Mother's Milk

SA wine moves in circles. On Saturday the annual Nederbug Auction will be opened by UK wine hack Tim Atkin, the most controversial yet boring figure since the Minister of Police Jimmy Kruger did the honours. Ronnie Melck was the king of SFW in those days, so its quite appropriate to feature his children’s wine in my tiny organ today.
jk Mother's Milk

Muratie Melck’s red 2014

How much and where? R95; www.muratie.co.za

Why? Muratie is the quintessential South African wine farm. It was started by a lady of colour, Ansela van de Caab, in the 17th century. Something at least one producer in our lily-white world of wine has not forgotten. But then Groot Constantia was founded by Simon van der Stel, whose mother was a dusky beauty with a son, Willem Adriaan, so dark, his nickname was Koffieboon (coffee bean). So Muratie is in good multiracial company.

This red is a decent quaffer for the Rainbow Nation. A fruit- driven blend of shiraz, merlot and cabernet sauvignon, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. A bit like SA society, really. The farm looks the part: artfully tumbled-down, it is now run by a former medical doctor, Rijk, with a model wife (literally, as Kim used to own the catwalk) and a mother, Annatjie, who is the doyenne of Afrikaans cuisine. This is social terroir of note.

So forget about gaudy palaces of diamantaires on the hill with a helipad, Czech cycling billionaires in Constantia, or Johannesburg semigrants with serious pretensions defiling the skyline with architectural carbuncles. The heart of SA wine beats on the Simonsberg at Muratie as it has for more than three centuries. To be able to drink a bottle of their house red with change out of R100 for a tip is a rare pleasure indeed.

Rating: ****

***** Nelson Mandela

**** Wayde van Niekerk

*** JM Coetzee

** Eugene Marais

* Jimmy Kruger