Yesterday was spent writing introductions for the 2011 edition of Platter’s including that for Calitzdorp winery Axe Hill now owned by Johannesburg businessman Mike Neebe but originally founded by the late Tony Mossop, Cape Wine Master and renowned wine commentator. Mossop was panel chairman at WINE magazine when I started out there, and a big influence on me as a rookie taster. He never minded if I was out of synch with my colleagues as long as I was able to account for my position, which he always made me do.
In the evening, supper with my mum and two great bottles from my late dad’s cellar. First Stellenzicht Sémillon Reserve 2003. The colour was tending to brown, while on the nose and palate intense red apple, a hint of spice in addition to attractive developed notes. It had wonderful texture, broad and smooth, the acidity gentle but not inadequate. A wine at an esoteric stage of its life but certainly not dead.
Then Boekenhoutskloof Syrah 2001,which came across extraordinarily youthful for a wine nine years after vintage. The nose showed red beries, pepper and a floral fragrance (I often suspect Boekenhoutskloof of containing Viognier when tasted blind but winemaker Marc Kent assures me that this is not the case). The palate showed optimally ripe fruit, bright acidity and fine tannins. In a previous post, I thought the 1999 vintage was in decline. Does two years make such a big difference or was the particular bottle of the 1999 not as good as it could have been?
Anyway, I raised a silent toast to Harold, my old man for having such decent kit in the cellar. He began WINE magazine back in 1993 and he and Mossop were good mates. They were elder statesmen of the industry, who loved wine for wine’s sake and I miss them.