A Pinot Noir that will take your breath away
09 September 2016
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Jenny Crwys–Williams : Our sommelier choosing the weekend wines is Lloyd Jusa. Lloyd, somebody told me that you won the Sommelier of the Year in the prestigious Eat Out Awards. Did you, is that true?
Lloyd Jusa: Well, that is indeed true. I was fortunate enough to be recognised as the best in the country by an independent panel of judges. I would say it’s been the pinnacle of my success story. It was really amazing –
JCW: And has it helped you?
LJ: It has, it has. The publicity, not only in South Africa. I think even in America, even in the UK, when people start talking about a possible sommelier to meet in South Africa, they know there’s Lloyd. So it’s really been an incredible journey. I think the past couple of months has just been phenomenal, so I’ve been enjoying it.
JCW: Enjoy it, because you never know when it comes back again-
JCW: It’s absolutely fantastic. So, with that under your belt, what have you chosen for the fourth weekend in August as our weekend wine?
A signature Pinot to savour
LJ: Okay, if you can get your hands on this one, go for it, don’t even blink. I’m picking the 2012 Bouchard Finlayson Tete de Cuvée Pinot Noir. This is their signature Pinot which is made from their best barrels only. So it’s a Cuvée, but they only pick the best barrels.
The properties of boutique winery located in an area, close to the coastal town of Hermanus, it’s a bit of a serious Pinot. So if you like your wines that come from certain villages of Burgundy, I’m talking fiction, these wines are made to last and this is one such wine.
Yes, the tannin structure is there. Yes, the body is there. But the texture is so rich, it’s so diverse. It’s the sort of wine that you can throw varying textures at it and it will stand up still. I think it’s a really well-made wine. I’ve had the good fortune of tasting prior vintages/
I think the consistency and the development continues to show year after year. For this 2012 vintage, in particular, the conditions are just perfect. The harvest, there were no challenges at all, so it’s a wine that was made in significant quantities and I think it’s one of the best Pinot’s around.
JCW: So, with that kind of accolade, one has to bear in mind that Pinot is still not an everyday drinking wine for, by far, the majority of South African wine drinkers. I adore it, I like the lightness of it and I love the strawberry flavour and all sorts of things. What makes this one stand out? What would drive people to it?
The soft tannins pair well with…
LJ: What would drive people to this particular Pinot is that the tannins are not ravaging. They’re soft tannins and it’s the one that you can keep for a couple of years. It’s the sort of wine that is versatile enough to go with light dishes or heavy dishes. You can have a salad with this particular Pinot. You can have white meat with this Pinot. More importantly, you can have a red meat driven dish –
JCW: You could do salmon.
LJ: You could even do salmon with this one. You’ve got some lovely acidity and you’ve got some beautiful red berry fruit flavours in there that just linger. The finish is long and it’s desperately longing for more drinking. I think it is indeed a really well made Pinot, you don’t get too many of these wines coming around for many pockets.
JCW: Now you’ve got everybody saying ‘We’ve got to get a bottle of this’ and you’ve just said you’re going to have to search long and hard. Where would there be a couple of outlets in the Western Cape, maybe in Gauteng?
LJ: Fine Wines, they always stock this. In Gauteng you could never go wrong with Norman Goodfellows, for instance. I know some of the high-end liquor shops such as Makro do carry significant bottles of this wine. If you could get around to them, I would advise you to do so, easy.
A price in line with its quality
JCW: Okay, the next question obviously is, seeing I was reading an article just this week saying ‘do not even turn a hair when we start drinking wines on a frequent basis that are a thousand rand or more a bottle.’ What is this going to set people back?
LJ: You shouldn’t even worry too much about that because you’re not really, it’s not really breaking the bank in terms of, compared to other Pinot’s that come from overseas. This is only R875 a bottle, and I say ‘only’ because I think it should cost more.
JCW: Okay, you’re pinning your heart on your sleeve here, you really and truly are!
LJ: I think it’s a really good wine. If you can get an older vintage, say a 2010, even better.
JCW: All right, have you got any bottles of this in your own cellar?
LJ: Absolutely, I’ve got 2010 and I also have the 2012, I do.
JCW: All right, this is also a gift wine, if you don’t know what to give your partner who loves wine. In terms of a birthday gift or something like that?
LJ: I think so, definitely, because you never know the next best-selling, what really, really sort of wine they enjoy. So you’re looking for something that’s versatile. Remember, I mentioned versatility earlier and this is this kind of wine that you can have. If you’re doing a lovely lunch or if you’re doing a beautiful dinner, you could even decant the wine. The great flavours that you get out of this wine, I think it’s a beautiful wine that can go with any occasion.
JCW: Is it a mouthful of cherries –
LJ: Indeed, I would say cherries, you’ve got some bacon flavours in there that are non-fruit. You also have these beautiful, more red fruit driven flavours. You’re looking at plums, you’re looking at raspberries, you’re looking at –
LJ: Indeed, and as I like to call it, ‘bumble berries’ too.
JCW: It sounds too delicious for words. I’ve got high heels on, but I probably am going to run for that!