A friend and I went off to have some wine-tasting fun last night at RMB WineX in Sandton. We caught the Gautrain (jou lekker ding) to Sandton station, and arrived at the Sandton Convention Centre after a quick walk. Although I have been to WineX a number of times before, this year’s event was particularly fun as my friend was a WineX novice, and as a result I experienced the event with fresh eyes, ears, nose and taste buds, and tried a few different things ‘off the beaten track’.
On arrival we did a few good tastings to get into the swing of things – a Chamonix Pinot Noir, a Paul Cluver Gewurtztraminer and a Haute Cabriere Belle Rose. Then we arrived at Mulderbosch Vineyards’ Marvelous wines stand, with the Marvelous Red, Yellow and Blue in tow. The friendly winemaker Adam Mason was manning the stand (and he did not mind that my friend kept calling him the ‘sommelier’). My friend enjoyed the Marvellous Yellow, a white blend of Chenin, Chard and Viognier – I thought it is a very good white blend for pairing with foods. I particularly enjoyed the Marvellous Red – mostly Syrah (92%) with Cinsaut, Mourvedre and Grenache – it was bold and fruity, with lots of Syrah, just the way I like it and will be greatly enjoyed with another of my favourites I am sure, some karoo lamb braai chops. We both enjoyed the Marvelous Blue – blend of Merlot, Cab Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec – something like a yummy, fun but well structured Bordeaux blend, oui oui! Check them out on www.marvelouswines.com or on Facebook at facebook.com/MarvelousWines.
After that we did a quick walk around the WineX hall to get a bird’s eye view on what was on offer to make the most of our experience, we found some Riedel glasses for rent, a novel concept, and some delicious Wedgewood nougat to taste, but the stands with wine and chocolate pairings eluded us. We also found some tasty olive tapenade and olive oils to taste and buy at Morgenster. At Vrede and Lust’s stand, the Jess 2014 french-style rose paired with a strawberry was very palatable and should go down a treat with a hot summer’s evening entertainment. We also tasted some low alcohol low sugar Adoro Slim wines presented in these slim-waisted bottles.
Adoro Slim wines
The amiable winemaker and enjoyable wines at the Olifantsberg Family Vineyards were a highlight of the evening. The Olifantsberg Blanc de Noir made from Syrah grapes was savoury yet refreshing, something different and delightful with a distinct smoked cheese finish on the palate. The Pinotage and Syrah were equally well-crafted and beautifully done. According to their brochure and website, Olifantsberg’s philosophy is one of utmost care and respect, which includes vineyard husbandry to yield the best harvest, choosing varietals that suit the terroir and pursuing conservation and biodiversity of the vineyards and mountain property. They are situated in the endangered mountain vegetation of the Renosterveld in the Breedekloof, about 100km outside of Cape Town.
Find them here: www.olifantsbergwines.com or on Facebook here: facebook.com/olifantsbergwines
Olifantsberg Blanc de Noir
Then feeling a bit peckish, we followed the signs that said “cheese tasting” and made our way to the Fairview cheese platters counter, where I tried to negotiate a ‘free’ Fairview hessian bag from the sales lady with the mini cheese platters we bought, but she wasn’t falling for any of my haggling. I even tried name dropping but that didn’t work either. We then tasted two very easy-drinking and delicious Fairview wines – the ‘Amazing Pinot Grigio’ and the Fairview Barbera (look out for more about both these wines, which will be featured soon in my next update on ‘a little taste of Italy’ blog series). While snacking on our Fairview platters my friend tasted a Ken Forrester Chenin Blanc and I sipped on some De Grendel Rose 2014 – a delightful fruity but off-dry wine, with a well-structured natural acidity. The Fairview cheeses went down a treat – my favourites being the cheddar and white rock.
Fairview White Rock cheese
Before heading off to catch our train we sampled some very good well-aging Bosman Family Vineyards’ 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon (typical forest floor, cigar box aromas), some Cederberg Bukketraube – sweeter yes but with a crisp refined finish, some interesting and easy-drinking Beyerskloof white chenin/pinotage blend and then the full-bodied, well structured Beyerskloof Pinotage Reserve, as only Beyers Truter knows how.
We enjoyed ourselves even more due to the responsible safe peace of mind commute that the Gautrain offered.
See you next year at RMB WineX!
Pictures sourced from respective wineries web pages.