An international spotlight was trained on the “wild west coast” this weekend by the Financial Times which visited German Philanthropist Sabine Plattner at her Yzerfontein hideaway, favourite fishing spot of Swartland cellarmaster Andries Blake. “Plattner spends an average of three months a year at her Yzerfontein farmhouse, and she says that frequent walks with the family’s two resident dogs, Twistùr, an Icelandic Spitz, and Tara, a stray they adopted, help clear her mind.” Husband Hasso’s billion Euro fortune made from SAP software sales, also helps.
All this talk of the west coast prompted my choice of wine for Sunday Lunch at the Sea Palace at the entrance to the Cape Town Waterfront that was busier than usual, this being Red Bull Day with acrobatics and tourists galore. Consecutive vintages of Fryer’s Cove Sauvignon Blanc, one of which seems to have been awarded five stars by Sabine, although Plattner was misspelled “Platter” on the gaudy sticker which messes up the Burgundian curves of the bottle (above, right).
The bottle has slimmed down for 2012, which is just as well as they forgot to put the vintage on the front label. You have to turn it around to find that out which gives shock number one as the alcohol is 13.5% while 2011 is only 12%. No wonder Sabine preferred it as she is “the daughter of poor refugees from Siberia and Prussia (present-day Russia), Plattner says she has at times drawn on the same toughness and resilience that helped her parents survive the second world war and life thereafter.” Although translating Bamboesbaai into Bamboes Bay for tourists does only half the job. Bamboo Bay would have been better and better suited the steamy Asian ambiance of the Sea Palace as well.
The other change is a switch from cork to screw-cap which is probably also not up Sabine’s street as she doesn’t look like she buys her wine at Aldi or Lidl. The brave Darling Wine Shop of Charles Withington is her closest refuelling point and Chas is old school indeed.
We started with the 2011 which Romeo (above) uncorked for us. It tasted almost like a dry Muscat with flavours of peppermint and fynbos and has that salty tang of the inside of a mussel shell, maritime minerality, if you like. Which comes as no surprise as the grapes were grown 850m from the chilly Atlantic. The 2012 was fresher, whether it be youth or Stelvin we could not tell, and was remarkably similar to the 2011 at first although freshly cut grass soon kicked in and we dropped a chopstick on the floor when the alcohol arrived.
I’m with Sabine on my ratings (which would be ♥♥♥♥♥ for the 2011 if we tasted blind and ♥♥♥♥ for the 2012).