Friday, October 12, 2007

Wines of Paul Cluver at Planet of the Grapes

Another interesting tasting at Planet of the Grapes. This time South African wines from Paul Cluver presented by their wine maker, Andries Berger. Always fascinating to hear direct from the winemaker rather than someone in the trade.

Andries is a man committed to his wines and aiming for an old world subtlety and complexity. The audience seemed to shared his belief that he has succeeded. To my palette the Chardonnay had a particularly Burgundian feel to it. He even managed to make an enjoyable wine out Sauvingnon Blanc, of one of my least favourite varietals.

 • Sauvignon Blanc 2006
 • Weisser Riesling 2007
 • Gewurtztraminer 2005
 • Chardonnay 2006
 • Pinot Noir 2004
 • The Elgin Blend 2003
 • Cabernet Sauvignon 2003
 • Weisser Riesling Noble Late Harvest 2006

There is always something new to learn about winemaking and this time it was Andries talking about "batonage" - hand stirring of the lees while the wine is aging. This apparently adds complexity to the wines and scavenges oxygen, reducing the risk of unwanted oxidation.

We were impressed by the wines and have ordered 6 of the Chardonnay and 6 of the Cabernet Sauvignon - which will certainly reward a few years cellaring.

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