Thursday, November 09, 2017

Aristea wines Launch at Welgemeend

An Adventure with Friends
Matthew Krone has been beavering away for the last few years making his own wines. We were invited with other members of the media and the wine industry, to the launch to taste two of them and to meet his partners in this venture called Aristea at Welgemeend Manor House in Gardens, Cape Town
The partners are Martin Krajewski (wine industry legend from the UK, who also owns vineyards in St Emilion and Pomerol) and Florent Dumeau (renowned Bordeaux winemaker and wine consultant). He told us that they are 'three wine friends' from the UK, France and South Africa, who each already have their own wine brands / wine ventures and many years of accumulated winemaking experience. When he discovered that both partners were going to be in South Africa at the same time, he decided that this was the perfect time to launch two of the wines here. To learn more about the partners and the wines visit https://www.aristeawines.com/
Welgemeend, whose name means well intentioned, is one of the few surviving historic farmhouses in the Gardens area of central Cape Town. It was built on four morgen of land which were granted by the VOC to Andries de Man in 1693 to farm on. It now houses the Boerneef Collection of South African art. A Pierneef exhibition will be held there in the coming months. It is a lovely traditional house with good grounds, now also used as a functions venue
Staff waiting to pour us some Alexandra MCC, one of Matthew’s own wines
These are the wines we were there to taste.
Matthew’s brother, event organiser Luke Krone, arranged the function. Here he is with Winnie Bowman, Cape Wine Master
Matthew with Maryna Calow of Wines of South Africa
The current exhibition is 'Abstraction - South African art from the 50's to the 70's' and is on every wall. The main Boerneef Collection is considered to be one of the most comprehensive and best representative collection of early South African Art
We gathered on the terrace
Matthew about to give his speech
He introduced partners Martin Krajewski (R) and Florent Dumeau (L)
Martin spoke very amusingly about how the wine came about. He wanted to make excellent wine in South Africa and so did Florent; they knew Matthew and how good a winemaker he was. They wanted to make the finest wines possible from Cape grapes, wines that show their long years of combined experience in the wine industry. So far they have released a Chardonnay and a Cabernet Sauvignon. Both are produced using the highest quality fruit from leading growers in Stellenbosch.
It was a very muggy evening and then, suddenly, the wind whipped up, thunder rumbled and this amazing storm swept across the city, rather like a sandstorm does. We all fled inside and it began to rain
These are the bottles. The Cabernet also comes in a magnum. Time to taste and we must say we were very impressed. They will make about 5000 bottles of each wine a year
First the Chardonnay. It is very Burgundian in style, with a little African sun added. Light wood is present but will soften; a subtle nose with a little stone fruit. The wine has a lovely silky mouth feel and flavours of limes, white peaches, butter and toast with a touch of marmalade on the finish. So good to drink
The Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 has a tight incense wood nose, rather French in style, perfumed with violets, cassis and mulberries. Also soft and silky, rounded with a dash of spice, dark cherries, blackberries, some warmth and then dark salty liquorice. Drinking beautifully now, with good aging potential
The labels are designed by botanical watercolourist Vicky Thomas. The blue spike of flowers on the labels is the Aristea - a flower that blooms in the Cape and Madagascar only after fine and devastation and for just one day. She is in the centre of the picture in the floral dress
Chef for the evening was a friend of Matthew’s from Johannesburg, Johan Waal. He served us vegetarian samosas and small squares of rich chocolate marquise,
there were also good oysters
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