“Behind those white walls” opined the sage of the Swartland indicating Razvan’s historic cellar “are some of the most exciting wines in SA and this brandy is world class.South Africa makes some of the best brandies, Ports and Muscadels in the world. It’s the wines that need a little work.”
Do I sniff a collaborative cuvée in the wings, an Eben-Razvan Red perhaps? Philadelphia would be a good middle ground, halfway between Eben’s Swartland sanctuary and Razvan’s Durbanville dugouts. Or there’s always Ceres on the chilly rim of the Swartland cauldron.
As for cultivar, Eben is in love with Cinsault. “Cinsault is like a brother in prison. You love him but you can’t talk about him. One of the finest red wines I’ve ever drunk was a 1957 Chateau Libertas and that was 90% Cinsault – proof that Cinsault can age.” Eben was chatting to Juliet Cullinan, pioneer of fine wine shows in Gauteng, reprised at the Wanderers on Wednesday and Thursday.
While stable mate Oude Meester has dropped a rumoured twenty bar on its Jamie Foxx Dudemeister campaign, Van Ryn got Eben’s endorsement as Dudemeester, for free. If Veritas can dole out double golds for brandy, how long before special bottling of some of lady in red Caroline Snyman’s barrel aged beauties hit the Auction? Come on guys, you know it makes sense! Van Ryn Fifty and Koffie Klipdrift would be huge guns in the armory for the push north into Africa.
A ten year vertical of Eben’s iconic Columella was the star lot of the Nederburg Charity Auction and was knocked down to Pete Gottgens of Asara for R25000 – nearly as much as the Échezeaux ’66 which was trousered by Nigerian businessman Obi Josephat Ndibe for R31K, who also sent Port prices through the roof, in a repeat of last year’s feeding frenzy for age-dated icons.
Likewise the Pretoria Country Club snapped up a 5-litre bottle (a size that seems not to have a name, falling between a Methuselah and a Jeroboam, so perhaps a Tertius will do) of Stellenrust Timeless ‘04 for R12K while Wendy Appelbaum got a good deal at R9500 for the ’86 Yquem (birthday present for son Nicholas, of the same vintage) in the previous lot.
Stellenrust cellarmaster Tertius Boshoff is playing a marketing blinder at the minute. A brand only a few anoraks had heard of two years ago has shot into the limelight on the undoubted quality of its wines and the fairy dust the Nederburg Auction sprinkles on brands. Bidding on Wendy’s De Morgenzon 2005 Chenin was also a smart move and a multi-producer Chenin Showcase is no longer an “if” but a “when”, as Cosatu warned on the question of nationalizing SA mines. Well nationalize this, Zwelinzima Vavi, your members need something decent to drink.
Adapted from Times Live.