We are moving on
After such a marathon in Stellenbosh, it has been about time for us to change the location and to drive to our next destination: Robertson
Signs on the roads like “Don’t feed the baboons” seemed nonsense to us, but in not even 200 m, the first baboons already stared at us, yet minding their own business.
While driving dusty gravel roads, Oliver has been forced (by me ) to stopp every time I saw a bird, an ostrich, an antelope, or other living creature. What a beautiful, fascinating landscape !
Our accommodation for 2 nights has been the Excelsion Manor guesthouse. I will not start now to tell you too much about our classy room, or the beautiful terrace right next to the swimming pool where we took the breakfast enjoying a beautiful view over green vineyards untill the mountains at the horizon.. But what I have absolutely to tell you is something about an incredible person: our waitress during dinner and breakfast, a very nice and powerful woman.
As I haven’t finished everything from my plate, she always gave me a hard time: “ why you’re not eating?” Not one of my excuses convinced her…. A real strong hand woman…
The farm has 220ha which have been planted with noble cultivars like Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Shiraz, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. There are also small plantings of blending cultivars such as Petit Verdot, Viognier and Tannat.
They have also a farm with horses and lamas (with really crazy hairdos )
At Excelsior tasting, everyone can become the winemaker or better said the creator of his favourite wine. You can create your own blend and in the end to take home the bottle you filled, corked, labelled manually. With other words: a nice experience!
A still young but typical Merlot in a more modern style. Very fruity in the nose showing lots of red fruits (cherry liqueur) and a lot of chocolate. Smooth palate with fine, good integrated tannins and also some overripe plums in the aftertaste. Already pretty good to drink.
2008 Paddock Shiraz
Again a very fruity but more intense wine with a deep ruby red color. At the palate opulent with more earthy/spicy notes but soft and smooth until the good finish. All in all the wine seemed still a little bit tpremature and therefore I would recommend to keep it some more time in the cellar to age.
(means “Eagleview”)- Hand crafted Wines
Arendsig is a privately owned farm with its own vineyards and boutique cellar situated in the foot hills of the Robertson Valley.
We phoned them in order to make an appointment and our first contact with Arendsig have been trough Lizelle van der Westhuizen. She is in charge with events organising, bookings, sellings. Her husband, Lourens van der Westhuizen is the winemaker and the owner, or better said the hand crafter J of unique wines.
At Arendsig we felt the pulse of harvest. Everything and everyone have been involved in the harvest process: we met first Lizelle, as all the others have been working in the cellar until 6 in the morning. As Lourens said, “ The harvest is not for the late sleepers”
We spent more than 2 hours visiting the cellar and talking with Lizelle and Lourens, When you’re hearing them talking with such a passion about the wines they are creating, you’re realising once again that beside the earth, the climate, the vine plants and the technique of wine making, the people are really an important part of real “terroir”.
They invited us to taste their wines in the evening and to take part or to give a hand in the process of vinification. The grapes were cooling down, waiting to be pressed after 4 pm. Of course we immediately said yes J
At 2 pm, the unexpected (but at least in Romania well known problem)appeared: an electricity power cut, caused by an approaching storm. We’ve had a deja vu: also in our place there is often is power cut when the work starts to go smoother. We knew how Lourent felt L From one second to another, big, dark clouds appeared, and a strong wind started to blow down everything with a power that made you feel once again very tiny in front of mother nature’s force.
But after the rain, the nature resurrected. The green was much greener and the flowers were having more powerful, lively colours.
Lizzele phoned us to come to the winery, to start the tasting when the wines are still cold, as also the fridge needs electricity…. There we’ve had a grate time tasting the wines, talking with them and their friends and partners, Family Allar (www.isanga.de) in an incredible refreshing atmosphere.
Thanks again for that guys – hope to see you soon again !
2010 Chardonnay “Wild Yeast”
A very uncommon and rare Chardonnay-style. Fermented without selected yeast, no use of new oak, aged on the fine lees etc. The wine appeared still very/too young (that’s a good sign) but already with a typical nose showing a lot yellow fruit and scents of clarified butter. Very rich and powerful at palate with a very persistent aftertaste. I would give this wine at least 3-4 years more time to develop in continue in the bottle.
Very dark colored and spicy Shiraz with a lot of soured cherries, coffee powder, cold smoke,and green, ethereal spices like lavender and rosemary. Very fleshy at the palate with a tight tannin structure and a good acidity. Minty, peppery finish. Once more a wine, like in so many cases, which we opened and drank too early. Buy and forget it for at least 5 years more. It will be rewarded.
In the evening we have had dinner at Excelsior, where we ate the tastiest ostrich fillet and the most interesting/unsusal desert of our trip :a special red wine ice cream! Something really “special” !
This reminds me on one of our friends, Jürgen. He tried once one of my home made (basil-) ice cream and when I asked him if he likes it he answered: “I don’t know yet!”, and continued to eat it without being able to answer my question even after we ate almost 1 kg of this ice cream J