At the launch of the 2011 Best Value Wine Guide at Joostenberg none other than Christian Eedes shoved a glass of Koelenbosch Sangiovese 2009 over to me.
“Taste that!”, he commanded, “It’s superb!”
I did, and it was. And only R28 per bottle.
“But Christian”, I said, “It’s only R28 per bottle, isn’t it making you ill?”
I was worried for him, very worried.
He waved his hand gallantly, “I suffer for my art”, he said, staring into the distance, his eyes getting misty.
What a man.
A few minutes later he leaned over to me. ” Pssst”, whispered conspiratorially, ” Koelenbosh is only next door to here”.
What a gentleman.
So I snuck off, quietly driving away, and a few minutes later found myself chatting to Erika Van Zyl, the winemaker at Koelenbosch, who is responsible for this wine.
“It’s my baby” she said, as she only works with this Italian varietal.
We had another glass or two together. She talked me through her passion; fruity and easy to drink, it displays layers of strawberry, soft oak and cherry. Unbelievable at R28.
It is terrific with pizza, pasta and it’s magic with any food with tomato in it.
“It’s not a complex wine, but I’m very proud of it. I believe the personality of the winemaker shows through in the wine. We are only one of 6 wineries making a straight Sangiovese wine. It’s a difficult grape to grow and it needs a huge amount of attention, especially in the fermentation process”.
Erika, 30 years of age, has been making wine since the age of 23.
I bet she will.
The 2011 Best Value Wine Guide comes free with the November edition of Wine Magazine.
A great guide, all the wines in it are priced at under R60.