Fledge and Co Red Blend – a wine with character
20 June 2016
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Jenny Crwys–Williams: The third weekend in June and Angela Lloyd has chosen the wines for us. She has chosen Fledge and Co Red Blend 2012 and it goes for R245. Now Angela I have to say that I’m really excited about this wine that you’ve chosen because. I have only, I’m probably the last person in South Africa to have discovered Fledge and Co, a most unusual little wine company but doing fantastic things.
Jenny Lloyd: Absolutely, it’s a very interesting name. The people behind it are Margaux Nel who is the daughter of Carel and Jeanne from Boplaas. In fact, she now is in charge of the cellar there and her partner, Leon Coetzee. They’re real characters.
They called it Fledge and Co, Fledge being a young bird. They were learning to fly and Co, that’s the interesting thing. They thought that sounded good because they were two and it was a company. But also as Leon points out CO is the number plate of Calitzdorp where they’re based.
They are real experimentalists but why I chose this wine is because when we think of red blends we think of Cabernet and Merlot and Shiraz and so on. But what they’re concentrating on is making red wines out of varieties that usually go into Port.
This is a very big thing in Portugal itself in the DRO. So what they have blended here is Sao Saul, Touriga Franca, and Touriga Nacional. It has a very different fruit profile to other wines. It’s more earthy, it’s not so overtly fruity. If you sort of put your mind to it and can taste a bit like Port but without the added alcohol, without the sweetness and the richness. This is dry.
Make like a Port – but it’s not a Port
Again, it’s under 14% alcohol and it’s not oaky. They’ve made it very much in the same way as you make Port. It was fermented in the legeros so in other words, foot-stomped in these low, open fermenters. Then it was aged in old oak, so you’re not getting those very strong new oak flavours which too many people use. You get spice, savouriness and a lovely, a feeling of size without heaviness.
So there’s lots of flavour, there’s lots of structure to it and a lovely sort of chewiness. So again a wonderful food wine. Because we’re heading right into the middle of winter here I can think of a good game stew that this would go well with.
JCW: What is it like on the nose? Does it have elements of Port on the nose or not?
JL: I think it does, yes. Because it’s sort of an earthiness, dark fruit, dark berries but not those bright blackberries or cassis that you get in Cabernet. Or spice that you get, vivid white or black spice that you get in Syrah. It’s more earthy, more rustic in a way.
JCW: Would a first time wine drinker respond to this or would it be people who, for real old soaks?
JL: I think anybody who has a sense of adventurousness actually. Because it is something so different. I think we’re going to see a lot more and also, you know, this comes from Calitzdorp.
Everybody concentrates on the Swartland. This is far to the East, it’s something new, exciting, and we’re going to see a lot more of them. I know that both Leon and Margaux are doing a lot more experiments with these varieties. You know finding out what makes the best blend in each vintage. So I think anybody within a sense of adventure would really enjoy this.
JCW: And a fireplace.
JL: And a fireplace, yes.
JCW: That, I think is absolutely essential.
JL: Yes, absolutely.