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Around the Cape in 50 wines
by Michael Godel
The act of intense immersion into any important wine-producing nation and its diverse regional expressions can only leave a lasting impression if the follow-up takes a long, cool sip of its meaning. Though just the beginning of what I hope to be a life-lasting fascination with South African wine, these 50 reviews prepare and pave the way.
|Johan Simons, Dragonridge Wines|
Dragonridge Wines Supernova Ancestral 2014, Paardeberg, South Africa (Winery)
Chenin Blanc works with Sangiovese and with Pinotage to lead this ancestral method sparkling blend. From Joubertskloof’s Fynbos Estate, this fizz is really nothing like Méthode Cap Classique in that it adds nothing to the fermentation in the bottle, relying only on its own sugars and wild yeasts. When it does not explode it goes this way, so, so natural, all in. Winemaker Johan Simons happily sees it persist through the problem. “We do it because we can, and we want to.” From two blocks planted in 1964 and 1990 with a section going back to 1920. Picked on the 19th of January and from a ferment that finished two months early. These very old, unirrigated bush vines offer up lemon funky, low pH fruit. Goes straight to the roof of the mouth with rising, unassertive flavours. The question begs, is this an oasis of South African fizz or a desert where ancient longings go to die. The answer lies “caught beneath the landslide in a champagne supernova.” We’ll see about that. Drink 2015-2018. Tasted September 2015 @FynbosEstate
No wood. From five barrels of naturally thick, free-run only juiced, patchy, basket pressed elixir. This is simply brilliant, drink the hell out of it until it’s gone Cabernet Sauvignon. Forget the barrel. Bring it on. Drink 2015-2016. Tasted September 2015
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About the blogger
Michael Godel, a.k.a. “Godello” hung up his chef’s apron after 27 years to join the team at Toronto’s Barque Smokehouse in March of 2011 as Wine Director and Consultant-At-Large. Godello is now a Wine Critic at http://winealign.com and he processes his thoughts about wine, music and pop culture here at http://godello.ca. He has also has written 266 lengthy wine-centric articles at http://o.canada.com/author/michaelgodel. Michael has been a judge at the WineAlign World Wine Awards of Canada and at Gold Medal Plates. Godello lives in Toronto with his wife of 19 years and three children.