Tasting Treats at the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show
June 20, 2012 in Uncategorized
Plenty of wines and winemakers at the Cape Town public tasting of the Old Mutual Trophy Show Top wines last week at the CTICC. Arriving early meant space and time to chat which is always nice and I chewed the fat (and the wine) with three of my favourite ladies – Corlea Fourie from Bosman, Ntsiki Biyela from Stellekaya and Natalie Opstaele from Almenkerk – who were there showing off two great reds (Pinotage and Cabernet from Corlea and Orion from Ntsiki) and a delicious Chardonnay from Almenkerk.
Moving round the room, I then thought I should give the Gold Medal and Trophy winning Shirazes a bash – the Painted Wolf and the De Grendel. First thing that struck me about both wines was how ‘unshowy’ they both were. What do I mean by that? Well, there has been a trend in the last decade or so for producers to make big, alcoholic, over-extracted wines that stand out from the crowd (which is great if you’re tasting 100+ wines a day) but which are horrible to drink and which really tire you out. Neither of the Shirazes was that kind of wine, the Painted Wolf being particularly light, refreshing and fruity. It was also awesome to see that they were both reasonably-priced – again, something of a novelty in show winners these days.
Things were coming in twos all the way round – a pair of delicious Semillons from KWV’s Mentor’s range and the Cederberg Ghost Corner from Elim – and then onto two Chenins from De Morgenzon and Dornier, both stands ‘womanned’ by ex-wine course students who were knowledgeably chatting away, I was pleased to see! A pair of Pinotage producers were next – Rijks needs no introduction as supreme Pinotage-makers, but I haven’t tried their wines for a long time and it was lovely to see what this variety can do in the hands of a master. Sitting pertly alongside the best Pinotages in the country was a producer I would never have associated with the variety – Romond. I first came across these guys selling the most utterly delicious Cabernet Franc, Cabernet sauvignon blend and I expected to see that today. But their Pinotage was equally good and very interesting – a different style to the Rijks, but interesting nonetheless.
Final stop – promptly on the dot of 6pm – was back at KWV. After all – how many chances in life do you get to try an 83 year old wine? The 1929 Reserve Port won the trophy for the Museum Class Fortified Wine and I think it was as much for staying-power as anything else! If asked to guess, I would have said it was perhaps 40 or 50 years old – dark fruit, concentrated tawny in colour, sweet-savoury edges to it. A privilege and a treat to try such a wine.