Newton Johnson Pinot Noir 2009
It’s all about family at the Newton Johnson vineyards in the glorious Hemel en Aarde (Heaven and Earth) Valley outside Hermanus! Father Dave, who is one of South Africa’s first Cape Wine Masters, and mother Felicity (nee Newton), a food and wine fundi, started Newton Johnson Vineyards back in 1996, having been involved in the wine industry since the ‘70’s . They planted their first vines in 1997 as well as building a small winery. In the same year they crushed their first grapes (at that stage being brought in) and bottled their first two wines, a Chardonnay and a red blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Sons, Bevan and Gordon, were on hand to assist with the first crushing and it’s been a true family business ever since!
Today older son, Bevan, is the Managing Director as well as looking after the very important marketing side while Gordon heads up the cellar and winemaking with his lovely wife Nadia. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are their strengths but their Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah/ Mourvedre Blend and White Blend, The Resonance, are all above 4 star status.
Gordon’s love for Pinot Noir has seen him winning accolades for his wines vintage upon vintage and not only for the Newton Johnson Pinot Noirs but for the other farms he consults to as well. To explain more about the background of the making of the Newton Johnson Pinot Noirs the family invited a few pinotfiles to a tutored tasting with food pairing at Harold Bresselschmidt’s Aubergine Restaurant. Gordon explained the origins of the Newton Johnson Pinot Noir and let us taste the three base wines made from sight specific vineyards which go into the final blend of their Pinot Noir: The first wine from the Moya vineyard parcel offered perfumed red berry fruit from closely planted vines in deep, loose soil. The second wine from “Parcel 6” was from the oldest Pinot Noir vineyard on the property and gives intense floral aromatics, delicacy and spice. The last parcel is from vineyards planted on the highest part of the slopes in shallow dense clay. Here the grapes develop thicker skins and the result is a wine with firmer structure, rich with red and black berry fruit. The three wines were paired with Coq au Vin of Quail with porcini mushrooms and pumpkin ravioli and for me the Moya vineyard wine was the ultimate partner.
The second flight was the highlight as we tasted 3 vintages of the Family Vineyards Pinot Noir now knowing from where the wines for each specific vintage come from! The 2008 had savoury rich plum flavours which I found a little subdued but would open with time. The 2010 promises to be a blockbuster with its complex rich black cherry flavour and hints of minty pine it will mature to perfection in years to come.
The vintage for me on the day was the gorgeous 2009. This elegant and balanced wine is full of silky rich black cherry and plum fruit flavour which lingered on the palate well into the long savoury finish! Harold complimented the wine beautifully with his Kingklip set on squid Ink Risotto and beetroot salpicon! Although delicious to enjoy now you can safely cellar this wine for many more years for ultimate enjoyment.
Expect to Pay R210.00