is fierce in the world of wine. Well-established wineries are resorting to
marketing themselves for the first time ever and all new kids on the block are
required to work twice as hard to find themselves an edge.
new wine brand, Boer & Brit then, that they have twice the brain power and
at least four times the initiative, chutzpah and pizzazz as other wineries! I
say twice the brain power because this is a partnership between two university
friends – Stefan Gerber (the Boer bit) and Alex Milner (the Brit bit) – who
studied viticulture and oenology together at Stellenbosch. At some point – and
doubtless over a couple of glasses of wine - they discovered that they both had
famous great-great grandfathers (President Paul Kruger and Field Marshall
French respectively) who 110 years ago fought bitterly over the right to own
the Cape. Sinking their past differences in a few vats of wine seemed a good
idea and so the Boer & Brit wines were born.
a catchy name isn’t enough these days so Stefan and Alex have taken it a little
further and injected a little quirkiness throughout their whole range of wines.
With their retro-labels, unusual names and hilarious tasting notes, they remain
best-known for their ‘Bob’s your Uncle’ range
which is sold in 500ml brown beer bottles sealed with a crown cap - if you
haven’t read our Zef Vin-atics review, click here.
So where do
they go from here? Well, following in the footsteps of one of the most original
people in wine, Californian Randall Grahm, they are about to launch a new range
with a ‘glow-in-the-dark’ label. The Trans
Karoo duo of Pinotage and Chenin commemorate the daily express train which
ran from Cape Town to Johannesburg. Made in an old school style from ancient,
low-yielding Swartland vines, these are limited edition wines made for the love
of tradition and heritage, not necessarily for profit. Sales manager Leon
Coetzee was reluctant to give away too much on other plans (although I think we
might see some more family members joining the range of wines soon), “But
basically, we just want to get through our first year, deal with nice people
and get folk into wine any way we can.” A good ambition, and surely both the
President and the Field Marshall would approve of that.
through a few of their wines. These are my favourite:
Bob’s Your Uncle White Brew NV R20 cellar door
combination of lekker grapes’ this is simply a very decent and surprisingly
interesting blend of several different varietals – I suspect some Chenin is
involved but for the rest – it could be anything! It’s dry without taking the
skin off your teeth, fruity without being overly-concentrated and has a nice,
balanced acidity and freshness. You could pay a lot more for something far
worse than this!
Suikerbossie White 2010 R35 cellar door
A blend of
Chenin and Viognier, this is a nicely-balanced combo of crisp,crunchy-apple
Chenin with lavish and luscious Viognier in a yellow/green fruit melange. Quite
a lot of bang for your buck here with a decent amount of concentration and a
The Field Marshall 2009 R65 cellar door
their Rhone-ish blend – usual suspects of Syrah, Mourvedre, Grenache &
Carignan but also Tinta Amarela – an offbeat Port grape which also makes very
fine still wines as well. Interesting flavours of spice and ham with some red
fruits and a slight herbal quality to it. Needs food, but hey - don’t we all??
The General 2009 R65 cellar door
quirky- this is a Bordeaux blend but minus the two most popular components of Cabernet
Sauvignon and Merlot! This is Petit Verdot, Cab Franc and Malbec and offers a
savoury mouthful, quite tannic (that’ll be the large proportion of Petit) but
plenty of ripe black fruits as well. Again, a food wine – a big fat steak
worked for me.