What do I do when the stellar winemakers at a wine showcase shine as brightly as their stellar wines? I eagerly indulge in the sublime pairing of personality and wine.
The occasion was the Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction Showcase held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre last week. The wines are crafted exclusively for the Auction.
So many things leapt off the page when I perused the Showcase’s information leaflet. For different reasons, all personal, some names leapt to the top of my “must meet” list – Andrea Mullineux, Marc Kent and Jan ‘Boland’ Coetzee. Three winemakers that I have really wanted to meet for quite some time.
Jan “Boland” Coetzee gave me so much excitement and pleasure as a rugby fan, that it was hard for me to pay too much attention to the other players on the field. I long have wanted an opportunity to shake his hand and say thank you. His Vriesenhof and Paradyskloof wines required just a first taste to become savourites of mine. During my Johannesburg years, I often grabbed a bottle of Vriesenhof from our local bottle store, knowing that I could rely on it to please our dinner guests. So my few minutes with the great man were very special and appreciated. He poured me a glass of his Vriesenhof Pinot Noir 2010 and it certainly scored a try in my palate.
Some years back, I was finally able to answer ‘shiraz’ to the question of what my favourite wine was. I set out to try as many shirazes and syrahs as I could.
Round about this time Mullineux Wines started to stand up and be noticed and I soon headed to Riebeek-Kasteel for a tasting and left with a bottle of their excellent Syrah 2009 and another of their Straw Wine. Both were superb and Mullineux Wines became firm savourites too.
Since then, I have wanted to meet the people behind their wines and recently met Chris Mullineux at a wine trade show. CWG Showcase presented me the chance to finally meet winemaker Andrea. She had two wines to offer, both whites. I must have looked a little disappointed and I explained that by preference I was a red wine drinker. In a twinkle she said that red wine drinkers enjoyed her CWG 2015 – Mullineux Trifecta Chenin Blanc and I certainly did. A complex gorgeous wine with good fruit concentration and yes I would happily drink it again and again. Persuasive lady that Andrea!
Also on that initial shiraz quest of mine was a trip to Boekenhoutskloof in Franschhoek to try theirs. It became and has remained high up on my list of savourite Syrahs. Poured by Marc Kent (Clark’s winemaking brother?) I devoured (aka sipped very keenly!) the CWG – Boekenhoutskloof Syrah Auction Reserve 2013. Que Syrah Syrah, whatever will please will please!!!!
Last time I met Teddy Hall I deliberately didn’t try a Chenin Blanc, the varietal that first made me a fan of his wines, this time I did. In my white wine only days, Chenin Blanc was my favourite and Teddy Hall was King, so I tasted The Teddy Hall Dr Jan Cats Chenin Blanc Reserve 2011 and am still a huge fan of the varietal. And Mr Hall still rules for me!
Wines I also tried and enjoyed were: CWG 2015-Jordan Chardonnay Auction Selection 2014; Beyerskloof Traildust Pinotage 2013; the Drift’s “Die Kanse Vate” Single Vineyard Barbera 2013; from Boplaas their Daniel’s Legacy Cape Portuguese Red Blend 2013; the Hartenberg CWG Auction Shiraz 2013; Rijk’s CWG Pinotage 2012; and to end off, the Groot Constantia Grand Constance 2012.
The Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild Auction Showcase was a superb evening with the cream of winemakers (can one say cream in this context?) and an array of wines that would shine in any company.