Tag Archives: Paul Cluver

The South-African Winelands Low-down – Elgin & Walker Bay

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Served a tasting by Dr Cluver himself certainly made this a visit to remember. When Kelvyn asked for the Gewürztraminer, Dr Cluver surprisingly asked that surely he wanted to try the Sauvignon Blanc, that’s what everyone asks for. No, we would like to taste the Gewürtz out of interest and boy were we pleased, fabulous, fabulous wine! Dr Cluver asked if we would like to taste the grapes themselves that were due in soon from the vineyard. As we waited he made us a pot of tea, brought out some tasty homemade shortbread biscuits and sat with us chatting, at his stunning handmade wooden table with benches nestled under a tree in front of the winery. We couldn’t have wished for a better morning How wonderful. And the grapes? … well, they actually tasted like floral rose Turkish delight, so ripe and aromatic, amazing.

You can really sense the cooler climate affect on these wines, much more delicate and leaner, more European in a sense, less New World. Well crafted and tasty.

The Unexpected X-Factor Winner:

  • Gewürztraminer 2012 – Spicy, honeysuckle, jasmine, rose Turkish delight, fresh acidity, lovely and enjoyable.

Also tasted:

  • Estate Riesling 2011 – Off dry more German style, vibrant, steely and mineral.
  • Close Encounter Riesling 2012 – Spätlese sweeter style, residual sugar balanced well by acidity, citrus apple and lime, hint of floral. 
  • Pinot Noir 2010 – Delicate and full of wild berries, cherry and cranberry. Hints of earthiness, chocolate and violet, soft and smooth. Good example.

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Walker Bay

Beautifully situated small and intimate tasting room overlooking the reservoir and surrounded by the vines rolling across nearby hillsides. Peaceful! The winery itself is small and focuses on producing terroir specific Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, their quality stands out and shows they are right to concentrate on doing these well. We had the pleasure of meeting the winemaker, Hannes Storm, who was more than happy to talk to us about his wines and let us stroll around the winery.

It’s the first place we have seen use of clay pots too, which was fabulous. What impact does that method have on the wine? An interesting topic for more discussion …

  • Chardonnay 2012 – Citrus and pear, complex and bright, has its own personality. Having tasted the 2010 at a recent tasting back in England we were equally impressed by the style of this wine.
  • Pinot Noir 2010 – Burgundian in style, red fruits, raspberry, cherry and plum underlaid by earth and spice, elegant and age worthy.

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