As featured in the October issue of Business Day WANTED: Fable Wines is what used to be Tulbagh Mountain Vineyards now that the property has been acquired by Charles Banks, previously owner of Screaming Eagle, California’s cult Cabernet Sauvignon. The production team remains in place, Rebecca Tanner as winemaker and Paul Nicholls as viticulturist.
There are three wines in the range, namely Bobbejaan 2009 from 100% Shiraz (R350 a bottle), Lion’s Whisker 2009, a blend of 80% Shiraz, and 20% Mourvèdre (R200) and Jackal Bird 2010, a blend of 50% Chenin blanc, 20% Chardonnay, 15% Marsanne, 10% Rousanne, 5% Grenache Blanc and 5% Clairette (R195).
All smart stuff but it’s the white that particularly impresses. It’s from Swartland grapes as there are no white varieties planted on the Fable property. Winemaking was “as minimalistic as possible”, fermentation occurring spontaneously and the wine matured in 500-litre barrels, 25% new for nine months. Oxidative but not excessively so, it’s juicy on entry with lots of bruised apple flavour before a long, nutty finish. “You could perhaps describe it as Rhône-stye but ultimately we’re trying to create a unique South African wine,” says Tanner. To order, call 023 231 1118.