Goodness, what interesting feedback on what you’d like to see coming from the BLANKbottle stables!  But first things first: Please go out and buy the latest issue of VISI magazine, the one with the blue cover. They selected BLANKbottle as one of their “Blue sky thinkers” and I think it’s probably the best summary ever of what BLANKbottle stands for.

On the search for Riesling...

On the search for great Riesling...

Thanks to all of you who responded to my previous e-mail and gave me your valuable input. Many of you wrote long information-loaded e-mails about styles of wines you like, varietals etc. I worked through them all and compiled a brief report.
In the red category I was astonished by what people want to drink. Tied in FIRST POSITION: The ever-so-popular, robust Cabernet Sauvignon and (can you believe it!) our own indigenous crossing between Hermitage and Pinot noir: Pinotage. Having so many styles of Pinotage around, I dug a bit deeper. Again I was astonished to find out that you prefer Pinotage in blends. Some even went further and specified areas: Stellenbosch and Paarl (a bit more traditional). Personally, I prefer cooler climate Pinotage (tasted some great ones from Sebastian Beaumont in Botrivier the other day). But for the Cabs I’ll stick with Jonkershoek. A Cape blend could be the way to go here. Seeing that the BATAVIA is now almost sold out it is a category to keep your eyes on…. In SECOND PLACE in the Red category it was Rhône red blends. That’s now Shiraz and bits of Mourvèdre, Carignan, Grenache, Cinsaut or bits of them all. With BLACK, The NEWBLACK, The New MISFIT and The Spaniard, I think I’ve got this one covered for now, obviously backed up by areas like the Swartland and Wellington. In THIRD PLACE we have Malbec. I drank some great Argentinean ones but it is still a difficult one for me to get my head around. Tends to be a bit wild for my liking, but I think I just haven’t found the right ones. I tasted some OK cooler climate ones last week but you’ll need to give me time on this one. Pinot noir came in at NUMBER FOUR and, to be honest, I don’t yet have the guts to try this one! Although I did make a wine this year that could fill this gap from a stylistic point of view  – we’ll call it a “Southern Hemisphere Pinot noir” for the time being – watch this space… Joint NO 5 are Petit Verdot, Carménère, Tempranillo and Cabernet franc. NUMBER 6: Merlot (seems to be not so popular anymore) and NUMBER 7: Grenache and Barbera.

Searching through areas/varietals

The WHITE WINNER is not Sauvignon blanc (came in second place) as I would have thought it to be and not even Chenin blanc (no 5, probably because I’ve got this covered), but rather much to my liking, Riesling! An extremely difficult varietal to grow, make and sell. I think I might have the right vineyard for a project like this. I’ve already started with negotiations, so let’s see where it leads. Sharing the THIRD POSITION we have Gewürztraminer and Chardonnay, with Sémillon close on its heels. And then we have weirder varieties at the bottom end of the list – interesting stuff like Hárslevelű, Grüner Veltliner, some straight Viogniers and White Rhone blends with lots of Grenache blanc (again, got this covered)… I personally like all these whites. One day I would like to have a blend of all of them. A 7 varietal one…mmm…
Conclusion: If and when you find a great vineyard in its perfect terroir, you are almost guaranteed an excellent wine from it, no matter the style, varietal etc. And there will always be a market for excellent wine. Although wine needs to sell, it is ultimately driven by these vineyards and not people’s opinions. Does this mean I am not going to listen to your input? Yes and no. I desperately needed to know if I am still on the right track! I see your input as the ultimate confirmation. Thanks to you all for the valuable input; just walking the path, not constructing it…
And before I forget: the winner of a case of Carignan 2009, BLANKbottle The MISFIT (a new wine I am about to release – e-mail me if you’d like a pre-release buy) goes to Coenraad van Tonder with his 2007 Reserve Series Brae Blanc-VQA, Gewurztraminer, Riesling and Chardonnay suggestion. I haven’t tasted this but it sounds sumptuous.

Telephone: +27 (0)82 872 8658

Please note

Due to the many small batches of wines we make, availability changes on a daily basis. Please email if you’d like to order any of our wines or if you are looking for a specific wine, and she will reply with a list of wines now selling. If the wine you are looking for is sold out, we could suggest some alternative excitement and/or we could also put together a unique selection for you.

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