nose. Sweet and sour berries, some fresh acidity and tannins to last a while. Odyssey Reserve Iliad 2014 from Marlborough in New Zealand

No.3 had soft fruit, elegance, some perfume of red berry fruit, and was quite intriguing. Delicious, young and fruity with raspberry and cola, then dark toasted wood. Creation Art of Pinot 2015, South Africa

No.4. Light fruit on the nose, cola and red berries, also warm and long, wood is ethereal, just on the back palate. Rockburn Central Otago 2016, New Zealand
Lynne was tasting next to winemaker Gerhard Smith
The second flight. Wine No.5 was spicy with pink edges, rich ripe fruit and perfumed, Sweet fruit & hints of cola flavours, round and full on the palate with a lovely mouth feel, our favourite of the tasting. Very friendly for a Vosne Romanée. 2014 Gerard Mugneret Grand vin de Bourgogne. The French are making them sweeter and more approachable

No.6 Wood smoke and, behind it, some fruit, clear edges. Rather watered down in character, it had a small hole in the middle but then revealed long flavours and dark toast. Gantenbein 2016 from Switzerland. This needs time to draw itself together 

No.7  Dark berries & perfume, light on the nose with pink edges. Grippy tannins, tight fruit with tension, very French in style with long after flavours. Creation Emma's Pinot Noir 2017; will reward with time

No.8 Sweet and warm, with smoke on the nose, Lovely warm raspberry and rhubarb fruit, long flavours with tight tannins appearing and coating the palate. Chambolle-Musigny, 2014 Dujac Fils & Père, Appellation Chambolle-Musigny Controlée. We were interested to see how much 'warmer' and fruitier the young French Burgundies are
We discussed the wines amongst ourselves and guessed what they were before they were revealed. Some were easier to spot than others. The French wines did stand out
JC Martin reveals the wines to us
He told us why they had chosen these wines
Gerhard Smith has worked in New Zealand wineries and he influenced the choices of those wines
The wines revealed. The first flight
The second flight
The poet, Baptiste Quinard
Time to take selfies
We then had a tasting of the two Art of Creation Pinot Noirs 2016 and 2017
The 2026 has a heady nose of ripe fruit, some green herbal notes berries and leaves of cassis on the palate,
gentle wood and has long flavours
The 2017 is sophisticated with soft fruit, sweet berries, a lovely wine that is mutable on the palate in layers of flavour
and well supporting wood
Another witty table sized sculpture by Artist Nanette Ranger
The menu
Time to serve the palate cleanser
Crisp beetroot and thyme rolls served with a goat's cream cheese with Pinot salt and chives
It was a slice of cured duck breast with a pea purée,
a crisp deep fried pulled duck leg wonton on a raspberry and beetroot coulis
and a duck liver mousse on a rye crouton
The Friandise tray was both sweet and savoury: goats cheese balls rolled in chopped pistachio nuts, cranberry and tarragon, small puffy donuts in confectioner’s sugar, Dark chocolate dipped Bordeaux figs and small delicious almond cakes baked with raspberries in them
Our musician Ivo Ivanov commenting on the tasting and the wines
The chefs came out to be thanked
Other visitors not involved in the Pinot celebration enjoying their lunch in the tasting room
Babylonstoren mountain (Babylon’s Tower)
Almost life-sized sculptures outside by Artist Nanette Ranger
And a magnificent creature dressed in woven bark
Seats outside under umbrellas, a nice place to enjoy the wine
And Creation's view of Ataraxia. Thank you so much to all at Creation for a really splendid tasting
We then headed back to Nidderdale farm just after one for the next part of the programme in the afternoon

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