Mulderbosch Steen op Hout 2011
Founded in 1989, Mulderbosch first entered the wine scene with their superb wooded Blanc Fume 1991(Sauvignon Blanc) and a year later with an unwooded 1992 Sauvignon Blanc , adding to other successful wineries at this point of time producing this variety like Thelema and Klein Constantia. The brand Mulderbosch, with the enthusiasm of original owner, Larry Jacobs, and cellarmaster Mike Dobrovic (later to be known as Mr Sauvignon Blanc SA), became widely recognized as one of South Africa’s finest wine producers attaining great commercial success. They earned top ratings both locally and internationally especially in Germany and the United States where their Sauvignon Blanc was often thought of as the finest in the world!! The distinctive label which has remained with the brand since inception was created and designed by Mike Dobrovic , who found inspiration from a Cuban cigar band!
In 1996 Larry sold the farm to Pretoria based group called Hydro Holdings. Mike stayed on ensuring that none of his hard work and inspiration would disappear from Mulderbosch wines. The new owners were supportive of Mike and added extensions to the existing cellar as well as a new state- of-the-art bottling line. Mike, nonetheless, left Mulderbosch in 2009 to pursue his own interests and his position was taken over at this time by Richard Kershaw.
However last year further changes happened when Mulderbosch was acquired by the California-based investment group Terroir Capital from the Ben Truter Trust. Since this take over Mulderbosch has seen extensive reinvigoration, with infrastructure upgrading, knowledge sharing and new talent. In December 2011, they appointed Adam Mason as their winemaker. Before joining Mulderbosch, Mason had spent eight successful years as winemaker and cellarmaster at Klein Constantia.
As part of the extensive revamp and revitalisation of the estate a new wine tasting venue was built. Aptly named “The Tasting Room” it was designed by Cape Town-based dhk Think Space, the highly acclaimed architectural firm credited with award winning projects such as the Cape Town International Convention Centre, Almenkerk Winery in Elgin and Delaire Graaf Winery and Restaurant outside Stellenbosch, as well as numerous international works.
Created as a destination rather than just another place to pull in and taste wine, The Tasting Room’s atmosphere is simple yet chic, and invites wine and food lovers to lounge and linger. It’s a beautiful place to relax with family and friends over good wine, along with pizzas and cheese platters adding to the experience. Kid-friendly touches are everywhere, from bean bags to comfortable seating areas inside and out. Earthy background colours are accented by warm shades of plum, burgundy and lime, and an occasional splash of red. The Tasting Room extends outside with wooden decking and landscaped areas to relax, play and eat while enjoying the panoramic views of the surrounding vineyards and rolling Stellenbosch Hills, as well as two professional bocce courts, where guests can play the Italian version of boules.
Thin, flatbread-type pizzas with fresh toppings have been carefully selected to complement the range of Mulderbosch wines, and are cooked rustic-style in an outdoor wood-burning oven. Ingredients including buffalo mozzarella, prosciutto, white anchovies and fresh figs help make up these delicious pizzas.
The wine I enjoyed most with the pizzas served at the launch of The Tasting Room was the Mulderbosch Steen op Hout 2011. Steen op Hout which means Chenin on wood was another one of Dobrovic’s creations with the first vintage being the 1996. The 2011 vintage, which has 3% Viognier added to the Chenin, had eighty percent of the wine tank fermented while the remaining twenty percent underwent natural fermentation in barrel. The wines were matured for five months in a combination of new Hungarian and French oak barrels.
The result is a wine with arcacia, honey and winter melon aromas, leading to a tempting silky juicy palate of tropical fruit with a rich sweetness on the finish. It’s very drinkable so be careful not to finish the bottle before sharing a glass or two, and if you have the patience the wine will develop even more complexity after a few years of cellaring!
Buy now from Wine Concepts @ R63.00