Sunday, 8 April 2012

Technically Old School

This past week I took the opportunity to join the Cellar Rats weekly wine tasting. This weeks feature was a presentation from Waterkloof wine estate, presented by beautiful and laid back Nadia Barnard.

Waterkloof's philosophy is that of a minimalist approach to winemaking, and through the use of biodynamic farming principles, they see themselves more as facilitators guiding the development of natures true potential

Nadia held us in varying degrees of intrigue, confusion, and fascination as she explained how Waterkloof goes about making their wines. The crux of the process being that they are completely organic on their own vineyards, using biodynamics to create their own fertilisers, and use high tech machinery to replicate old school wine making techniques.

Nadia brought us wines from three of Waterkloof's wine collections, the flagship, Circle of Life, the single varietal, Circumstance, and the everyday fine wine, False Bay.

From the Circle of Life range we had the 2009 red and the 2010 white, both being blended wines with well balanced flavours. The white is majority (60%) Sauvignon Blanc, with lightly wooded and lasting flavour. The red is majority (80%) Merlot with five other varietals and deep flavours.

From the Circumstance range we had the 2008 Chardonnay and the 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon. Both were lovely with the Cab Sauv receiving the highest rating by the group for the evening. Interestingly the Chardonnay is served from a chilled decanter in the restaurant at Waterkloof.

From the False Bay range we had four wines to sample. These wines are the everyday wines which had some interesting offerings at fantastic prices. This range's grapes are sourced from other farms and undergo the Waterkloof modern/old school/minimalist process to create great wines.

We sampled the Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc, Rosé, and Pinotage, all of which are good wines at good prices. The two that stood out the most for me were the Rosé with it's lightly spiced and soft toffee notes, and the Shiraz with it's dark berries and light pepper tones.

The evening was most enjoyable and after learning so much about the estate and it's techniques, I can not wait to visit Waterkloof on my next Cape trip.

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