african wine, part 10
I visited Boschendal late afternoon, as the sun was
slowly beginning its descent, throwing the attractive lawned area at
the front of the property into a dappled richness of warm tones. On
a warm summerís day, I reckon this is perhaps the most pleasant
Farquharson, Boschendal's Scottish red wine maker
Itís a property that has recently seen some large
changes. It used to belong to Anglo American, but in 2003 it was
sold to a consortium of property developers for 323 million Rand.
The consortium split was 35% local shareholders, 35% foreign
investors and 30% black empowerment.
The first phase of the development will see the release
of what are known as ĎFounderís Estatesí. For 30 million Rand,
you can buy a 20Ė30 hectare piece of the estate with your own
swanky house on it (see http://www.boschendal.com/property.q#).
But the developers decided to outsource the Boschendal
winery and tasting centre out to Douglas Green Bellingham, who have
now been running things since 2004. The restaurant has also been
managed vineyards on a high VSP trellis
Overall the estate is a sizeable 2200 ha, with around
200 ha of vineyard, not all of which is currently producing.
One-third to half of production is from bought in grapes, and last
year 3600 tons were processed. Thatís a lot.
We drove up through the vineyards to a viewpoint on a
hill, where we had our tasting. The wines are pretty good, with the
high points being the 2001 Syrah and the wonderful Jean de Long
Shiraz. Sauvignon Blanc seems to be performing well here, too.
Boschendal deserves praise for making good wines in reasonable
Boschendal Sauvignon Blanc 2005
This has 8% Semillon blended in. Crisp and rich at the same
time, with a grassy edge. Good balance here between the richer
tropical fruit and the greenness. Lots of appeal. Very good+ 87/100
28 000 cases made
Boschendal Sauvignon Blanc Reserve 2005
Nice weight and balance on the nose: this is a fuller style than
many, but still with that greenness and grapefruit character to
provide freshness. The palate is rich and rounded with a nice
texture, and a touch of spice. Itís a rich, almost exotic style,
but very good with it. Very good/excellent 90/100 11 000 cases made
Jean de Long Sauvignon Blanc 2005 Coastal Region
From a single vineyard in Somerset West. Assertive grassy green
nose is fresh and fruity. The palate is at the super-green end of
the spectrum, showing attractive herbal overtones to the fruit. A
concentrated, fresh, green style thatís delicious in its own way.
Very good+ 89/100
de Long Chardonnay/Chenin Blanc/Viognier 2005
Fermented in French oak, half of which is new. Vivid, bright
fruity nose. The palate is rich and rounded with some residual sugar
(10 g/litre) together with a creamy richness. Interesting stuff that
may age nicely. Very good+ 88/100
Blanc de Noir 2005
This very pale pink wine is made in quite a full flavoured
style, with some residual sugar adding weight. Nice fresh fruit
makes this delicious. Very good+ 87/100
Dark, intense, spicy nose with a slightly medicinal edge. Sweet
dark fruits dominate the palate, which shows some depth. Thereís
firm spicy, savoury structure and more of the medicinal/minty
character on the finish. Very good+ 88/100
No new wood used here. Dark, sophisticated nose with summer
pudding fruits and some complexity. The palate is concentrated,
dark, spicy and tannic. Itís a savoury wine with a lovely density
of dark fruits and good acidity. A big wine with plenty of impact
thatís currently quite youthful tasting Ė the huge structure
suggests this may have a good future. Very good/excellent 93/100
de Long Shiraz 2003
130 cases made of this wine, which spends 27 months in barrel.
Wonderfully open nose is subtly meaty with a combination of red and
black fruits. Itís complex and perfumed. The palate is elegant and
open with wonderful weight, a nice spicy savouriness and good
balance. Rather old world in style, this has lots of complexity.
Very good/excellent 94/100
Wines tasted 12/05
these wines with wine-searcher.com