Try the internationally acclaimed, Keet First Verse
12 August 2016
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Jenny Crwys–Williams : Alright, so this is week two and we are chatting to Lloyd Jusa and he was hired, by the way, as sommelier at Royal Malewane and represented the region in various competitions. But he joined the Saxon in 2012 and Lloyd, I think that’s really when your career as a sommelier seriously began. Because there was some formal training, wasn’t there – a lot of formal training.
Lloyd Jusa: Indeed, indeed. I should say in South Africa the sommelier community is growing, it’s developing nicely. Once I got exposed to the sommelier community that’s when I decided to specialise and take on international exams that make me the kind of sommelier that I am today. So I’m really grateful for those opportunities that I got.
JCW: Even though you didn’t like wine when you first tasted it, but that’s common actually with a lot of people that I know, they just didn’t enjoy it.
LJ: A lot of times, when you taste wine for the first time, it’s almost like you’re looking at a blank canvas and you don’t know what to expect. You don’t know what you’re looking for, you’re just going with it. Sometimes you like what you see, sometimes you don’t like what you see. I’m grateful that at least I liked what I saw.
JCW: Well, what have you chosen for the second week in August?
You going to want to try this
LJ: For the second week in August I’ve chosen something that is not widely available, but it’s receiving international acclaim. With a lot of guests that I’ve shared this wine with, they all have wonderful memories. It’s one wine which is produced in South Africa, in Stellenbosch by the young Christopher Keet. This is the Keet First Verse, which is a Bordeaux style blend. The vintage I’ve chosen tonight is the 2009 vintage.
JCW: Tell me why.
LJ: It’s Cabernet Franc led, something that you don’t find often in South Africa. I think everybody else is going for mellow dominated or for the Cabernet Sauvignon dominated red blends. But this one is Cabernet Franc dominated, which doesn’t make the wine inky. You know, it just makes the wine superb and super complex.
For that particular vintage, using the vineyards in the Heidelberg and Simonsberg mountainous area, the Cabernet Franc showed better compared to the Cabernet Sauvignon and the Merlot. I find the wine to have a spicy edge to it.
So these subtle tannins which just makes the wine such a beautiful red blend, if you like. There’s a lot of people who like left bank and right bank wines. This is for me, more right bank and that for me makes it such a food wine too and that’s why I’ve chosen it.
Cabernet Franc growing in popularity
JCW: Cabernet Franc, of course, more and more people are using it. It is one of the wines that more and more people are using. I noticed that of the Trophy Wine Awards.
LJ: Indeed. It’s a growing trend and I think it’s an unsung hero whereas some others have had success in making it as a single variety. In South Africa not everybody has got the rich pockets that certain vineyards have, so they have to use it increasingly in blends, sort of a complex note to the wines. I think that’s where the best potential lies.
JCW: It wouldn’t work with shellfish at all, from the way you’ve described it. It’s just too much, it will overwhelm shellfish?
LJ: Not shellfish. For shellfish it’s not one of the wines I would look at because of the soft tannins, I’d still put a steak on it. I would also put some white meat with it, such as chicken, even some pork, depending on the sauce that you bring to it. I think that’s the right kind of wine to go for.
JCW: And when we’re talking Cabernet Franc, it’s got enough structure for you to lay down, for a few years surely?
LJ: Indeed, you see, whenever you’ve got some decent tannin, you don’t need those raging tannins anymore. Like I mentioned last week, I think people are moving more and more away from that. But when you do have the kind of tannin structure you have in this own line, it’s the sort of wine that you can lay down. iI you can, for at least another five to ten years and I think it will show all of its glory.
JCW: Lovely, that’s our second week in August wine, thanks very much indeed.