Difficult to concentrate on work when national side the Proteas is playing in a Cricket World Cup semi-final. As I was sneaking out for a lunch-time burger at local restaurant Drew’s on Durban, an unexpected call from Sebastian Beaumont of family-owned Bot River winery Beaumont. The 2010 vintage of Hope Marguerite Chenin Blanc (increasingly well established as one of the best in the country – see here) has just been released and he wanted me to have a sample bottle.
We drank mainly Amstel draft during lunch but I did sneak in a taste of the standard-label 2010, which contains 40% bought-in Elgin fruit on account of how small the Beaumont crop was that year. Juicy fruit, fresh acidity but also some phenolic grip. Beaumont wines have always had a winning quirkiness about them, but Sebastian has introduced that little bit of refinement which provides real drinkability and hence commercial viability.