OMGD South Africa Wine Tasting
Knysna, December 1, 2019
The annual Échanson Honoraire's tasting
" Exploring the wines generated many personal impressions and appreciation "

The 12th annual tasting in the private cellar of Échanson Honoraire George Parkes focused on Rioja wines and their ilk. Comparing the many wines gave the eight attendees interesting perceptions on the direction in the image of red wines in our own country.

Attending were Échanson Honoraire George Parkes (host), Bailli Honoraire Jan Johnson and Peter Bishop who brought the wines. Chef de Table Ilse van Staden, Bailli Honoraire Niel Els of Turnberry Hotel in Oudtshoorn, Vice-Conseiller Culinaire Denise Lindley and the Mossel Bay couple of Dr Paul (Chevalier) and Dame de la Chaîne Annalie Kruger brought the various dishes that were enjoyed between the flights of wines and afterwards on George’s veranda.

A preliminary brochure was prepared by Peter Bishop providing maps of the Spanish wine regions, in particular Rioja. It was in 1991 that Rioja became the first of the delimited wine-producing regions in Spain to be awarded the DOCa (Denominación de Origen Calificada) status. To set the scene for the group the principal requirements of the regulations were detailed.

The wines were served in definable categories.

We opened with two Grenache Blanc, a Grenache Rosé and a blend of Melvasia Rey with Verdelho (which unfortunately was out of condition from its storage and not the producer’s fault).

The second flight offered entry-level Rioja reds that proved decidedly ‘pleasant plus’. The third flight exposed us to the Reservas - a minimum of 3 years before release, a minimum of one year in oak and six months in the bottle.

Six wines remained - all South African - four Tempranillo, a Grenache and a corked bottle that had its label covered by the mantle of charity.

The last wine at the tasting was a favourite of George. Vriesenhof Grenache 2013 made by Dr Jan ‘Boland’ Coetzee won the ‘Tri-Nations’ tasting between Australia, New Zealand and South Africa in 2015.

Exploring the wines generated many personal impressions and appreciation. Doing it amongst like-minded friends with the opportunity to converse and “break bread” made for another wonderful Chaîne-inspired occasion.

Adapted from an extensive report prepared by Peter Bishop

To view the details of the wines and comments thereon please click this link: tasting notes