A Rhone Valley white with a great price tag
11 November 2016
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Thanks for joining me for another episode of Old Mutual Live Wine edition, I’m Jenny Crwys–Williams . I can tell you in advance that we have a real treat of a wine for this weekend. Joakim Blackadder’s palate leans naturally to the wines of Europe, to the cool to cold winters, the warm to hot summers, with experience working in Michelin starred restaurants in Sweden as well as some of South Africa’s five star restaurants.
He’s chosen a biodynamic wine that is great value for money and it has Rhone written all over it. I know about you in the Western Cape at the moment, up in Gauteng it is hot and it is dry and it is gorgeous. So what wine have you chosen for us?
Joakim Blackadder: I’ve taken another white wine but one from overseas for the second week, from a biodynamic producer, Michel Chapoutier from the Rhone Valley. He makes a lot of different wines, France is a lot about different appellations. So every little region will have a different wine or a different composition of grapes.
I’ve chosen the Cotes du Rhone Belleruche Blanc, this is a fairly large area in the southern Rhone and a white blend from him. It’s one of the, I would say, one of the world’s best winemakers and his wines are just fantastic when it comes to texture and freshness. It’s just such clean wines and something a little bit different compared to what we get here.
I thought that could be of interest for people. It’s based on Grenache Blanc. These are great varieties that are available in South Africa, but we don’t have the older vineyards that Michel possesses in the Rhone and that makes a massive difference to. Once again the texture and concentration of wine.
A fine subtleness to this wine
JCW: Presumably on the nose, stone fruits?
JB: Yes, a lot of that, that’s the Grenache Blanc and it gets a lot of stone fruit. You also get a bit more of a greener, herbaceous freshness, gives a good spine to the wine. With age it doesn’t look for those intense primary aromatics that we get in young wines in SA, it looks more for subtle flavours. So you get a little bit of the nuttiness coming through that’s going to develop more and more with age. For an un-oaked wine, this is just from a little bit of lees contact and from the grape varieties themselves.
JCW: In terms of costs in South Africa, I’m noticing that some South African wines are just as expensive or inexpensive as some imported wines. I’m including wines, of course, from France.
JB: Absolutely and that’s why I actually chose the Belleruche because you can buy it in the shop for, I think, R180. For that quality, we can make amazing wines here, but this type of wine is difficult to produce in SA at that price point. You get fantastic wines in different categories, but this is something that can really compete against the South African wines for priced quality. If you want something a little bit special and people love to have something that’s a little bit unique, then the Belleruche Blanc could be exactly that, 2015 vintage.
JCW: It sounds gorgeous and again, I think you’re going to cost me a lot of money, that’s what I’m thinking!
JB: Thank you Jenny.
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