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Valley News

Zandvliet

Zandvliet

        Zandvliet Wine Estate offers consumers the opportunity to cellar purchased wine in the rediscovered Muscat tanks   Cellar your most recent investment in our rediscovered muscat tanks.   Cellaring includes Receiving, handling and documentation. Cataloguing and barcoding of full cases. All wines stored require cataloguing for precise administration and tracking. A...
RWV

RWV

              VERITAS VICTORS IMPRESS AT THE ANNUAL GALA AWARDS Robertson Wine Valley cellars score well with Double gold and Gold By Myrna Robins on behalf of Robertson Wine Valley   As the competition season for 2017 draws to a close, the formal gala dinner at the Cape Town Convention Centre saw the Veritas Awards being presented for market-ready wines and brandies.    Robertson Wine...
Rooiberg Winery

Rooiberg Winery

        Rooiberg Winery receives Award of Excellence at the Inaugural Pinotage Rosé Competition Rooiberg Winery has received an Award of Excellence from the Pinotage​ Association at the Inaugural Pinotage Rosé Competition, which forms part of the ABSA Perold Cape Blend Competition. In doing so, Rooiberg has been named one of the top three producers of Pinotage Rosé in South...
Marbrin Olives

Marbrin Olives

        Marbrin Olive Growers recognized as one of South Africa's top ten olive oil producers   Absa has recognised ten exceptional extra virgin olive oils in the Absa Top 10 Olive Oil competition and Marbrin Olive Growers were amongst the top 10.    Below is an official press release from the SA Olive Industry Association about the 2017 Absa Top 10 Olive Oil competition:   A...
RWV

RWV

          ROBERTSON VALLEY RECORDS STELLAR SUCCESS Making its mark with Michelangelo’s International awards   By Myrna Robins   The results of the 21st Michelangelo International Wine & Spirit Awards for 2017 were announced at a glamorous function at the Tsogo Sun hotel in Cape Town on Friday September 29.     Members of Robertson Wine Valley scored substantially, amassing an...
RWV

RWV

  Wines from the Robertson Wine Valley scores highly in Tim Atkin’s 2017 South Africa Special Report By Alet du Toit   Tim Atkin, known globally as a Master of Wine (accredited by The Institute of Masters of Wine, UK) and one of the most highly esteemed wine journalists and critics in the world, released his much anticipated 2017 South Africa Special Report, now in its...
RWV

RWV

    Robertson Wine Valley wines excel at the 2017 Vitis Vinifera Awards By Alet du Toit     The Robertson Wine Valley have been showing off their Midas touch at this year’s Vitis Vinifera Awards, obtaining an impressive nineteen Gold Awards for their outstanding wines.   The annual Vitis Vinifera Awards, now running in its fifth year, ran over two days and comprised of a...
RWV

RWV

      Robertson Wine Valley toasts to success at the 2017 Amorim Cap Classique Challenge By Alet du Toit   The recently released results of the prestigious Amorim Cap Classique Challenge, has got the Robertson Wine Valley bubbling with pride. The Robertson Wine Valley deservedly walked away with a class winner in the Museum Class, two Gold Awards and nine Silver Awards. The...
Graham Beck

Graham Beck

    Graham Beck’s Cuvée Clive selected by Tim Atkin as his Sparkling Wine of the Year By Graham Beck Wines   We are delighted to announce that the Cuvée Clive 2011 was selected as Overall Sparkling Wine of the Year (97 points) by Tim Atkin, award-winning British journalist and Master of Wine, in his South Africa 2017 Special Report.   This well respected comprehensive...
SA Olive Awards

SA Olive Awards

        Marbrin Olive Growers excelled at the SA Olive Awards - The 2017 Harvest Champions, obtaining the below results:   Gold Marbrin Farm Mabrin Olive Growers Directors Reserve EVOO Intense Silver Marbrin Farm Marbrin Olive Growers Delicate EVOO Delicate       Below is an official press release from the SA Olive Industry Association about this year's awards: SA Olive Awards -...
RWV

RWV

      And the Pon van Zyl award goes to.... By Beatrix Galloway The Pon van Zyl trophy has a rich history and also handed over at this prestige awards ceremony. In 1941, Giepie Rossouw and Alwyn Bruwer convinced a number of other Robertson Valley growers to form a winery in which all families would own a share. Pon van Zyl served as Robertson Winery’s first winemaker and took...
ROSÉ ROCKS

ROSÉ ROCKS

            ROBERTSON WINE VALLEY RISES AT ROSÉ ROCKS   Three of Robertson Wine Valley producers had double the fun at this year’s Rosé Rocks competition, each scooping Double Golds for their respective entries.   By Alet du Toit   This annual, highly anticipated competition has become an icon in the South African wine industry and is South Africa’s first dedicated Rosé wine...
Gold Wine Awards

Gold Wine Awards

      Robertson Wine Valley strikes it rich with the Gold Awards   Seven  Wine Valley cellars amass a glittering array of awards By Myrna Robins   In this professionally organised competition excellent wines selling at less than R110 a 750ml bottle are identified, judged and those delivering fine quality within the price limit  are rewarded. Along with the prestige gained by...
Bonnievale Wines

Bonnievale Wines

Bonnievale Wines Welcomes Two New Winemakers By Bonnievale Wines    Bonnievale Wines have appointment two new, talented winemakers onto their team - Jean Slabber and Izak de Vries. Slabber obtained his BSC Agri - Degree at the university of Stellenbosch in 2012 and joined Arabella wines as an assistant winemaker. Slabber was previously employed at Montagu Winery until...
Rietvallei Estate

Rietvallei Estate

Rietvallei Releases Two New Signature Estate wines   By Rietvallei Estate   Rietvallei is thrilled to announce that two of its signature estate wines are now available in their respective new vintages.   The Rietvallei Sauvignon Blanc 2017 is excitingly fruity, the nose reveals passion fruit and grapefruit, freshly cut grass and a touch of capsicum. This wine pairs...

