Duncan showed once again that he really is the master of careful oak use in whites with three wines. Cape Point Isliedh 2005 is Sauvignon with 15% Semillon, aged in barrel. It’s so bright and pure with lovely grapefruit and mandarin notes as well as taut citrus fruit. Will age. His Cape Winemakers Guild Barrel Fermented Sauvignon 2008 is almost in the same league, with refined, fresh, pith grapefruit and a kiss of oak – will develop nicely in bottle.
The Cape Point Chardonnay 2003 (Duncan’s first vintage) is a bit of a gangly adolescent, with matchstick minerality and toast, but a core of lovely fruit. Cape Point Chardonnay 2001 is ageing beautifully – a very fine wine that’s stylish, linear and bright.
We also had some reds. Sherwood Berriman Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Franc 2003 combines richness and gravelly freshness, and is drinking very well. Boschkloof Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon shows nicely fresh, gravelly dark fruits and is also quite delicious. Neil Ellis Cabernet Sauvignon 2001 has evolved nicely with a slight greenness but also some nice lively blackcurrant fruit. Meerlust Rubicon 2001 took me by surprise: incredible density and concentration, with firm tannins and savoury-edged blackcurrant fruit. Will this ever be ready? Very tasty, though. Le Bonheur Cabernet Sauvignon 2001 was superficially attractive with rich, almost soupy black fruits and a grainy, earthy structure.
The star of the show, though, was Duncan and Zani’s Ridgeback puppy. I can’t spell her name, but it translates as ‘wind’. A beautiful-looking dog.