Aug 03 2011
Heading out to Beaune, France in September, my Frog Mates have asked me to present a tasting in Pommard. I love doing tastings in Burgundy. Most would think it is all quiet, serious, scientific and critically French.
Not on your auntΓò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö£├╗s bidet.
Each time IΓò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö£├╗ve presented to wine-makers, buyers and the odd hack it ends up in a raucous piss-up that makes the Swartland Revolution look like a Papal funeral. But in between the slurping, joking and break for a quick Gitanes, there are weighty topics being discussed, but in a very relaxed and amiable vibe.
Γò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö¼├║Just donΓò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö£├╗t tell them back in South Africa that in Burgundy we have more leaf-roll virus than the whole of your country!Γò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö¼├æ is the kind of bantering that goes on. Γò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö¼├║And thank you for not bringing Pinotage Γò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö£Γöñ it makes the Algerian labourersΓò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö£├╗ teeth fall outΓò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö¼┬¼.Γò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö¼├æ
Well, this year I am bringing Pinotage, Monsieurs. The final decision has not quite been made, but the Kanonkop Black Label 2006 will be poured blind and IΓò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö£├╗ll bet you a piece of Carla BruniΓò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö£├╗s bra-strap that none of you are going to spot it is Pinotage. As I mentioned in a previous missive, this is one wine with which South Africa can really take on the top-end of the wine world.
Obviously, an easy-drinking Pinotage will also be included. Burgundians are very keen on gluggable wines. Friendly juice, they call it.
The other day I copped a Rhebokskloof Pinotage 2010. Wow. What a beaut. Really perfume- like and floral, like a Volnay with a bit of Royal Jelly added to it, I kid you not. Supple and fragrant. Silky mouth-feel. Rose petal, smoked sweet pepper, unctuous red fruit with cinnamon. Just a hint of metallic Pinotage-riffs. At around R50 a bottle, a real corker.
Really impressed by the stuff coming out of Rhebokskloof, although I thought the Shiraz would be a killer, which it ainΓò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö£├╗t.
Then the Burgundy crowd always want some South African interpretations of Γò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö¼├║theirΓò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö¼├æ wines. This time IΓò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö£├╗m hauling Chardonnay.
Great showing two styles, two terroirs. Paul Cluver 2009. Sure, cool climate, but it does have a whack of sunny fruit. Still a splinter of new wood on the nose, but fruit and structure are compelling. Sexy citrus, beguiling apricot and a spicy breath. A great, great wine although IΓò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö£├╗d like to hear what the French have to say about the ageing-potential of such a fantastic wine under screwcap.
Then from Robertson IΓò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö£├╗m luggingThe Site 2009. Of Danie de WetΓò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö£├╗s oldest vineyards, this is No 9 Dijon clone. Robertson means lime. So we are talking really mineral in the Corton Charlemagne league. Almost a year in wood, but any trace of plank has disappeared. Citrus and grilled nuts. A length like a Samurai sword. Tight grip on the rear palate, sensual array of earthy, fruity, spring-flower flavours upfront.
ItΓò¼├┤Γö£├ºΓö£├╗s a pleasure, Monsieurs, I am to please.