 

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Mont Blois revived: A good sign of progress in Robertson

June 12, 2017, By Tim James
 
A remarkable number of the Cape’s top wines in the last decade or so come from vineyards that previously fed the producer cellars’ vast blending tanks. Go back a bit further and the same thing is true of more wines, and of many entire estates. Such change is certainly one of the most important indicators of national progress in winemaking – especially given the far too heavy preponderance of cooperative cellars in South Africa.
 
How much more potentially brilliant wine is getting lost in the bulk wines getting turned out in such vast, dispiriting and cheap volumes? Little by little we’re finding out; but slowly, and there’s a very long way to go.
 
 
Nina-Mari Bruwer with her wines
Nina-Mari Bruwer of Mont Blois in Robertson is, happily, doing her bit. Some oldsters might remember a Mont Blois muscadel – joined for a mere few years from 1989 by a chardonnay and a “blanc fumé” sauvignon blanc. But for a long time now the fruit off Mont Blois’s three farms has gone elsewhere, as bulk wine or grapes – although at least some has been delivered to a few smart addresses for making both sparkling and still wines under well-known labels. On the whole, in fact, Robertson (along with the rest of the Breede River Valley) has made little in the way of a new contribution to the revolution in Cape wine this century – with Lourens van der Westhuizen’s Arendsig one honourable exception, and I think Lourens’s example and influence is starting to have an effect.
 
Nina-Mari is married to Ernst Bruwer, the sixth generation of his family to own Mont Blois; she’s been there nine years now, and for a brief while was involved in making bulk wine at the farm. She’s both a qualified winemaker and a Cape Wine Master, and this situation wasn’t enough for her. Many decades’ experience have revealed the “pockets of greatness” on the farm, as she points out, which helped her project. Some rows of vines were set aside for her (“and received TLC to the extreme”), and she got a corner of the cellar in which to work. “Our winery was built in 1884”, she says. “It’s big and nothing special to see. The part I make my wines in is very primitive – back to basics I would say.”
 
Now Nina-Mari has just released her maiden vintage, under the revived Mont Blois label (dormant for nearly 30 years) – and they are something of a revelation of possibility.
 
There are two 2016 chardonnays named for their different vineyard origins – all Nina-Mari’s bottlings are registered as estate wines and single vineyards. Kweekkamp is off limestone soil. It’s ripe and fairly rich, but clean and fresh with notes of red and yellow citrus (rather than lime, say), with a bright integrated acidity giving an important element of leaner elegance amongst the tight-packed fruit. Intense and long, and impressive. Fermentation was half inoculated, half spontaneous (the 2017 was all natural ferment).
 
Hoog en Laag Chardonnay was made in the same way, but is off red Karoo clay soil, and has a different character entirely – less citrusy, more nuts (almond marzipan), white peach, spice; a little more exuberantly obvious in its appeal but I thought its acidity a touch less well integrated (unlike Kweekkamp, a little acidification was needed here) – at least at this stage; these chards both have a good few years of development ahead of them I should say.
 
Interestingly, and inexplicably to me or to Nina-Mari, both are quite golden in colour, usually suggesting either oxidative ageing or new oak; in fact they were just a year in second- and third-fill barrels.
 
The third wine is a chenin, made in a very similar way: Groot Steen (the name of the 30-year-old vineyard on alluvial soil). Its most enticingly aromatic, with layours of aromas and flavours and its easy to find such things as spice, apricot, quince…. Again rich and ripe but balanced and fresh. A really attractive wine.
 
These whites are by no means cheap at around R295, but the quality is there (signalled by being individually packed in wooden boxes). Chenin is a more competitive market, of course, but especially the chardonnays are fair enough value these days.
 
 
Where the planned tasting room will be at Mont Blois
No reds – yet, but a 2016 from pinotage and cabernet is still in barrel. There had to be a muscadel, however, and in fact there are two, also 2016s, also with single vineyard origins (about R240 per 500 ml bottle). They’re both on the lighter-feeling side of muscadel, clean and uncloying and even with nicely dry finishes; both delightfully silky. I confess I haven’t had much trouble in lowering the levels of my bottles over some winter evenings, though I’m not an inveterate muscadel fancier. Harpie – from a harp-shaped block which is often misty and comparatively cool – has floral, litchi and mint humbug notes, compared to the burnt orange and marmalade that, for me, characterised the Pomphuis.
 
So – a very welcome return from Mont Blois. It’s very good to see some more high quality wines emerging from Robertson, and Nina-Mari Bruwer is full of keenness to build the brand that she’s made such a fine debut with. Lots of plans – including a dry muscat (oh, I do hope so, especially having recently enjoyed the utterly winning version that Adi Badenhorst made for the CWG Auction a year or two back). New plantings include grenache blanc and chenin bushvines – apparently the only bushvines in Robertson. And, says Nina-Mari, “we are restoring two old potstills, which used to stand on our stoep …. We hope to distill our own spirits to fortify with in future and even make some brandy. Who knows.  Possibilities are endless.”
 
I look forward to seeing more of Mont Blois’s possibilities realised.
 
I don’t think the Mont Blois wines are yet available by retail, but there are contact and order details on the website, if you want to make an enquiry.

 

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Lelienfontein

russel hobbs 10 2017