On Sunday I journeyed up and over Sir Lowries Pass and on to Beaumont Wines to enjoy the open day they hold each year. I love the family vibe that Beaumont has. It isn’t marketing bullshit, Jayne & Raoul Beaumont own the place with their son Sebastian making the wines and his sister Ariane taking care of the marketing and the cottages. Sebastian greeted us when we arrived and we chatted a little about some of the wines that have recently been released.
Like the Beaumont Pinotage 2007 which is a really great example of a cool climate Pinotage. The nose was quite aromatic with notes of strawberries, raspberries and red cherry; there was a slight gamey edge on the palate that was intriguing, but it was the wine’s elegance and balance that I enjoyed most. Imagine all the crappy Pinotages you’ve had in the past, those abrasive, wild, over-oaked, acetone vibed, banana-like cock-ups. Right. Now imagine it entering one of those god-awful make-over shows. OK, then imagine half an hour of drivel…..Done? Good. And what emerges from behind a curtain is a poised, pretty wine oozing with confidence. The mirror is revealed and…Well no, in this pretty crappy metaphor it wouldn’t be a mirror it would be a glass, and the wine would have to drink itself which is a little macabre. Anyway, gone are all the taints that give Pinotage haters ammunition. It’s the ugly girl in the beginning of the film who is transformed into a beauty by the time the credits roll. It is simply very very good, and according to Sebastian the 2008 is even better.
I love cheese. I love Gruyère. So I stood here for about an hour.
The 2006 Mouvedre was handsome and spicy, and made me think of Aladdin for some reason; a dark brooding Aladdin, not a cheery candy coated Disney version. The Chenin Blanc 2009 was fresh, fruity, balanced and a great example of one of my favourite varietals. We bought a bottle of that and one of the Unwooded Chardonnay 2009, also excellent, with lemons, limes and pistachio on the palate, a stylish wine that’s hard not to quaff.
That was about all the activity that took place. Lying in the shade sipping, eating and reading (this time it was Tom Robbins, and my bible Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climate).
The good things in life: wine, Tom Robbins, tobacco, Rizla, and my knee.
That was about the extent of it. If you can’t make it to one of Beaumont’s open days – which is fine by me, less crowds and more cheese – then you really should go get yourself one of their wines. A great place to do that is over at my buddies from Spit Or Swallow’s new venture Grape Fuel. Well, actually it is not the best place as they don’t stock it. Go and buy other wines there. You can get the Beaumont at Vino Pronto on Orange Street in Cape Town, it’s my local wine store.
You might have noticed that the photographs on this post have not been pilfered from various websites. This is because my travelling companion for the trip to Beaumont was Mida Kirova (@MidaMoo), who has taken the post of Chief Photographer for Wine & I. Which might be as important as my role as Kleine Zalze Ambassador, or possibly more.