Our first tasting in Stellenbosch was at the magnificent Tokara Estate owned by GT Ferreira , situated at the crest of the Helshoogte Pass. The exceptional location allows panoramic views over Olive Groves, valleys and Mountains from Simonsberg to Table Mountain. The tasting room has a huge stone fireplace and contemporary architecture, there’s also a sculpture garden delicatessen and restaurant.
We were greeted by Karl the GM and Suzanne .This stunning property has 60 hectares of vineyards and was built in 1999 with first vintage in 2001. Grapes are sourced from a variety of sites including the lovely Elgin Sauvignon blanc on a site which was a fruit farm. 2007 to 2016 ten year tasting shows exceptional development of these wines Back vintages are stored in a monumental four storey cylindrical cellar hidden behind a vast cast iron door off the tasting room .
Luckily I was inquisitive enough to encourage Carl to not only give us a peek inside but also to sneak out the delightful 2006 Directors reserve Semillon.
Tokara is named after the owners 2 children Distribution is mainly in Holland U.K. Germany. ABS wines distribute in the U.K The German market is very big partly due to historical factors , the Germans colonized SW Africa.25% of Somerset West has German owned homes
Tokara Reserve Collection Elgin 2016 Sauvignon Blanc
Elderflower floral citrus peach , crisp good length persistence balance
Tokara Reserve Collection Chardonnay 2015
Naturally fermented .15% Pineapple tropical fruit .Butter vanilla toast oak 95 points best in SA 27 % new oak .
Tokara Directors Reserve 2014
70 Sauvignon Blanc 30 Sémillon High altitude 500 m Rich barrel fermented textured .wet hay lemons musty earthy
Tokara 2006 Directors Reserve Semillon
Carl plucked from secret cellar Rich pétrolic flinty gunsmoke texture full lovely pickled lemon
Tokara Reserve Syrah 2013
Crushed spice Violets soft tannins savoury
2013 directors reserve red
Merlot Petit Verdot others Cedar cigar box tobacco . Long lovely soft tannins Long finish
Tokara Directors reserve Potstill Brandy Another special treat from Karl
floral dry fig and raisins
The high altitude vineyard on the slopes of Botmaskop was originally a lookout for boats entering Table Bay Harbour .
No expense was spared on their multifaceted property, with a winery, two restaurants, a lifestyle boutique,a diamond store, a five star lodge and spa transformed by Laurence Graff founder and chairman of Graff Diamonds International Ltd.
The cellar is one of the most advanced and well equipped in the Southern Hemisphere the first wines made in 2008.
Wines Tasted on the terrace
Cabernet franc rose 2016
strawberry crisp fresh finish
Delaire Graff Sauvignon Blanc 2015
beautifully fresh hint gooseberry and lemon
Delaire Graff Sauvignon Blanc coastal cuvée Olifants river 2015
3 km from sea has 4% sémillon Franschoek Textured structured great mouthfeel length gooseberry tropical fruit
Delaire Graff Banghoek reserve Chardonnay 2015
vanilla peaches toast long 10 months French oak barriques seductive nose long lingering finish
Delaire Graff Swartland Chenin Blanc 2015
Delaire Graff Botmaskop 2015
Alcohol stands out Tomato leaf nose cassis soft tannins Needs another year or more
Winemaking dates back to 1695 . Now run by ex lawyer Kobus Basson with extensive renovation and modernization.The property includes an 18 hole golf course a luxury residential developments a boutique hotel and a top Provençal inspired restaurant
Terroir Dinner with Anthony van schalkwyk atTerroir restaurant
Four clearly defined ranges exist . the foot of Africa range , The cellar selection range , the vineyard range and their flagship family reserve range.
Wines tasted with dinner
Vintage 2009 Blanc De Blanc Methode cap classique.
Family Reserve Chenin Blanc 2015
Family Reserve, Cabernet 2012
Family Reserve Shiraz 2012
For full tasting notes see details from our wine dinner in London with Kleine Zalze .
I highly recommend this as a destination to base yourselves in Stellenbosch, complete with infinity pool , majestic views , mountain bike trail , excellent restaurant and easy access to wineries .