Madiba Tasting


While the world watched #1 Military Hospital at Voortrekkerhoogte for news of Nelson Mandela, we tasted 94 Rosés over the past two days: one for each year of the former president’s life.  In a break with tired old tradition, we assembled a daring Pienk PanelTM to perform the task.  The first day’s line-up is shown below.

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Pink wines are especially popular in Cape Town.  Last year’s surprise best seller was Gay Men Don’t Get Fat penned by a window dresser for Barneys in New York, Simon Doonan.  Si divides food by sexual preference: straight and gay.  Sushi is gay because it’s “swishy” while “Mexican food is unbelievably macho.  As delicious as a burrito is, it is basically just a cross between a turd and a penis.”  Now what do you say to that, Nic Haarhoff at El Burro? So what to drink with gay food?

Clearly the new mescal from Rui Estevez of &Union fame is indicated for burritos and Rosé just has to be gay food friendly if on colour considerations alone – Simon’s shockingly pink book cover is a hint.  But which Rosé?  Our advice will be revealed in the next edition of Classic Wine, but if you need some help over the upcoming festive season, here is the Top Ten Anibal Coutinho and I compiled from a tasting of over 2000 regional-specific wines.

Top Ten Terroir Rosés

  • Allesverloren 2012 from the Swartland.  Toasty leesy character with super spice.
  • Arabella Pink Panacea 2012 from Robertson.  Dusty greenpepper, fresh cherries and veggies, firm and vibrant palate.
  • Beaumont Raoul’s 2012 from Bot River.  Floral nose leading to Strawberries and cream.
  • Delheim Rosé 2012 from Stellenbosch.  Cherries and plums, green banana with a touch of lime.
  • Gabrielskloof Rosebud 2012 from Bot River.  Floral spicy nose and those sweet strawberry pastries.
  • Holden Manz 2012 from Franschhoekfranschhoekcellarwines Madiba Tasting
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    .  Provence-style: rich strawberries, fine berries.
  • Mellasat 2012 from Paarl.  Onion skin colour, tangy mulberries, peach skin and toast.
  • Overhex Balance 2012 from Worcester.  Creamy strawberries, candied fruit and citrus zest.
  • Pulpit Rock 2012 from the Swartland.  Partridge eye and totally charming, tangy palate.
  • Riebeek Cellars 2012 from the Swartland.  Pale onion skin from the Swartland.  Fresh raspberry creams with a grassy tang.

The Swartland and Bot River are two appellations which shine when it comes to Rosés.  Did the Pienk PanelTM confirm our conclusion?  Afraid you’ll have to wait until February 28 to find out.