Drunk, General

Some Chenins, a Serbian, and a late night

Last Thursday I was at another tasting with Under the Influence at The Roundhouse. Remember The Roundhouse? This place:

roundhouse  Yup, the one with the awful view.

I was there for a Chenin Blanc tasting, which was excellent and we were treated to some really top class examples. In all the excitement (read: drinking) that happened afterwards I lost my tasting notes. So I’m just going to quickly mention some that stood out. The Teddy Hall ‘Summer Moments’ Chenin Blanc 2009 is  a super value wine. At around R30 ex-cellar, it over delivers on quality. Typical Chenin qualities of a tropical fruit, with some weight on the palate and a cleansing acidity; all the elements were  pretty straight forward in the Teddy Hall, but in fine balance.

The Beaumont 2009 was my favourite of the unwooded. It had a complex and delicate nose of fragrant spices, rose water, and dried fruit. The palate was elegant and restrained. It was drinking beautifully.

I had decided to bring a bottle of Chenin with me. It was one that I have been enjoying immensely the last couple of months, and it has a gentle price-tag of R75 from Vino Pronto.  The Crios Bride 2009 is made by Carla Pauw using grapes grown from about 30yr old Swartland vines. The production is quite small. I loved the waxy texture and flavour concentration. It went down well at the table and stood up to the better known Chenins. Harry’s taste in Chenin: un point.

The last four we had were all superb: we had the Raats, De Trafford, De Morgenzon, and Robusto. And when I have a little more energy I’ll try write some tasting notes. Which could be difficult because I lost them. The notes were proabably not that helpful with expletives followed by something like, ‘awsome’, ‘terrific’, or ‘long’ and a few flavour descriptors. Thus a note would read something like:

Fuck me this is ridiculous. So long. Good lord

fruit punch, some honey. great acidity.

Fucking brilliant.

Not going to be a wine judge just yet.

Now to the ‘after party’ but first a Comixed version of the events.


reaction wine

You gotta love the reaction guys.

I am kind of understating it a little, as we had two of the Shannon Pinot Noirs not just the one. It was all thanks to our Serbian friend and wine lover Dusan Jelic who, as a sort of going away party before he returns home this week, decided that we should all drink exceptional wines until late in the night. Dusan led by example and found himself getting rather intimate with a bush later that night, but that, as they say, is another story.  A further reason he ordered all these fantastic wines was because, in his words, “I don’t give a fuck about what the critics say, I have only understood a wine when I have drunk it with friends.”  Fair enough.

The wines? Truly superb. The Mount Bullet 2007 was just as good last time, but it really deserves a bit of decanting. Actually all the wines did. The Shannon Pinot Noir 2007 was also excellent with an earthy nose underneath the bright cherry and strawberry fruit. The palate was very good with very concentrated fruit flavours mingling well with the toast and vanilla from the oak. The tannins were very smooth and the finish long and sensual.This is a very complex wine and a short tasting note like this is almost insulting.

And if that was almost an insult this will be a slap in the face with a halibut, because the next wine was the Columella  2007 made by that most charismatic of gentleman Eben Sadie. A blend of Syrah (80%) and Mouvedre (20%) it was dark and dense with flavours and smells abounding. I remember an earthy character, with notes of aniseed, bacon, sour cherry, a lean mineral edge, did I say complex? I meant fucking complex. It kept on evolving in the glass and getting better and better. The tannin and acid structure was exquisite and I wish I had a cellar full of it to drink for the next good few years.

As the moon casually made its way across the sky we enjoyed the last bottle of the Pinot Noir and listened to Dusan shouting various Vivas to all and sundry. I would have loved to have been at a table inside the restaurant  when, from the murky depths of the garden, there boomed a loud Serbian voice: “Viva Eben Sadie! Viva!”




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