Burgundy for Buddhists

This was a Leonard Cohen of a lunch at Ottimo Cibo in Kirstenbosch. Ever heard what the sound of one hand pouring wine sounds like? Well Cathy Marshall put on a tour de force for the great and the good of the Cape Town wine scene (below) with a couple of spoofers and nogschleppers thrown in for good measure. Guess who asked that the tasting be speeded up as he had to get home to feed his Siamese. Mini Me had the afternoon off.

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Four pinots from Burgundy set the scene, but priced in the R-thousands a bottle, these drops are for gravy train passengers only. Then Cathy humbly showed her 2007 straight Pinot plus 2009, 2010 and 2011 reserve Pinots made from grapes grown in the Shannon Vineyards in elegant Elgin and the reason for the day became clear. For 2011 was the star of the show. No comet vintage this but rather Cathy who has changed.

For terroir is a SCAM – a combination of Soil, Climate, Aspect of vineyard and Man (in this case a dazzling Woman, below) – and to celebrate her coming of age, Cathy took herself and son off to Tibet and found enlightenment at the foot of Mount Everest.

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Her 2011 is a spiritual wine. While it may not have the grand label of a Grand Cru from Burgundy, it has something way better: tasteable honesty and integrity. Cathy’s forebears were Picts thrown out of Ireland for their wild tattoos. How fitting that this feisty descendant has reclaimed the terroir of Shannon and applied it to making Burgundy for Buddhists on a beer-bottle budget.