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.