Wine of the Week: Durbanville Hills The Tangram 2012 (R895 per bottle)
If you missed yesterday’s Nederburg Auction and the chance to stock up early on some festive season gifts, don’t despair. Luvo Ntezo, wine steward at the One&Only hotel in Cape Town who has made a career out of finding vinous gems for his guests, has unearthed something special: a maiden vintage Bordeaux blend from Durbanville Hills, a winery located relative to Cape Town as Chateau Beychevelle is to Bordeaux – the city in the southwest of France that has made the blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc world famous.
The irony is that the vineyards of the Cape were established at the same time as the marshes were drained around Bordeaux and planted with grapes. By the same people too – the Huguenots – and for the same market: the merchants of England.
European empires have been consigned to the dustbin of history, but Europeans still fancy these blended reds and fly down to the Cape in summer to stock up.
The best-heeled stay at the One&Only, whose restaurants, such as Nobu, would be excellent places to find an appropriate food match to the delicate flavours of redcurrants, dark chocolate, black pepper and toasted vanilla pods in this bottle. Kobe beef, for example. So rich with fat, it literally melts on the tongue. It’s the exact opposite of steakhouse fare best washed down with a beer, craft if you’re pushing the boat out. Which is what this premium wine does in spades.
The wooden box is decorated with the ancient Chinese seven-piece puzzle called a Tangram, which gives this prestige brand its name.
“By 2025, 300 million Chinese will be ready to pay between €30 and €50 (R480 to R800) for a bottle of Bordeaux,” says cultural commentator Sir David Tang. Which is the price point of The Tangram.
That’s in part because only 1 659 bottles of Tangram were produced. (Bonus marks to those who realised why 1 659 bottles were made: 1659 was the year wine was first made in the Cape.).
You can buy the wine at vinoteque.co.za