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MICHAEL GREEN'S WINE NOTES (article first published : 2001-11-19)

The Moreson wine farm in the Franschhoek valley (the name means morning sun) has produced some outstanding wines in recent years, and new releases from this cellar keep up the high standard.

These include the 2001 vintage of Moreson sauvignon blanc, a white wine with a greenish tint and with tastes of asparagus and granadilla (sounds an odd combination, but the flavours are there). Previous sauvignons from this cellar have won prizes and this one is also likely to make the grade when the next awards are announced. It is ready to drink now but can be kept for up to three years. Retail price is R35 to R40 a bottle.

The 2000 Pinotage from Moreson was made with grapes from 20-year-old vines growing 300 metres above sea level in the Stellenbosch area. The wine spent 14 months in oak barrels. It has a deep purple colour and flavours and aromas of cherries and berries. Should mature well for up to seven years. Retail price about R60.

Moreson has also released its first Bordeaux blend (cabernet sauvignon, merlot and cabernet franc) and this 1998 vintage red wine is the cellar's flagship and sells at about R85 a bottle. It has been given the unusual name of Moreson Magia. Apparently the unlabelled wine was presented for tastings in Europe earlier this year, and an enthusiastic Bulgarian woman described the wine as "magia", meaning magic. The name has stuck and it is likely to become well known. The wine has complex tastes and smells of blackberries, chocolate and spices. Will probably be best in a year's time but may improve further for five to seven years.

* * * * *

Belinda Croxon's Wine Glass organisation will hold its Christmas tasting and dinner at the Durban Country Club on Tuesday November 27. On this special occasion Lizelle Gerber, one of the most glamorous of the Cape's women winemakers, will present wines from the Avontuur estate at Stellenbosch, where she presides under the benign eyes of the owner, ex-Zimbabwe tobacco farmer Tony Taberer, and general manager Pippa Mickelburgh.

A bubbly, three whites and four reds from Avontuur, all top-class wines, will be offered followed by a traditional turkey and Christmas pudding dinner. The Tekwini String Quartet will play classical music. Cost: R130 (R120 for Wine Glass members).

Bookings via Belinda on 031 208-2567, fax 031 209-2704, cell 082 896-3317. Michael Green




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