Off to Auslese in Gardens this afternoon for the TVM Wines trade tasting and a typical Cape Town experience. At first I thought it was Tulbagh Mountain Vineyards with dyslexia, but it turned out to be Tracy van Maaren, which was even better as the wines were wonderful. Although there was a sting in the tale when the car of gorgeous Kalinka Lombard, of WineStyle fame, parked opposite Auslese, was broken into and her brand new lap top was stolen. The attending car flies then tried to rush her for a phone card to get the computer back. Quite how anyone can run a restaurant in a crime hotspot i.e. central Cape Town, defeats me. Lucky it didn’t happen at Helen Zille’s SA Wine Index gig yesterday. Or does the Premier have better security than rate payers like Harald Bresselschmidt? For Helen, security is so tight, you have to email them your ID a week before the function!
On the plus side, the wines were tops. In particular the Dolomite Cabernet Franc 2011 of Bruwer Raats (above) which is a shoe-in for the Mines & Wines dinner I’m putting together for fellows of the Geological Society. At R100, this is affordable terroir as is the Vriesenhof Pinotage 2008, at R150 a substantial discount to the 2009 Pinot Noir and in the same fruit-forward style. Wonderful.
Among the whites, the 2009 Longridge Chardonnay was fresh lemons and limes and under R100 as was the first Elgin Chenin from Cathy Marshall called Amatra 2012. Her savoury black label Pinot Noir 2011 is not too shabby, either. The Family Reserve 2011 Sauvignon Blanc from Kleine Zalze is simply spectacular: 12 months on the lees, made from grapes grown in six different appellations, this is the Riesling side of Sauvignon. Talk about dense and intense. I can’t wait to taste the Family Reserve Chenin Blanc 2012 that better tasters than I have confused with Sauvignon Blanc – and I’m not referring to that tasting duo of knit one, slip one and knit one, pearl one from the Grape Communal Blog here, either.
Harald did the food pairings and they all worked, with the exception of aubergine purée and the Green Man from Silverthorn (above). But then when your main restaurant is called Aubergine, it is only natural to try and slip it in. But for me, aubergine and wine inhabit different quantum levels in the hedonistic nucleus.
As does chocolate, although Derek Kilpin’s Bodega Muga Rioja Reserve 2008 from Great Domaines, did put up a good fight. Derek is the Zelig of SA wine. When he pours Rioja, he looks like a cruel conquistador. A Chablis, and he becomes an elegant count. Someone out of Proust, perhaps. It’s all to do with the terroir, I’m sure. I should have asked Remmington Norman who was there and who confirmed he’s resigned his MW. “I live here and they’re there” he explained. Which puts the MW in perspective.