WanderCurtis Wine

Wine tastings, corporate events, reviews and recommendations


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Sensational Stellenbosch Day 3


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Sensational Stellenbosch May 2017 , Day 2

Kanonkop 

This historic winery is situated on the slopes of the Simonsberg mountains.Its name is derived from ‘Koppie’ from which a canon was fired in the 17th century to alert farmers of ships entering table Bay .They have 100 hectares of vineyards mainly pinotage and Cabernet Sauvignon . Focus is on top quality red wines especially Pinotage. Kanonkop is run by 2 brothers Johann and Paul Krige. The family run ethos have resulted in only three winemakers in the last 48 years. Arbrie Beeslaar is the current winemaker whose mother in law I coincidentally sat next to on the flight from London !

 

Wines tasted

Pinotage Rose 2015

Fresh citrus and raspberries

Kadette Cape Blend Pinotage 2015,Big production 65000 cases smoke toast blackberry

Kadette Pinotage 2015

19000 cases spicy rubber entry level

Kanonkop Pinotage 2014

30 to 60 year old bush wines vines 6000 cases

Complex nose concentrated medicinal herbaceous spicy coffee black fruit soft tannins chocolate

Kanonkop Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

3500 cases cassis black currant leaf

Kanonkop Pinotage 2001

Coffee chocolate medicinal savoury soy sauce soft tannins truffles + lovely a good indicator of what aged South African Pinotage can deliver

Kanonkop Paul Sauer 2013

CF CS Merlot liquorice black currant

 

 

Rustenberg

 

 

 

Rustenberg was founded in 1682 and is situated at the foot of the Simonsberg Mountains . It’s a Cape gem with beautiful Cape Dutch thatched roofed buildings, a historic gabled manor house , extensive landscaped gardens and vineyards. John X Merriman, a former Cape Prime minister bought the property in 1892. In 1941 Peter and Pamela Barlow bought Rustenberg their sons now run the business

Wines tasted with Willem, marketing manager ( Importer in the  UK is seckfords, available waitrose majestic)

Rustenberg Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Grown at altitude 550m + Can smell from end of table, Pineapple tropical fruit lemons,Crisp fresh ++ aged in lees 3 months

Rustenberg Stellenbosch Chardonnay 2015,Butter toast creamy citrus fermented in oak

Five soldiers Chardonnay 2014,Creamy textured long marzipan citrus nutty crisp +

Rustenberg Grenache 2015,Blueberries red currant cut bunches in half before harvest to concentrated

Rustenberg Merlot 2015,Plummy fruity soft tannins

RM Nicholson 2015 Shiraz blend slight perfume black cherries

John x Merriman 2014,Bordeaux blend,very good structure needs age a little tight Black fruits

Bouzard clouf Syrah,rubber spice pepper mixed herbs liquorice

Peter Barlow 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon,mint menthol cassis firm tannins Still a baby

 

 

This fabulous mornings tasting was followed by a delicious lunch at Jordans Estate

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Sensational Stellenbosch. May 2017 – day 1

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

 

Wines tasted.

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

 

 

 

 

Delaire Graff Estate

 

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

Honey citrus

Delaire Graff Botmaskop 2015

Alcohol stands out Tomato leaf nose cassis soft tannins Needs another year or more

 

 

 

Kleine Zalze Estate

 

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 .


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Singing in the rain at Groot Constantia

My long awaited trip to South African began at this historic  Cape wine estate dating back to 1685 .
The first rains for three months were greeted with great glee at Groot Constantia Estate.
After a long dry summer drought the parched earth lapped up the rainstorm.
Their passionate winemaker Boela lined up a
delightful run of wines.
CEO Jean Claude joined us with a history lesson
followed by a tour of the  finest surviving Cape Dutch Architecture
and the oldest Manor House in the country.
Wines tasted
Blanc de Noirs 2016 a wonderfully fresh rose
with 3 or 4 hours of skin contact
with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
Sauvignon Blanc /Semillon 2016 herbaceous with added texture
Sauvignon Blanc 2016 melon passion fruit crisp and dry finish
Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 cassis tomato leaf and ripe tannin
Pinotage 2015 savoury Umami soy sauce and smoky . Good finish
Shiraz 2015 pepper spice good core of black fruit long finish , lovely
Gouverneurs Reserve 2014 ripe plums vanilla cedar firm tannins ,
a little closed needs a few more years and a good long decant , great potential.
Grand Constance 2014. Aromatic ripe apricot lavender,
fresh black tea leaves rich lush with very long length , delicious, a marvel
We had Lunch at Jonkerhuis with Cape Malay influenced dining.
 After overeating we took a  stroll up into the autumnal vineyards
which gave us wonderful views over False Bay making it clear why
Simon Van Der Stel chose this beautiful  valley over three centuries ago.