Elegantly Elgin

Friday, 16 November, 2012
Shante Hutton, wine.co.za
Lothian Vineyards was the heavenly setting for an elegantly ascribed master tasting with Catherine Marshall.
The Master Class was held in a celebration of the newly launched Elgin Wine Route as a means to promote and highlight the divine wines and potential of the region as a major wine and lifestyle destination.

Elgin features 9 major soil types and 43 grape growers with a climate that is conducive to Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. As the vineyards are located some 300 meters above sea level, ripening happens at a much slower pace which thus helps to broaden the spectrum of flavours resulting in rich, defined wines full of character and appeal. As their website states, ‘Elgin is proof that all good things require a little patience’.

The master class was a definite eye opener and successfully birthed a delight in the visually stunning landscape and the care, personality and dedication that Elgin winemakers give to their wines.

Seated at a large glass table with views overlooking the vineyard dam, we were treated to 5 flights of 4 wines transitioning seamlessly from white to red. Catherine Marshall, regarded as one of South Africa’s top wine makers, was our guide and her passion was infectious. She talked us through the tasting notes, her own personal thoughts on each wine and the diversity of each farm and wine maker.

Lunch was served as a gourmet tapas buffet and an exploration of the house was offered which can be hired out for up to 16 people and comes with Jet skis, helipad and massage room.

The wines that stood out:

William Everson Chardonnay 2010: I’m a fan of wines that instill memories and have distinct flavours and scents and this Chardonnay gave you beeswax, potpourri, nutmeg, jasmine and apples. To me, it was like smelling and tasting a quintessential English summer.

Winter’s Drift Pinot Noir 2011: Reminiscent of a smoke house or the last few wisps of a dying braai fire with a slight weathered leather and rye bread taste.

Hannay Cabernet Franc 2011: Cathy has a strong belief that the Elgin region is perfect for growing Cabernet Franc and eagerly presented this wine. It was a little young with a very sharp sherbet kick to make you sit up as well as Cola on the nose and apple acid on the tongue.

South Hill Cabernet Sauvignon 2010:
A very easy and approachable wine with more fruit than oak drama. The usual characteristics of eucalyptus, blackberries coupled with fresh tobacco. The tannins were a bit grippy which means it’s got potential to age well.

The next Master Class will be focusing on Sauvignon Blancs from the region and I eagerly await another breathtaking day.