Savage’s wines make their point
Viticulturist’s five-star products are just waiting to be uncorked
have wreaked havoc to the highest and youngest semillon and sauvignon vines, a disadvantage which Savage accepts as the downside of the experiment.
Near the mountain peak he has planted a few sauvignon vines without surveying or soil preparation, to see how they cope. On another steep slope semillon is planted to a high density sans wires or canopy “in the traditional style of the Rhone and Moselle”.
The glorious views across the south Atlantic from this lofty perch are complemented by fynbos fringing the vineyards on one side, while on the hills to the north an area has been ear marked for a property development.
Back at street level the tasting room offered warmth and comfort, couches and armchairs grouped around long tables. Here winemaker Savage offers hands-on presentation of his five-star products.
Visitors could start with the 2009 Stonehaven sauvignon (R77), a fresh and well-balanced meld of fruit and verdancy and follow with the 2008 Cape Point sauvignon (R117) which is intense yet austere, and has been well-described as “incorporating sea, sand and sky into a real sense of place”.
The 09 vintage will be bottled soon, increasing the choice of quality whites that will develop in bottle over the next few years.
Cape Point’s 07 semillon, (R115) makes a superb companion to a wide range of summer food, while the flagship Isliedh 07 (pronounced Ilser and costing R170), is an impressive sauvignon blanc blended with 22 percent semillon. Both intense and complex, it will enhance fine fare that is fresh and vibrant: Vietnamese squid with sour green mango salad came to mind as a possible match made in gastronomic heaven.
Savage also produces an enjoyable barrel-fermented chardonnay and Scarborough Red, an uncomplicated blend of cab and shiraz priced at R48. Tastings (from R15 for three wines) can be accompanied by a cheese platter and enjoyed seven days a week.
A few kilometres further south, the historic and delightfully ramshackle Imhoff farm in Kommetjie is home to a host of family-friendly ventures run by Rael Abromowitz and Graham Isaacson: these include the Higgledy Piggedly farmyard, a free-range farm shop, the Blue Water café, a plant nursery and – opening today – the tiny but well-appointed Old Cape Wine Shop stocked with an interesting and diverse choice.
A quick peek at the (then) incomplete catalogue revealed keen prices, such as R33 for Buitenverwachting’s perennial pleaser Buiten Blanc to R66.50 for Springfield’s beautiful Wild Yeast chardonnay.