Andries Blake chose his surname wisely for William Blake was a towering mythical figure of 18th century English art and literature. As the UK lurches right into the arms of Nigel Farage and UKIP, having a brand called Blake is a very wise move indeed. Think Jerusalem “and did those feet in ancient times, walk upon England’s pastures green…” It’s also smart to name your wines after gemstones – amethyst and tourmaline – as precious metals such as platinum and gold are tarnished by ongoing mineworkers’ strike which makes the WIETA farmworker riots look like child’s play.
For many years Andries was the cellarmaster at the Swartland Winery – tiny berries, tinier bank accounts – responsible for millions of litres of best value wines plus many of those over-hyped Swartland stunnas purchased by thrusting young winemakers with attitude and ambitious haircuts to be foisted on the leagues of luvvies who sleep in their cars at the Swartland Revolution and buzz around bars like clouds of annoying miggies. Co-op wines at R10/litre sold for R180 a bottle sounds like a revolution to me.
Tourmaline 2013 is a classic blend of Chenin, Chardonnay and Viognier that is sweetly fruited while remaining dry. Amethyst 2011 is a Cape blend of Shiraz, Pinotage and Cabernet with layers of dark fruit overlying an earthy and grippy substratum. This is a serious red that requires hearty food.