Thursday, September 16, 2010


What a revelation - was at a leap year vertical tasting of Knorhoek’s Cabernets this week and they managed some time travel – not to the missing vintages – but to classic Bordeaux, then modern Bordeaux then back to Knorhoek again for some seriously comfortable comfort food in a gay-Boer-chic setting. Chefs Westley Muller and Carmen van der Merwe are also very cunning – I kept feeling like I was at my Nan’s for Sunday roast, just with more interesting wine and conversation.

Towerbosch at Knorhoek

This Stellenbosch hidden gem was owned by Dutch East India Company employee Martin Melck, and was referred to as ‘de plaats waar de leeuwen knorren’ (the place where the lions roar). Melck gave the property to his daughter as a wedding gift and it has been in the Van Niekerk family ever since. Tourists – often American with musical instrument boxes – still ask about the lions.

We started with the ‘97 which revealed old world, savoury and sea shell notes with elegance to match the setting, moved through ‘00 to ‘02 to arrive at a more opulent and textured ’03, then more new oak and higher extract in 05 and 06 while 07 showed a touch of greenness. Very good Cabs and although there were lots of vintage and style variations the common thread was good fruit and good winemaking. Winemaker Arno Albertyn joined in 05.    

If you can’t get to your Nan’s for Sunday roast, go there, I left doing the Knorhoek Leeu Loop.

Jonathan Snashall

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