Terroir by Truck or Tractor

Sunday lunch of Gravardlax, hot smoked salmon, duck and skorsies (gem squash) with the Jordaans on Bartinney as nature performed Götterdämmerung outside. All the wines (bar a Burgundy) were from Banhoek (scaredy corner) and the best white was the hosts’ Bartinney Chardonnay 2008.

For reds, the Laurence Graff 2009 in a wooden box was a show stopper and although I’ve heard it said the Delaire Graff Reserve 2009 is a better wine, after tasting both side-by-side, it ain’t. But then as über-techno-nerd Michael Jordaan noted, if you feed patients wine through a straw inside an MRI scanner and tell them it’s expensive, their pleasure centres light up like a Banhoek thunder storm. Great plot for an episode of House.

Banhoek has terroir to burn as the Chenin Blanc from Oldenburg confirms. But is it a “better” wine than the Delaire-Graff, which sources fruit from the Siebritskloof on the Paardeberg? “Better” by dint of being an estate wine, made from Banhoek grapes.

dutoits 300x168 Terroir by Truck or Tractor

Friday lunch at Du Toitskloof (above) was more modest but the same issues apply. Du Toitskloof sources grapes from Faure in Stellenbosch to Citrusdal and do Sipho and Thandi really care that they’re not grown in the Breedekloof? In this price segment, residual sugar likely trumps terroir and value for money beats all. Which could explain why Du Toitskloof has pulled out of the Breedekloof Wine Route. Is SA wine destined to split into three: those that do (buy in), those that don’t and those that do but don’t tell – a bit like Bill Clinton’s policy on gays in the US military machine.