Snoek et Bordeaux

Ten of the great and the good, the rich and the famous were intronized into the Commanderie de Bordeaux last night by maître Hannelie Rupert-Koegelenberg wielding a Bacchanalian sceptre of wood. The fourth intronization function and AGM took place on Kanonkop and was followed by a tasting of assorted Bordeaux wines and a barrel sample of the host’s 2012 Paul Sauer blend which has been hailed as a Cape First Growth for years.

A traditional snoek braai completed the evening and confirmed that it’s white wine and fish only when quality Bordeaux is not available. Hailing from a maritime environment, the acid freshness of the wines are a wonderful hydrolizer for a meimaand (fatty) snoek which, as Sakkie Kotze from Le Bonheur will tell you, is the best kind of snoek.

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Guest of honour Emmanuel Cruse missed the event thanks to the French air traffic controllers strike which worried many of the commandeurs packing for VinExpo in Bordeaux next week. But at least Emmanuel’s wines arrived safely and in time: Châteaux d’Issan, Lilian-Ladouys and Pedesclaux from the communes of Margaux, St. Estephe and Pauillac, respectively.

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The new boys were a mix of winemakers, retailers, rugby players and marketers: Edmund Terblanche, Eugene van Zyl, Whitey Basson, Mark Norrish, Schalk Burger Snr, Johann Laubser, Abrie Beeslaar, Giorgio dalla Cia, Bruwer Raats and Jacques Cronjé (below with Caroline Rillema).

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Some older vintages from the Commanderie cellars were also available with a 2010 white Bordeaux showing good bottle age and the 2009 Pedesclaux my favourite red followed closely by the d’Issan 2007. Tasted alongside Kanonkop, there is clearly a convergence of style between Old and New Worlds of wine. A convergence that the Commanderie will hopefully facilitate.