The Wacky Wine Weekend vineyards closed for tasting at 5pm and so it was a rush to get to Weltevrede Estate from Quando Vineyards & Winery. The journey was less than 10 kilometres back across the Breede Rive via Bonnievale and should not have taken long. Highways Department had other ideas for me as, first, there was a detour within Bonnievale and, second, a 10-minute ‘STOP/GO’ to repair the road East of Weltevrede. Nonetheless, it gave time to enjoy the vines in their orange-green winter clothing and the green pastures besides the road.
My reason for visiting the Weltevrede Estate was to disgorge and bottle my own MCC. This was a Wacky Wine event that did not require booking in advance. I expected it to be popular and so wanted to leave enough time at the end of my day to taste some of the wines also. As it turned out, the Tasting Room and sitting out area outside were not as busy as I had anticipated.
I didn’t have to wait my turn to disgorge a bottle (R80, MCC bottle included) of the Philip Jonker MCC, named after cellarmaster son of owner Lourens Jonker. Francois guided me through the many steps as follows:
- Collect the upturned bottle from the glycol tank (to freeze the bottle neck)
- Put on goggles, remove crown cork cap, to leave the ‘plug’ of dead yeast behind in the crown cap
- Dosage – the addition of 10ml wine and sugar solution to top up the bottle
- Put in the sparkling wine cork
- Add the metal cap and wire moussoulet
- Pull wire tight and twist (5½ turns)
- Wash the bottle
- Dry the washed bottle
- Add the foil to the bottle top and compress flat in 2 stages
- Label the bottle back, front and neck
- Write own message on the bottle using a gold marker
The whole process took barely 15 minutes, even while taking many photographs, as was well worthwhile. It was both fun and informative to put into practice the theory I had learned with the Cape Wine Academy.
There was time after to sample some of the Weltevrede wines in the large Tasting Room at the back of the cellar building. I began with the Chardonnay from the 1912 Collection. The ‘1912’ in the name reflects the founding year of the 360 hectare estate (106 hectare under vine) owned by the 4th generation Jonker family. I didn’t like the wine at all. It had simple apple aromas on the nose, with some honey from 8 months maturation in French oak, and was acidic (almost to the point of chemical flavours), tart and unbalanced on the palate.
I selected 3 red wines from the Simplicity Range (R69) with their flavoursome names: CherryChoc Merlot; ChocMint Cabernet Sauvignon; and CigarBox Shiraz. Alas, I didn’t like these wines either and largely due to dry, coarse tannins that overpowered any flavour follow-through to the palate and that stopped any finish, to leave a bitter aftertaste. I struggled too to find the signature flavours. There was a hint of chocolate on the palate from the Merlot and perhaps of mint from the Cabernet Sauvignon. I could not detect cigar box flavours on the Shiraz and would more have expected from a Merlot.
The dessert, Red Muscadel, Oupa se Wyn was by far my favourite wine. The colour was an unusual orange tinge of garnet. Fruity raisin, peach, apricot and grape aromas followed through to floral rose and violet on a sweet, syrupy palate. I bought 2 bottles (375ml).
Weltevrede offered a very mixed tasting. I haven’t tasted the MCC and shall leave at least a year until opening, perhaps longer. The wines were not to my taste. I had been spoiled during the day by far better ones. The Muscadel was enjoyable. My point in going to the estate was to disgorge the MCC and I shall well remember doing so.
Wines tasted (* bought):
2015 Weltevrede 1912 Chardonnay – R89
2015 Weltevrede CherryChoc Merlot – R69
2014 Weltevrede ChocMint Cabernet Sauvignon – R69
2016 Weltevrede CigarBox Shiraz – R69
2015 Weltevrede Oupa se Wyn (375ml) – R69 FAVOURITE WINE