So the third and final day of my Stellenbosch visit. Next, I’m off to St James.
And it was another great day. First up, Rustenberg with Simon and Murray Barlow. A superbly consistent range of beautifully judged wines. New Ida’s Red is amazing value, and will be in the UK soon.
Then off to Delheim, with new winemaker Reg Holder. The wines are pretty good here, made in a ripe style, but I think they’ll get even better under Reg.
The 2001 Grande Reserve was superb, but the surprise was the Pinotage 2010, stocked by the Wine Society in the UK. Elegant, fresh, sappy and just delicious.
After this, Kanonkop. A great visit with owner Johann Krige and winemaker Abrie Beeslar. The winemaking here is simple, and I saw it in action. All open top fermenters which look like Douro lagares, just a little deeper. Short time on skins (4-5 days) with punching down (which I got to experience). The wines are fantastic, from the ageable Kadette (2003 and 2004 are singing, one of the wine world’s great bargains), through the serious Pinotage and stern, ageable Paul Sauer.
We also got to taste the 2010 Black Label Pinotage. It’s from a 60 year old block, and it’s utterly fabulous, with structure and elegance combined. No fancy winemaking: this is what the vineyard gives.
Then it was off to dinner with Chris Williams and Eddie Turner at Meerlust. We dined in the old part of the house dating back to 1692, drinking a really interesting line-up of wines, including the fresh, precise and ageworthy Rubicon 2007.