Man oh man – what have I got myself into now? Have you ever chased a lion, then caught it and thought: now what? Well, I’ve caught the lion. BLANKbottle’s going to London (well… that depends on the UK consulate, but more about that later).
Three weeks ago, at the spur of the moment, I entered a London-based competition called WINE-STARS. This competition offers its 10 finalist wineries from around the globe a platform to pitch their stuff to the who’s who of the wine world at the LIWF (London International Wine Fair). Only wineries who have not yet cracked the UK market, were allowed to enter. The top 5 wineries each win a UK listing. And jip, you’ve guessed it; BLANKbottle made the top 20 – the only winery from SA! I’m SO amped. I now have the opportunity to present my wines to the judges at a mini-tasting in London this week and hope to make it to the top 10.
Each of the 10 finalists will have only 3 minutes to tell their story to 150 attendees including buyers, importers, bloggers, media etc. on Thursday 24 May at 1pm (local time) in a (as they put it) X-factor/Dragon’s den-inspired final. Best of all is you can watch it live via this link: http://vrazon.com/accesszone/, which will go live on Tuesday morning.
Now the challenge is to get a UK visa before Tuesday afternoon – and this would take a miracle. Anyone with connections (even distant cousins) at the UK consulate, please help!
So the reason for this mail is to thank you and pre-release all my new wines. If it were not for the commitment and support of my loyal clients, I would have had such a boring life. I am living my dream thanks to you all. I have 5 new wines in stock, which I was planning to launch throughout the rest of the year. Now this may make you smile, but IF I make it to London in time and IF I make it to the top 5, I will most probably be sold out on all these new wines by the time I return from London. So I’d like to give you first option by pre-releasing these 5 wines today.
See below for a list of the pre-release wines on offer to you. E-mail me (firstname.lastname@example.org) your order as well as delivery address and cell number – you may make up mixed cases. I will mail you an invoice for an Internet transfer and I will deliver your order.
P.S. And if I don’t get my visa in time, or don’t get into the top 10…or the top 5 – well, then I still have an epic story to tell (and wines to sell)!
BLANKbottle MIDNIGHT CALL 2011
Goodness, I think we are onto a winner here. For the 2011 vintage Midnight Call I moved to a new area. Absolutely spectacular! To get to these vineyards, you drive towards Stellenbosch from Somerset West on the R44, turn right at the Engen Garage and head straight towards the mountains. The vineyards are scattered across little quaint valleys on the Helderberg and Stellenbosch mountains. The wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec. Thanks to the help of a friend, this is the start of an exiting road towards improving South African Bordeaux within BLANKbottle. Minimalistic, natural winemaking techniques enable this wine to represent the Blaauwklippen Road in all honesty. R85 a bottle
100% Petit Verdot from the same area as where the Midnight Call is from. The vineyard is on the lower slopes of the Helderberg. Rich in colour with an abundance of black fruit, this wine is great for winter. This is a trial/experimental new wine within the BLANKbottle portfolio. If you like it, it’s here to stay! And when I experiment, you buy for a better price. An absolute bargain at R59 a bottle.
BLANKbottle MY KOFFER 2011
This is a unique 100% Cinsault from a vineyard in the BREEDEKLOOF. Like many of you, I consumed a lot of Tassenberg when I was younger. There was a component in the early Tassenberg wines that I loved. I later realized that this element I loved was the Cinsault grape that gave the wine that soft red fruit character. I set out to make a wine that would act as a magnifying glass on that specific component in Tassenberg I liked so much. After many tries, I am completely satisfied with this limited production. But before you taste this wine, go to the “My Documents” folder in your head, and create a new folder. Call it “Crazy Wine” and file the wine right there. Drinking this wine is truly an experience. You wouldn’t have tasted anything like this before. It sells for R250 a bottle. By far my most expensive wine ever!
MOMENT OF SILENCE 2011
A few things changed with this vintage. We took yet another step on the road of natural winemaking and in our quest for Wellington terroir expression; we fermented half of the wine naturally. What a difference! With the 2011 vintage, you’re only now starting to taste the true essence of great Wellington terroir. 49 year old Chenin with bits of Chardonnay and Viognier. Fermentation took place in old barrels except for one new one. The best vintage up to date I think. Creamy, thick and delicious: R85 a bottle
The WHITE BLACK 2010
We left this wine a bit to mature in bottle before its release. The 2009 vintage had lots of Chenin in but this vintage is a blend of Rousanne, Clairette blanche, Grenache blanc and Viognier. The wine is crisp, lean and super mineral. A true ambassador of the Swartland-style white blends. Since bottling, the wine matured beautifully and I am extremely exited about what this wine stands for. Again minimalistic winemaking techniques; crushed with our feet, basket pressed, wild barrel fermentation and 10 months in barrel. Epic wine: R115 per bottle.