Spontaneous wine moments always turn-out the most memorable. Like an unexpected glimpse of a vividly hued wild flower growing next to a crumbling farm wall, the surprisingly pungent scent of baked croissants as you pass a non-descript down-town bakery or the sudden scream of a fish-eagle slicing the early-morning air of central Stellenbosch, an unplanned sip turns an amicable wine experience into one great and memorable.
It ain’t over till it’s over. But now that Cape Wine 2015 really is a thing of the past, a few insights are rising out of the vinous haze like the sails of Viking boats appearing through the mists of eastern England.
I could not experience the country’s triannual wine showcase as a true visitor as there were business partners to assist and journalists to appease. Functions to host too. And here, business was excellent.
Public Holiday Nation, this has been South Africa over the past few weeks. Good Friday. Bad Friday. Workers Day. Freedom Day. Election. I am just waiting for a public holiday honouring the date on which Simon van der Stel stopped beating his first slave on 7 September 1689 after said slave, Pielkopius Witman, discovered how to make the original Vin de Constance.
The Wolftrap is a roguish, edgy name which is linked to a very successful South African wine brand. It is apparently named after the discovery of a device used to trap wolves in the mountains of Franschhoek and home to the brand’s owner, Boekenhoutskloof.
This is debatable: wolves – of the wild animal kind – have never been seen in Africa. (I am not talking of those poor creatures kept as pets by small-dicked wannabes). So who would identify this piece of apparatus as a trap for said animals?
Quietly and without making a big huff and puff, Franschhoek is putting its hand up as a premier Chardonnay region. While Cape Chamonix is – deservedly – getting the bulk of the attention as the region’s Chardonnay (and Pinot Noir) heavy-weight, I rate Môreson as one of South Africa’s most exciting interpreters of the world’s greatest white variety.
The farm has an easy elegance and an invigorating youthful appeal. From the Bread and Wine restaurant and deli, to the quirky names of its wines and the fresh enthusiasm of the unassuming winemaker Clayton Reabow, Môreson has always struck my tuning fork.