After completing a review of 131 local white blends on behalf of WINE magazine yesterday, off to Magica Roma in Pinelands for lunch with fellow panellists James Pietersen, beverage manager for Balducci’s and Belthazar restaurants at the V&A Waterfront and Thys Louw of family farm Diemersdal in Durbanville.
To eat, beef carpaccio followed by spaghetti vongole. To drink the 2007 vintage of the white blend from Châteauneuf du Pape producer Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe courtesy of Pietersen to see how South Africa (and the Swartland in particular) stacks up. A blend of 40% Clairette, 30% Grenache Blanc (30%), 15% Bourboulenc and 15% Roussane from vineyards around 40 years in age, the wine was vinified half in tank and half in barrel and bottle after 12 months.
The wine was rather shy on the nose and was more about texture than flavour in the mouth being fat and weighty with a soft acidity. A bit bemusing on its own but it came alive with the food. Louw makes a whole range of very smart Sauvignon Blanc but stylisitically the antithesis of the Vieux Télégraphe and so I was interested to hear his thoughts on the wine. “My mum would say that it tastes like wine is supposed to. This is the kind of wine she drank back in the ‘60s and ‘70s. It tastes of sunlight, earth and running water”. Difficult to top that for a tasting note.