On the Road with the Grape Guy

On the Road with the Grape Guy is a on-going feature that follows me from event to event ... I post my thoughts, feelings and reviews of what happened and what I tasted ... basically it is here that I review the events I attend and the things that thrilled me.

Boekenhoutskloof Podcast Tie-in

21 Feb 2024

 Boeken 2023i1

(September 2023) ... I have tasted wines from this winery before; that write-up can be found here. This is a tie-in piece for the podcast we did with Gottfried Moche, winemaker, which you can listen to here; there you will hear all about the winery, its initiatives and new wines in different sub-appellations. Below is a list of the wines we tried – reviewed and scored.

The Wolftrap 2022 White
This is a new offering exclusive to Canada, yes, there was already a Wolftrap white, but they decided to play with the blend, here it’s 60% Sauvignon Blanc, 40% Semillon. Citrus dominates the nose with its notes of grapefruit and grass - while the palate integrates the two grapes, giving it a round finish, that sports fresh grapefruit and guava. (*** 1/2)

The Chocolate Block 2021 - 20th edition (3349 barrels)
This is a wine that's been on the market countless times before. It's a kitchen sink blend dominated by Syrah (74%) with Grenache, Cinsault, Cabernet Sauvignon and Viognier also in the mix. It's the variety of great flavours and diverse brooding characteristics.  (*** 1/2)

Boeken 2023eBoekenhoutskloof 2020 Syrah
Once again, this is one killer Syrah - I have talked about a past vintage on my YouTube channel ... The fruit is forward with notes of white pepper, cherry, raspberry and mocha. It's juicy, but with a lovely balancing acidity and long finish that has notes of mineral, earthy and black cherry.  (**** 1/2)

Boekenhoutskloof 2020 Semillon
From vines planted between 1902 to 1942 ... This wine is fat in the mouth, but with a little spiciness that shows up along the sides of the tongue; there’s also some nice citrus qualities.  (*** 1/2+)

Porcelainberg 2020 Syrah
Syrah from an older block of 38-year-old vines, offering up four tons to the hectare, it is then whole bunch pressed, aged and bottled. This is also an older clone of Syrah planted in South Africa, possibly the oldest. It's earthier, dryer and smokier here than the previous Syrah on this page.  (*** 1/2)

Cap Maritime 2020 Chardonnay
A new project from the upper Hermel en Aarde Valley (meaning “Heaven on Earth”), it lies some of 3 km from the ocean and is perfect for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay due to the diurnal temperatures. Wild fermented, 60% malalactic and 14 months in oak (60% new). It's a spicy version of Chardonnay with a nice fruit core ... There are some barrel notes and buttery richness, but also nice acidity helps balance with a minerality-chalkiness and hints of vanilla; what I also liked was the materialization of a creamy center. Quite yum. (****)

Cap Maritime 2020 Pinot Noir
This new project for Boekenhoutskloof is a piece of land 3 km from the ocean that boasts 15 hectares of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, according to winemaker Gottfried Moche: “It is the perfect place to grow these varieties.” Tasting this wine makes me think he might be right. Spicy with lovely acidity, deep fruit character and some earthy notes (but they do not dominate). There are also notes of cran-black cherry and black currants. Nicest Pinot I've had out of South African in quite some time.  (****+)

 Boeken 2023d

Loire Valley Day 3 (2 Tastings)

02 Feb 2024

(April 28, 2023) … Time to look at the Day 3 tastings of my spring Loire Valley journey.

Morning: La Nouvelle Vague des Rosés de la Loire (Masterclass) Loire D3 2a

This was a masterclass looking at the "Full Generational Transition" (from old to young) of the Loire Valley and its wineries. The new generation feels empowered - so they are not beholden to the old ways.

Today 600 producers make Cremant de Loire ... and 90% of Rosés are made from Cabernet Franc.

Rose de Loire makes up 4.9 million bottles, at an average price of 3.40 euros). They have made the move from orange-ish shades to more pink ... and about half leave some trapped CO2 to create better aromas.

Cabernet d'Anjou makes 42 million bottles, and most is consumed domestically.

