Crooks With Class


The national crackdown on crime seems to be working with SA now developing a better class of crook. When robbers raided Cape Wine 2008 at the Cape Town Convention Centre (a fortress of security cameras with a Ruritanean National Guard) on Monday night, they made off with 12 bottles of one of the best wines on show. The Reyneke Reserve White 2007 is a biodynamic bombshell made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc yet tasting of the ripe apricots and guavas more expected in a Chenin plus the steely reserve of a Riesling. But then Reyneke’s own Chenin tastes of ruby grapefruit, so perhaps all those biodynamic preparations have triggered an identity crisis. Confusion aside, the wine is possessed of a most unusual limpidity and calmness.

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Unlike the sea at Llandudno where the breakers were throwing themselves at brave Villa Lara, trying to gatecrash the Vinimark launch of the Reyneke Reserve last night. Perhaps it was the proximity to naturist heaven Sandy Bay that prompted winemaker Johan Reyneke to offer to jump into the patio swimming pool in the nude instead of making a speech about the wine. A proposal that had at least one British MW licking her lips and set off an Indian sommelier twirling his waxed moustache ends like a whirling dervish. And when the sound system gave up the ghost, the naturist option nearly became a reality, but “testing, 1, 2, 3” eventually saved the day, alas.

Other wines launched last night included the multi-vintage, multi-faceted NC Krone Méthode Cap Classique made by Nicky and Mary Krone from Twee Jonge Gezellen as a tribute to Nicky’s dad NC who passed away last year with 88 years on the scoreboard and one outstanding speeding fine. A pioneer of cold fermentation, it is fitting that a cornucopia of fine fruit flavours has been preserved in the NCKMCC.

The last wine up was Marc Kent’s Journeyman 2005, the scarlet pimpernel of the Winelands. When shown to the press at Franschhoekfranschhoekcellarwines Crooks With Class
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last year, it uncorked a tsunami of adjectives and metaphors from the huddled hacks. A year on and the dominant Cabernet Franc component is starting to evolve from perfume to seductive complexity in the same way a splash of Silver Shadow Attitude (the latest scent from Davidoff) progresses from freshly picked apple to blooming rose.