jamie goode's wine blog: Day 3 in South Africa - Franschoek, mostly

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Day 3 in South Africa - Franschoek, mostly

Had a great day today, even though for most of it the rain was lashing down in vast sheets. We began with another larger producer, continuing yesterday's theme: DGB, hosted at Boschendal. They have a range of brands, including Douglas Green, Bellingham, Franschoek Cellar, Boschendal and from 2010, Brampton will be all theirs. Highlight? The Bellingham Bernard Series wines, including (shock) an elegant, pure Pinotage. Pictured are winemakers Thinus and Lizelle.

Then it was off to lunch with Mark Kent of Boekenhoutskloof and Gottfried Mocka of Chamonix, at the wonderful Reubens. Mark and Gottfried's wines are all world class. I knew Mark's wines were great, but I'd not tried Chamonix for ages, and was utterly blown away. Highlights: Chamonix Pinot Noir Reserve 2008 and Boekenhoutskloof The Journeyman 2007. But all the wines were great.

Next? Off to Antonij Rupert, where a serious vineyard replanting program is taking place, and this grand, lavish property is looking to plant higher up the side of the mountain. The cellar here is remarkable, with a revolving roof and all the winemaking toys you could wish for. Highlight? The A Rupert Cabernet Franc 2005, which is utterly spellbinding in its refinement and character. Only 10 barrels made, though, and it will cost you a bit.

While we were there we also tried the wines from Rupert & Rothschild, which are very successful, stylish and European in their flavour profile. And also La Motte's wines, which are really good (and great value for money), with the highlight being the 2007 Shiraz Viognier, which is beautifully poised, smooth, fresh and elegant.

Tonight we're off to dinner with Mike Ratcliffe. But fellow journo Christian Davis has gone home, and we'll miss him.

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At 9:37 AM, Anonymous Ben Smith said...

Hi Jamie - two 'h's in Franschhoek
Yours pedantically,


At 4:51 PM, Blogger Vinogirl said...

How was the Pinotage? Have never had success with that particular varietal.
Love the 'Journeyman' label.

At 7:19 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

vino girl - pinotage is very hard to do really well, but I know think that it can (at least in theory) be done really well

At 11:22 AM, Blogger Kwispedoor said...

@ Vinogirl: very few people understand Pinotage. It's made in a staggering plethora of styles and you need to taste a lot of them to get to grips with the variety. The best ones also deserve some maturation, after which they truly shine. Unfortunately, most people drink the good ones too young and there's also a lot of bad Pinotage out there.
Some good ones to start with: Southern Right; Kanonkop; De Waal Top of the Hill; Bellevue PK Morkel; Beaumont; Chamonix; Kaapzicht Steytler; Simonsig Red Hill; Beyerskloof Reserve; Grangehurst & Longridge.


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