Oldenburg Cabernet Franc 2009
Nestled amongst the Jonkershoek and Franschhoek mountain ranges in the beautiful Banghoek Valley you will find the home of Oldenburg Vineyards. The recently completed Cellar Door building houses their tasting room, vinoteque and offices which were designed by Cape Town architect Simon Beerstecher (the architect responsible for the equally dramatic and beautiful makeovers of Glen Carlou and Rustenberg). Although a modern building, it harmonizes well to its natural surroundings and African heritage, with a combination of wooden beams forming a central apex for the thatched roof and intricate lighting design illuminating the entrance pathway of trees, elegant fountain and large ceramic planters.
Oldenburg’s owner, Adrian Vanderspuy’s, life took a full circle when in 2003 he purchased Oldenburg farm, which is the neighbouring farm to the farm he was born on! Despite spending most of his childhood overseas his parents brought him back regularly where they spent many happy holidays on the family farm. With the wonderful memories of his times spent here he returned in 2000 and, recognizing the potential in the new South Africa, he bought the Oldenburg farm.
Adrian immediately set to work and had the soils analysed which came back with excellent results for the potential of growing outstanding quality grapes. He removed all the old vineyards as they were in poor condition after years of neglect and replanted with both red and white cultivars. Adrian’s aim was to establish Oldenburg as a premium boutique producer and to assist him with his vision he employed viticulturist and winemaker, Simon Thompson in 2004.
“The geography, the soil and the climate all point to the possibility to make extraordinary wines. Here we have everything we need from nature, to make the best wines” commented Simon. He adds that the philosophy is to tread as lightly as possible and to craft wines with minimal intervention. “We strive to interact with nature in a sustainable manner”.
Oldenburg wines, which were first released in 2007, are made only with grapes grown on the estate and the range includes three red wines and two white wines. I was introduced to Oldenburg wines at the beginning of last year and was encouraged at how well all five wines expressed their individual cultivars so credibly! These are intricate and complex wines which I believe require food to fully appreciate the individuality of each wine.
So to launch the new vintages a lunch was arranged at Ottimo Cibo where chef and hostess, Nikki Booth, created dishes to complement the wines. I have to say that It’s encouraging to see wineries such as Oldenburg calling on the expertise of talented chefs to create menus around their wines. Wine is generally consumed over a plate of good food along with convivial company whether at home or eating out. Nikki had prepared a feast of Italian dishes including a delicious spread of antipasti which showed off the Oldenburg wines perfectly.
As we are slipping into Autumn I chose the delicious Cabernet Franc 2009 for this week’s wine choice. The wine has deep crimson plum colour with subtle tealeaf and fynbos aromas. The rich full bodied palate has ripe chewy tannins and flavours of cherry, cigar box and cedarwood. The balanced acid creates a firm finish that is complemented by a lingering savouriness.
Expect to pay R179.50