South Africa has a number of wine groupings each representing and promoting specific grape cultivars, the activities of whom vary from blossoming and busy to cold and dormant. On the blossoming side, the Merlot Forum is headed up by an energetic bunch of wine makers keen to underscore the fact that Merlot is not only South Africa’s most-consumed red cultivar, but also one deserving a reputation as a variety of quality.
The Black Marlin is by no means previously disadvantaged. In fact, 35 years ago the only thing that matched this restaurant’s magnificent location on the turquoise waters of False Bay was its ability to deliver the finest, best and freshest seafood on the Cape Peninsula. The other places that could remotely compare were the Harbour Café and Camel Rock – in terms of marine cuisine, perhaps, but not in scenery.
No, please. Don’t tell me I have turned into a wine ponce….not now. Not ever.
One of the features of homo sapiens vino wankerus is his or her preconceived idea that the use of new wood in the fermentation and/or maturation of wine is nearly as big a crime as to imply that South Africa makes decent Merlot and that oxidised white wine from old vines is not brilliant. I have seen this species, noted them sniffing at a glass of Shiraz, almost to inhaling point, until the tiniest whiff of mocha of smoke is detected before putting down the vessel with a shake of the head and a “tut-tut….over-wooded”.