At the back of my warehouse, way into the corner, I have what I call The Drinking Stash. This is where you would want to be left unsupervised if there was any specific sold-out BLANKBOTTLE wine you liked. The last 24 bottles of almost every wine I produce go there (except the ones I over-sell by mistake and end up having to buy a bottle back from my agents overseas).
So, in that drinking stash you would for instance find wines like the very first bottling of Moment of Silence (2007). Whenever I drink an older white like that I am blown away by the ability of South African whites to age.
In 2011, I bottled a white wine – a blend of Roussanne, Marsanne, Clairette blanche, Grenache blanc and Viognier. In South Africa, all wines have to go to the regulatory board/control agency after bottling, where they go through 3 checks. Firstly they check the paper trail to confirm that what’s in the bottle is what you claim it to be. They then analyze the wine for all sorts of much-too-complicated-to-explain stuff and it finally gets tasted by a board of winemakers who then approves or rejects the wine for export (according to their opinion of how the wine should be). This specific wine was initially approved and I started selling it. After a year the approval expires and at that stage I still had at least 500 bottles to sell. I then had to re-submit to continue sales, which I did, but at that point the wine was rejected by the tasting board. Now, you have the option to appeal and resubmit to the more experienced technical committee, but at the time, I had much more pressing issues on my plate, so I transferred the bin towards my drinking stash to deal with later. As the years went by, I would grab a bottle to drink at home every once in a while, and each bottle I opened I liked more. As I was contemplating a re-launch, my son Luca drew a picture of the dragon of Lord of the Rings, “Smaug the Magnificent”. I made him an offer: a retainer per bottle I sell in exchange for the use of his label. He accepted.
I showed my UK agents the wine. They loved it and pre-sold most of it to a restaurant in the UK. So I am again busy re-submitting the wine, but this time round, I will take a shot at the technical committee.
So before they “might” approve the wine you can get some from me. Super cool, nutty, grippy mineral, yet fresh, a 2011 – 6-year old South African white. Only for the adventurous wine drinker