Thursday, August 01, 2019

Caroline's Red Wine Review 2019

It was that time of the year again for Caroline Rillema’s epic Red Wine Review, held at the Table Bay Hotel
Tasting so many excellent reds at this tasting and others recently, has been very exciting. South African wine is turning a corner, or climbing a step; the wines we have liked are without fault and have moved into another dimension. Watch out World, we are a presence to be paid heed to, we have found our mojo and our direction. No harsh flavours, grippy mouth puckering tannins or over wooding, the wines showing beautiful fruit and elegance. Longevity yes but they are being made to be ready to drink now, which is what the market wants

We do not taste or circulate together, so Lynne tasted some wines of which we don’t have photos. Of special mention was the Beyerskloof 2015 Faith Cape Blend. Intense bluegum on the nose, with soft juicy fruit, elegance, lovely ripe berries, dark toasted wood and chalky tannins on the end, indicating long life. Catherine Marshall had her 2016 Peter's Vision (Bordeaux blend) which is so seductive. Lots of beautiful fruit, softness and elegance 57% Cabernet Franc 43% Merlot. Peter-Allan Finlayson was showcasing his Crystallum 2018 Cuvée Cinema Pinot Noir. Perfumed, elegant nose, soft raspberry and strawberry fruit, and dark toast on the end. Lovely. David Trafford had the 2016 The Drawing Board, which is an elegant and delicious Cabernet Franc and Shiraz blend with vanilla wood. Jeremy Walker's 2009 The Grangehurst (Bordeaux Blend) shows what a wine can become with good cellaring. He holds his wine back for several years before releasing. This is very French on the nose; elegance on the nose and palate, with depth of fruit with the right balance of fruit, acid, tannin and chalk and a long delicious finish. Will cellar well too. Lanzerac 2017 Pionier Pinotage has a rich fruity nose, soft plums and chalk on the palate, very enjoyable. Le Riche Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon by Christo le Riche has good wood, good cassis fruit, balanced crisp acidity and length. The apple has not fallen far from the tree in this family. A surprise was the Morgenster Reserve Bordeaux Blend 2003. It is an amazing wine, lasting this long, everything is in balance and it still has legs to go further. Plaisir de Merle's 2012 Signature Bordeaux Blend is a blockbuster, so attractive, with good fruit on the nose and palate, with layers of berries, chalk and elegance, a real crowd pleaser at the show. Johan Reyneke's 2015 Biodynamic Reserve Red shows the way. White pepper, incense wood from old French barriques, Intense fruit, it is like picking warm ripe mulberries off the tree. Dewaldt Heyns’ Saronsberg 2017 Shiraz is full of fruit and spice on the nose and delicious blackberry and blackcurrant fruit and spice on the palate. And then there was Duncan Clarke's Merlot Reserve from Thelema. Lynne's ideal style of Merlot, with layers of beautiful ripe cherry fruit, great elegance and soft wood, with not a hint of greenness or grip. She would have loved to have tasted more wines but there is a time pressure