Loire D3 3aBETTER
Château de Targé Méthode Ancestrale Rosé 2020
(Saumur Fines Bulles) - 100% Cabernet Franc
Domaine Asseray Crémant de Loire Rosé Domaine Asseray
(Crémant de Loire) - 70% Cabernet Franc - 30% Grolleau Gris

Domaine des Trottières Champ d'Oiseaux 2022
(Rosé de Loire) - 55% Grolleau - 30% Gamay - 15% Pinot Noir
Domaine de Mongilet Rosé d'Anjou Domaine de Mongilet 2022
(Rosé d'Anjou) - 100% Gamay
Domaine du Petit Clocher Cabernet d'Anjou Domaine du Petit Clocher 2022
(Cabernet d'Anjou) - 70% Cabernet Franc - 30% Cabernet Sauvignon

Loire D3 6a



Theme & Focus:  Pineau D’Aunis / Cabernet Franc / Chenin Blanc

Loire D3 10aMy take and takeaway: Puy-Notre-Dame continues to be the most impressive sub-appellation ... where 23 winemakers toil on 60 hectares with a potential of 1500. It is a small region that achieved its AOC status in 2009.

Cave du Vendômois 2022 Le Carillon de Vendôme Gris (Coteaux-du-Vendômois)
Cave du Vendômois 2022 Montagne Blanche Gris (Coteaux-du-Vendômois)
Château Soucherie 2020 Clos des Perrières (Savennières)
Domaine aux Moines 2020 Domaine aux Moines (Savennières Roches aux Moines)
Domaine de Cézin 2022 Rosé (Coteaux-du-Loir)  
Domaine de la Cendrinerie 2022 Rosé (Coteaux-du-Loir)  
Domaine de l'Ours Bleu 2021 Rochenard (Saumur Champigny)
Domaine Delobel 2020 B de Oisly Blanc (Touraine Oisly)
Domaine Des Deux Arcs 2021 Savennières (Savennières)
Domaine du Petit Métris 2020 Clos de la Marche (Savennières)
Domaine Patrick Baudouin 2021 Bellevue (Savennières)
Domaine Pré-Baron 2021 L'Elégante Blanc (Touraine Oisly)
Domaine Ratron 2021 Clos des Cordeliers Tradition (Saumur Champigny)

Clotilde Legrand 2020 Les Lizières (Saumur Champigny)
Domaine de la Bergerie 2018 Clos le Grand Beaupréeau (Savennières)
Domaine de la Paleine 2020 Saumur Paleine (Saumur Rouge)
Domaine de l'Ours Bleu 2018 Champs Picard (Saumur Rouge)
Domaine de Nerleux 2021 Cuvée des Nerleux (Saumur Champigny)
Domaine des Deux Vallées 2021 Savennières (Savennières)
Domaine des Sables Verts 2021 "Les Poyeux" (Saumur Champigny)
Domaine des Sables Verts 2021 Glouglou (Saumur Champigny)
Domaine des Sanzay 2020 Vieilles Vignes (Saumur Champigny)
Domaine FL 2014 Roche aux Moines (Savennières Roches aux Moines)
Domaine Octavie 2021 Touraine Oisly Blanc (Touraine Oisly)
Domaine Ogereau 2021 Clos le Grand Beaupréau (Savennières)
Domaine Ratron 2018 Clos des Cordeliers Prestige (Saumur Champigny)
Domaine Saint Landor 2020 Domaine (Saumur Rouge)
La Seigneurie 2019 Les Clos de la Seigneurerie (Saumur Champigny)
Loïc Mahé 2019 Equilibre (Savennières)
Moulin de Chauvigné 2021 Clos Brochard (Savennières)
Raphaël Midoir 2021 La Plaine des Cailloux Blanc (Touraine Oisly)

Clotilde Legrand 2017 Les Terrages (Saumur Champigny) Loire D3 7a
Domaine de la Paleine 2021 Saumur Champigny (Saumur Champigny)
Domaine de la Paleine Saumur Puy Notre Dame (Saumur Puy Notre Dame)
Domaine de Nerleux 2020 Clos des Châtains (Saumur Champigny)
Domaine Jonathan Maunoury 2020 Sarrandières (Saumur Puy Notre Dame)
Domaine Les Ruaults 2021 Les 2 Croix (Saumur Puy Notre Dame)
La Seigneurie 2021 Senonien (Saumur Champigny)

Loire D3 19a

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