A
 
Web www.artsmart.co.za
A R T S M A R T
arts news from kwazulu-natal

supper theatre
www.artsmart.co.za
enquiries@artsmart.co.za
 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
 

NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

MICHAEL GREEN’S WINE NOTES (article first published : 2004-06-18)

For the past four years the investment firm Fairbairn Capital, an offshoot of Old Mutual, has sponsored a high-profile wine competition aimed at finding the best wines among the 5 000, more or less, produced every year at the Cape.

The Fairbairn Capital Trophy Wine Show is independent of the wine industry and is judged by an international panel of experts from South Africa, Britain, France and Australia. About a thousand wines were entered this year, and the results have been published in a book called Icons.

The chairman of the panel, Michael Fridjhon of Johannesburg, presented a selection of these wines at a gathering at the Hilton Hotel, Durban, and very impressive they all were too. Here are some of the wines, with comments which are an amalgam of Michael Fridjhon’s and my own:

Rijk’s Private Cellar Semillon 2002: This is from a relatively little known cellar at Tulbagh. Semillon is a white wine often used in blending, particularly with sauvignon blanc. This one is a single cultivar wine with some of the characteristics of sauvignon blanc --- herbaceous, slightly grassy – but with less aggressiveness that many sauvignons. This semillon is a lovely wine with a long and lingering aftertaste.

Vergelegen 2003 (white blend): This is from one of the most famous and historic of all Cape estates, just outside Somerset West. The wine is two-thirds semillon, one-third sauvignon blanc, wood-matured. Quite bold and aggressive.

Groote Post Chardonnay 2003: From a highly-rated cellar in the Swartland area north of Cape Town. Chardonnay has been produced at the Cape for the past 20 years, and 121 examples of this sometimes controversial white wine were entered for the competition. I found this one delicious, with a slightly coffee aroma and tropical sweetishness on the palate. Michael Fridjhon says it should be at its best in about nine months.

Du Preez Merlot Reserve 2001: From Rawsonville, a wine-growing area near Worcester that has come into prominence only in recent years. This red wine has mulberry, savoury and coffee aromas. It is dry but not mouth-puckering.

Vergelegen Cabernet Sauvignon 1988: Michael Fridjhon caused some laughter when he said it was smoky, with canned peas on the nose. This six-year-old red wine is plush, elegant, silky, top class.

Rustenberg Peter Barlow 2002: From the Peter Barlow vineyard (named after a former owner) on the Rustenberg farm at Stellenbosch. This cabernet sauvignon is a big, powerful wine. Michael Fridhjon’s comment: Whiffs of molasses, the wine so dense that it is almost chewy.

Mulderbosch Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2003: From Stellenbosch. An exceptional white wine. Elegant with a citrus character, lime, grapefruit, and a touch of pineapple.

All these wines won trophies in the Fairbairn Capital competition. Obviously they will be expensive, but, as Michael Fridjhon said in a gentle understatement, wines with the show sticker on the bottle can be bought with confidence. – Michael Green




 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
a co-production by caroline smart services and .durbanet. site credits
copyright © subsists in this page. all rights reserved. [ edit ] copyright details  artsmart