Uncork this and knock on heaven’s door
Ernst le Roux, one of the giants of SA wine, died last month and his passing is worth noting. For Ernst invented Elgin as a cool-climate grape-producing appellation. As grape buyer for corporate giant Distell, he redrew the viticultural map of the Cape.
After retirement, one of his favourite haunts was Plaisir de Merle where he’d keep everyone abreast of developments in the busy lives of his grandchildren. This historic spread on the mountain at the entrance to Franschhoek is something of an orphan child for owner Distell. Earlier this year it was secretly up for sale as the company floundered to turn its wine assets to account. But that plan has now changed and the word is it will retain the property. For now.
Managed by ex-SA Breweries new brooms, the company is busy reinventing itself, with many historic properties like Le Bonheur and Neethlingshof sold off and the focus changed to big-volume sweet wines such as 4th Street — possibly named after the Bob Dylan classic Positively 4th Street with the memorable putdown “you just want to be on the side that’s winning”.
This Cabernet is more of an Avenue wine, the diametric opposite of 4th Street. Serious tannic structure. Elegant, classy bottle. Small volumes.
On the palate: cassis, black plums with some toasty vanilla. It is the kind of wine to lay down for any offspring or godchildren born in 2013. Try it with seared tuna or rare prime rib.
This price for a terroir wine from the Cape’s most PR-aware appellation is a definite mis-mark.
Knocking on Heaven’s Door All Along the Watchtower Hurricane
Mr Tambourine Man Wiggle Wiggle R190; www.vinoteque.co.za