Ah – the first wine launch of the year. Much chattering, much excess-swapping of Christmas stories, much catching up and chilling out on a perfect summer’s day in Kirstenbosch Tea Room.
Every winemaker wants to make his mark
Kudos to Neethlingshof for coming up with the perfect wine to accompany all these things. Winemaker De Wet Viljoen had a tiny moan about the hardships of working for an established, well-known brand.
'People think they know all about it so they don’t drink it', was more or less his view and it is a problem shared with other big brands within the Distell/Cape Legends stable such as Nederburg, Uitkyk and JC le Roux.
But every winemaker wants to make his mark and De Wet is no exception. In his first eight years on the farm, he’s spent countless hours getting to grips with the different sites and soils and gradually returning the farm to as natural a condition as possible.
Wildlife abounds on the farm from snakes to caracals, owls and guinea fowl, all doing their bit to bring the vineyards into balance and help reduce the use of sprays and chemicals. And now these welcome visitors to the farm have been awarded their own range of wines – The Short Story Collection.
The gathering at Kirstenbosch was to launch the new white - a pretty, flower-child of a wine with a steely core. Called Six Flowers after one of the original owners, Maria Marais who carved six flowers above the gable of the house to commemorate herself and her five children, it’s also a blend of six varieties.
Chenin and Chardonnay take the lion’s share with 30% each, followed by Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier with Gewurztraminer and Riesling adding a tiny but extremely potent share of 5% each. All the components have been in oak but none of them are overwhelmed, and the wine gives an impression of freshness and florality (yes, I did make up this word but I think you can get my drift) with enough richness to handle the Mediterranean-style food which was served alongside.
Priced at R80 and only available from the farm for now, this is well-worth seeking out.