By Gerald Elliott
It’s mid-morning in the Franschhoek Wine Valley as walk through the new tasting room at Anthonij Rupert Wines. This former home of Graham Beck Wines in Franschhoek, was sold to the Rupert family in 2011, is now home to Terra Del Capo. With its elegant and opulent feel you still feel rather relaxed as we are shown through the tasting room and lead upstairs to a lounge area on the mezzanine.
Duncan was quick to greet and busy himself in preparation to serve, within no time our table was set glasses for a flight of their Italian Range, Terra Del Capo which translates from Italian to Soil of the Cape.
However, a quick treat before beginning the flight, Duncan strolls over with a bottle of LOrmarins Brut Classique NV and a couple of glasses. The first vintage of Method Cap Classique to come from this stable spent 48 months on the lees, it has a fresh acidity with lovely citrus and lime character. Wonderful delicate mousse. Very elegant, with subtle yeastiness. At R125-00 per bottle it is extremely well priced at Cellar Door. I went back to this glass a little later, once it had stood for about 35 minutes to find a crisp toast and almond aroma had opened up.
So on to the Terra Del Cap Pinot Grigio 2012, as some would know this is a varietal commonly found in the north of Italy and is usually made in a like and fruity style, mostly with very low alcohol. However our warm South African climate makes it difficult to keep the alcohol down. At around 12% alcohol it had tangy yellow fruit notes with a zesty yet floral nose. With every sip you taste a ray of sunshine on a hot summers day. On re-visiting this glass after a half hour or so, it was like sipping on a fruit salad of pineapples, paw-paw and mango. Really refreshing.
As an avid Sangiovese drinker, I was looking forward to this the Terra Del Capo Sangiovese 2010. The Pride of Tuscany, this varietal is the backbone of your Super-Tuscans, Rosso Di Montalcinos, Chiantis and the like. Sangiovese and Pinot Grigio was first brought into South Africa by Anthonij Rupert. Not too often do you find a Sangiovese the balance of acidity and fruitiness as this has. With spicy, yet full ripe plum and hints of oak in the mouth the finish is light and lively cherry undertones.
Arne 2008, this Super-Tuscan really comes alive, a ripe Merlot driven wine that has been co-fermented with Sangiovese, resulting in a well-integrated wine. The deep black cherry colour and full nose to this wine had me excited. Good earthy and spicy on the palate and nice cassis finish. The mouth-feel is full and plump with a balanced texture and firm tannins. Real driven rich fruit flavours. A delightful wine.
A Bordeaux style wine, big and bold went 24 months in French oak (50% New Barrels) and has an alcohol of 14.5%. So a serious wine, Cabernet Savignon/Merlot/Cabernet Franc blend. Good structure, with lots of dark berries and a hint of spice and leather. Reductive and tight with nice complexity. What a lovely way to finish a day in this elegant cellar.