John's first encounter was Nadia Beaumont who was pouring their 2016 Dangerfield Syrah,
a poem of ripe black cherry fruit with subtle support from a hint of black pepper and minerality
Patrick Ngamane, Hartenberg winemaker, welcomed us warmly with a taste of their 2015 The Stork Shiraz,
spicy and rich and long, full of fruit nut and raisins, a much lauded and awarded wine to savour and drink
with Christmas dinner and other celebrations, so beautifully made
Named for the late Ken Mackenzie, who bought Hartenberg in 1987, pilot, businessman, farmer and benefactor
Stork was his nickname in the Second World War, when he was a Spitfire pilot - he was tall with long thin legs
Shiraz was his favourite red wine. His daughters now run the farm 
De Grendel’s Shiraz was made by Morgan Steyn, a Cape Winemakers Guild Protégé winemaker
Christiaan Coetzee, winemaker and Lara Shargey, Marketing Manager at Uva Mira with The Mira Cabernet Sauvignon 2016,
a complex and deep classic
Kleine Zalze showed their Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, made by talented RJ Botha
Alastair Rimmer, Cellarmaster, Kleine Zalze
A smiling Ken Forrester. They were showcasing The Gypsy 2014, a blend of Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvèdre,
full of rich plums and spice and good wood from their Icon range
The big and the small! Mr Chenin also has excellent red wines
Ken Forrester Cellar controller Shawn Mathyse and Brand Ambassador Bianca Brand
Winemaker Alex Starey and owner Mark Wraith of Keermont with their Steepside Syrah,
rich and dark fruit, well-balanced with supple tannin
Danie Steytler was showing their 2017 Steytler Pinotage, a classic of its genre, a wine to last
The 2017 Twyfeling Cinsault impressed us so much that we made it our Wine of the Week in last week's MENU. Made by winemaker Natasha Williams. It was a revelation. Cinsault is coming of age in South Africa. No longer the disliked harsh and metallic wines mostly used for blending in the past, but wines with such fruity freshness and style that they just beg to be drunk with good food. They are not pretentious wines, just ones you want to enjoy often. This lovely wine is from a single block of bush vines on the Wellington farm. There is a smoke hint on the nose and then so much fruit delights the palate. It is so modern and enticing, with ripe plums and mulberries, then soft chalky tannins on the end. Only 20% is in new oak, the rest is matured in older barrels. It will certainly cope with Mediterranean food, tomato dishes and dishes with black olives
Andrew Gunn of Iona and Caroline Rillema Kilian
Kayleigh Hattingh & Danie Steytler Jr at the Kaapzicht table
Erika Obermeyer pouring her wine for Survivor winemaker Ben Snyman
This wine is the 2016 Erika O, a blend of Syrah, Grenache Noir, Cinsault  from talented winemaker Erika Obermeyer, whom Platter voted their 2019 Newcomer of the Year and it is MENU's Wine of the Week. She has had a long and varied career working at Kleine Zalze and Graham Beck and has now gone independent, with considerable success. The wine shone brightly above many, many excellent wines tasted that evening. With hints of pine nuts on the nose with incense wood and dark red berry fruit, it was different and delicious with layers of fruit and flavour, some soft chalky tannins and ending with a continuing flavour of ripe cherries. We scored it 19.5 out of 20 points
Pieter Badenhorst, Fleur du Cap Cellarmaster. They had their Series Privée Cabernet Sauvignon on show
Zinaschke Steyn, Nederburg Assistant Winemaker,
whom we met when she was at Glenwood in Franschhoek; she moved to Distell at the end of 2018
Thea van der Merwe & winemaker Sjaak Nelson, of Jordan with Sophia, a Bordeaux blend with sandalwood on the still shy nose,
but showing such potential with great fruit and backbone
Christopher Keet and his daughter Robyn
Chris's 2016 First Verse Bordeaux Blend is sheer poetry; very much in the style of what he's done before; he knows how to do this
Full fruit on the nose with layered berry fruit and chalky tannins; this wine is great now but will go many years
He has released it before the 2015, which he says is still in waiting
Chris Keet pouring for winemaker Ronel Wiid of Bartinney
The gospel according to Keet
Justin van Wyk of Constantia Glen pouring his Bordeaux Blend FIVE. So impressive, so delicious and so popular
Bruwer Raats' daughter pouring his Raats Family 2016 Cabernet Franc, one of the Cape's best
Spice, pepper and nutmeg on the nose then fresh berry fruit in layers, calling for food
& his son - it is a Family affair
Sophia Hawkins of Vilafonté with the 2016 Series M Bordeaux Blend
Winemakers in discussion: Bruwer Raats with Alastair Rimmer and Warren Ellis
Heidi Kritzinger pouring Kanonkop Paul Sauer for Gareth Robertson, Sales and Marketing Manager at Anthonij Rupert Wines
We will taste the very special Kanonkop wines on the farm again soon and look forward to writing about them 
Visitors…
…having fun and spotting the Paparazzi
Niels Verburg of Luddite was showcasing his 2014 Shiraz,
pouring it here for Groot Constantia winemaker Louise van der Westhuizen
It has perfume on the nose, licorice drop and black cherry fruit with long flavours, This keeps on delivering and was very popular
Discussing wines is what happens while we taste; people are interested in the wine and the winemakers
Stuart and James Downes of Shannon with Kerry Sutherland of Saxenburg
Shannon had their epic Mount Bullet Merlot, which is acknowledged as one of the best in the country
and Saxenburg showed a pure cassis-fruited Shiraz with lots of spice on the end

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