Thursday, May 18, 2017

Anthonij Rupert Wyne South Africa


Anthonij Rupert Wyne South Africa

On Friday March 31st, I had the pleasure to meet Alec Louw, Sales Executive Europe and Asia for Rupert Wines, who came to our company Chinese restaurant “Dynasty Garden”.

He was having lunch with Melody, On-Trade Sales Manager at ASC Fine Wines in Hong Kong, the distributor of Rupert Wines in Hong Kong, and in the meantime introduce our Sommelier Team a few wines from the winery’s portfolio.

Anthonij Rupert Wines Tasting -
Alec Louw from Rupert Wines and Melody from ASC
March 31st 2017 at Dynasty Garden Restaurant Kowloon Bay Hong Kong
LeDomduVin ©
  

I did not know and never had the pleasure to taste Rupert Wines previously, and I need to admit that I was pleasantly surprised.

South African wines always made me have a pucker face in the past, as often too smoky, too tarry, too astringent or green, often unbalanced or inharmonious, and also too hearty but in a bad way, even sometimes smelling like the melting asphalt of a road scorched by the sun in the middle of summer.

Yet, I need to admit that my opinion has changed as I tasted better South African wines over the last 5-6 years, with better balance and overall harmony, less impregnated or marked by what I consider being “flaws” cited above.   

Rupert Wines surprised me by their gentle, easy going modern attitude and approachable drinkability.

Anthonij Rupert Wyne at L’Ormarins is located in Stellenbosch, about 62 km east of Cape Town on the Route 45, in a breathtaking décor at the feet of the Groot Drakenstein Mountains.

L'Ormarins - Groot Drakenstein Moutains
Courtesy of www.rupertwines.com 

“Anthonij Rupert Wines, founded in 1969 by the Rupert family, has over 300 years of wine making history on the L’Ormarins property. It has quickly become the benchmark reference for ultra premium wines from South Africa. The winery is now owned by Johann Rupert who is also the major shareholder of Richemont Group, which owns Cartier, IWC, Piaget, Dunhill, Montblanc, Chloé, Panerai and many other world renowned brands.” 



The interesting part of Rupert Wines is that they are creative and innovative, combining old tradition with modern techniques, and above all environment friendly in their ways of producing, ageing and even dressing their wines (capsules, corks and labels). Their labels for the PROTEA wines range are just like pieces of Art designed by acclaimed designer Mark Eisen. 

Image courtesy of www.drinksfeed.com


Soon, they will even get more innovative and active in an eco-friendly manner by replacing the traditional cork of some of their wines, with the latest invention of 2 of the world leaders of corks and wine packaging “Amorim and O-I” called the “Helix” Cork. A revolutionary cork with a twist created as an alternative against metallic and plastic screw-caps, which respect for both the wine and the environment.

Picture courtesy of www.amorimcork.com 

Here is a short video about Helix Cork to better understand how it works (courtesy of Amorin Cork Italia)



Read more about Helix cork on Amorin website at http://www.amorimcork.com/en/products/catalogue/helix/



That day, we tasted the following wines

Anthonij Rupert Wines Tasting -
Protea Chenin Blanc 2015 and Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
March 31st 2017 at Dynasty Garden Restaurant Kowloon Bay Hong Kong
LeDomduVin ©

2015 Anthonij Rupert “Protea” White Chenin Blanc South Africa

About 12.5 EUR, 13.5 USD or 105 HKD a bottle

An appealing wine for younger and more feminine generations (as well as amateurs) with an attractive and recognizable painted label design created by world renowned designer Mark Eisen. Environment friendly the small label is easily removable and made of recycled paper, even the paint is also 100% recyclable and heavy metal free. Outside of the packaging, is the wine good will you ask? 

Well… it is definitely very enjoyable and dry compared to all the sweet Chenin from South Africa out there, which is a characteristic that I enjoyed (tired of this sweet Chenin that taste like nothing). Think about simple outings, like BBQ with friends, a nice day on the beach, light and fresh food… easy going, nothing too complex, it is made for relaxing time and nothing else to think about….     

2014 Anthonij Rupert “Protea” Red Cabernet Sauvignon Franschhoek Valley South Africa

About 4 EUR, 4.5 USD or 36 HKD a bottle

Like the Chenin Blanc above, nice and easy going, juicy and approachable, maybe somewhat slightly less appealing to my palate, but I rather let you judge it for yourself.   


Anthonij Rupert Wines Tasting -
2014 Cape of Good Hope Chardonnay Serruria
March 31st 2017 at Dynasty Garden Restaurant Kowloon Bay Hong Kong
LeDomduVin ©

2014 Anthonij Rupert Cape of Good Hope Chardonnay “Serruria” Elandskloof Overberg South Africa

About 11.5 EUR, 12 USD or 102 HKD a bottle

For a wine that has spent 11 months ageing on his lees after being fermented partly in stainless steel tanks and partly in old French oak barrels and old wooden vats, one will immediately notice that it is not overly rich or marked by the oak at all, it is rather fresh and zesty, almost shy for my palate. Planted on the slopes of the Stettyn mountains (outside Villiersdorp), between 700 and 900 meters above sea level, the location of the vines, conferred to this wine its freshness and minerality, somewhat reminiscent of a Chablis, rather than the usually expected ultra extracted, heavy and woody new world chardonnays.


Anthonij Rupert Wines Tasting - 
2012 Optima Bordeaux Blend
March 31st 2017 at Dynasty Garden Restaurant Kowloon Bay Hong Kong
LeDomduVin ©

2012 Anthonij Rupert “Optima” Franschhoek Valley South Africa

About 20 EUR, 26 USD or 200 HKD a bottle

A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc, this appealing wine is quite reminiscent of a Bordeaux wine, Medoc more particularly. Even the label and overall packaging, similar to Chateau Lafite Rothschild, could make it pass for a classic Bordeaux bottle in the middle of a shelf at your favorite wine store. Red and black berry on the nose, earthy and oaky notes and spicy nuances. The palate is quite rich and ripe, yet balanced by a nice amount of acidity, complex and harmonious with blacker berry fruits and spices than on the nose. The finish is polished and textured, quite long with integrated refined tannins.  A very nice surprise overall at 20 bucks. I had no real expectation at first but it really boasted some attractive features that called for another glass.        

Thank you Alec Louw for letting us taste and discover your wines, and Thanks to you and Melody for choosing to come in our comapny Chinese Restaurant Dynasty that day.

Cheers!!!

LeDomduVin  a.k.a Dominique Noël


Read more about Anthonij Rupert Wines on their website at www.rupertwines.com

#rupertwines #anthonijrupertwines #proteawines #southafricanwines #cheninblanc #chardonnay #cabernetsauvignon #bordeauxblend #helixcork #amorin

1 comment:

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