Had lunch on Saturday. Food was good. Well, I think it was. I mean it was there, I remember chewing it, and swallowing it. I don’t remember thinking there were any problems with it. It was just that the eating part of the meal was completely over-shadowed by the drinking part.
This little get together was convened by Jörg Pfützner – goodness this man knows how to host a wine party/tasting/dinner – at a newly opened Restaurant on Capelands Estate just down the road form Waterkloof Estate. The wine list at this place is a wine lovers wet dream. Well, a wine lover who is fairly flush that is. I didn’t look at the local list but the international one is extensive and very well priced. I have checked the prices of some of these wines online, and every one I found was cheaper at the restaurant than from the website.
Joining Jörg and Claire were a bunch of local winos and their partners including wise-cracking Sebastion Beaumont, Duncan Savage of Cape Point Vineyards, the brothers Dale, Alex head honcho at The Winery of Good hope, and Gus who has just joined Longridge. Also at the table was the people’s pundit Neil Pendock who also posted on this lunch here.
Where Mr. Pendock is able to sum up the lunch in a few words I feel the need to wax a little lyrical. Possibly because I walk in the bright light of youth and these experiences and wines excite me for their shiny newness. Like a child ripping open presents at Christmas I sipped and explored with a fat grin plastered on my face. I am not going into great detail but here are some photos I snapped from my phone’s camera (sorry about quality):
I say “this was my favourite” quite a lot. Never have I been able to say it with such honesty and conviction as I can about this wine. This bottle from the 1999 vintage twisted my brain a bit. It was an expression of Syrah that was astounding. Jorg told me that he places Jean-Louis Chave as one of the top 5 wine makers in the world, and until I taste something better so do I. It was earthy and minerally, angled and precise. I dipped my nose into the glass and for a second there was a whiff of the sea – I was standing on a dock watching the fishing trawlers come back with the day’s catch as seagulls screamed overhead – and then out came a rich blow of black olives and loam that sailed over a dark berry medley. It was dense but supple, gentle yet intense; “light on its feet” according to Jorg. Simply amazing.
Then came the Magnum of Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru by Domaine Comte George de Vogue. I find it more difficult to describe this wine, it was both delicate and rich, quite linear with a touch of the darkest chocolate and some earthiness. Very fresh. I think Sebastion summed it up well: “This is a kiff wine”. A massive learning curve for me, and an instantly rewarding one. A fun little side note was that we got bottle No.4.
Another little number from the Rhone, a Clos des Papes from the appellation of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. This wine was a little bit more rustic than the Hermitage, and it split up the group a bit. Although is was agreed that rustic in this sense is a positive description, Sebastion and myself agreed that we didn’t like the slightly burnt raisiny character. I still really enjoyed it, just not as much as the Hemitage. I actually have found myself staring out the window thinking about that wine today.
As I am planning on heading to Italy in a few months it was with relish that I sipped on this Barbaresco. These wines, made from Nebbiolo, are notorious for needing lots of time in the bottle to open up. I found this Magnum to be drinking beautifully. It had a tarry edge to it that was very savoury with tobacco filling the palate. There was also a kind of savoury Turkish delight note. Like rose water without any thought of sweetness. Fresh, balanced, and long. The little man on the label was rather funny. So proud, and as someone said, very camp. This was another brilliantly new experience for my mouth and it was very grateful.
This was my final wine before I had to dash back to town to work. No notes unfortunately, but I remember being amazed at how young it felt. It was fresh,and sprightly and I would of more likely said it was a 2007 than a 1997.
I don’t like scores, and ratings and competitions – they cheapen the wine world (metaphorically that is, obviously they actually make it far more expensive). This is why I love wine: Sharing bottles that are as full of character as the people I share them with.
A memorable lunch.
For more information on the awesome wines and excellent food (I am sure it was excellent) email Capelands Estate: laura [at] capelands.com
Or find them here: www.capelands.com