A ticket to ride – at half price


Spent a pleasant evening at Mint with Juan Louw necking superb ostrich neck (R95) and drinking his savoury Nuweland Tinta. This is a wine made from gapes grown in the same vineyard as Eben Sadie’s Treinspoor which was rated 92/100 by Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate although Eben’s publicity groupie Tim James doesn’t much care for it. Tim is wrong about most things vinous and Juan’s wine gives mere mortals a chance to taste quality Tinta from old Swartland vines at a price that doesn’t rip the bottom out of your pockets.

IMG 1122 300x168 A ticket to ride   at half price

The Treinspoor tasting note vouchsafed by Roland Peens: “A Tinta Barocca vineyard planted in 1974 west of Malmesbury. Very earthy, liquorice and a saltiness give rise to red and black fruits. It’s raw, with bloody meat and sensation of sleeping wildness. A very plush entry with red and purple fruits, cinnamon bun and tannin coated in liquorice on the finish. A smoky smoulder edge with paprika shine through later.  Solid and well built, it offers something different every time you go back to it. Demands time.” Applies to Juan’s Tinta, with bells on if you discount the “smoky shoulder edge.”

My Alsatian friend Julien Schaal (a variation of Morrissey’s Alsatian Cousin with a most apt punchline “P.S. Bring Me Home And Have Me!”) has made a semi-glittering career shadowing famous grand crus of Alsace. Wines made from the same terroir as the big names made by a young and thrusting winemaker with eyelashes longer than those of a cow or a moon-struck ostrich. Delicious. Is this the future of the Swartland, following Eben’s dusty croc-prints on t’Voetpad?

The Secret Swartland Show will be available for tastings Tuesdays-Saturdays from noon-7pm, so if you’re smaller than a whale (as Gallery space is limited), come along for a taste of the glittering future of Swartland wines.