On my recent trip to Bonnievale, we popped in to Weltevrede to taste some of their famous MCCs.
Now two things in particular made this visit special: the tasting was conducted by Weltevrede cellarmaster, Philip Jonker himself and it took place in their hugely atmospheric, underground cellars.
“In the early days of winemaking, farmers would create underground cooling vaults for their wine. On Weltevrede, large areas were dug underground, river stones were brought up from the Breede River by donkey and cart and then cement cisterns were cast. These cisterns would annually be rubbed with molten beeswax to seal each hole and crack and prevent the wine from coming into contact with the raw cement. Until recently, these cisterns had been forgotten about…..”
We tasted two of Philip’s MCCs, the Philip Jonker Brut Entheos and the Philip Jonker The Ring. The Entheos is certainly a good bubbly, but it was The Ring that totally had bells ringing in my palate, and is the first MCC to write itself indelibly into my wine memory bank.
Its nose is sublime, honey, melon and I even picked up some lemongrass (maybe that was what won me over?) and citrus and apple on the palate.
Chardonnay is not my favourite grape, but if it is served to me as Philip Jonker’s The Ring, I will say thank you thank you thank you. It is seriously delicious.
By the way, you too can enjoy this eerie underground tasting experience at Weltevrede, you will walk through the candle lit, damp tunnels to the tasting – albeit without the bonus of Philip Jonker at the end (sorry).