We arrived at Creation wines and made our way to the veranda in the restaurant to commence our speed tasting! Under the careful tutelage of Ethan we got the opportunity of tasting some stunning wines in some of the most beautiful surroundings that we witnessed during our micro trip to the Cape.
The name of this wine farm gives us the hint that the couple behind this place literally “created” something out of nothing. Back in 2002 Jean-Claude (JC) and Carolyn Martin (from the famous Finlayson wine family) took up the challenge of establishing a winery in a remote corner of the Walker Bay Wine Region. The forty hectares of rolling Hemel-en-Aarde hills were a redundant sheep farm and had never seen vines before! With their combined knowledge, skill and tenacity they have transformed them into one of the icons of South African wine making. In 2007 they produced their first vintage but their wines are rivalling some estates that have been around for centuries!
So to the wines…..
First up, 2014 Creation Viognier: This is the only unoaked Viognier made in South Africa. It has a nutty creaminess even though no oak has been used in its production, with a taste of stoned fruits such as peach and apricots this wine is a superb example of this varietal and it’s no small wonder that the 2014 sold out in just four months of release and earns a well deserved 4* rating in Platter 2015 !!
2015 Creation Chardonnay: This was only bottled on 13th November this year, just five days before we tasted it. Buttery and smooth, it spent its first eight months in 30% new woods and 70% 2nd and 3rd fill. If anything it’s citrusy tones are a little in your face but these will definitely mellow with age. In Ethan’s opinion this is going to be one of the best Chardonnay’s that Creation has ever produced.
2014 Creation Pinot Noir: nicely balanced, drinking well now but ageing potential of at least upto 20 years. Lots of cherry-berry fruit!
2013 Creation Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot Bordeaux style blend. Percentages (50%/40%/10% in that order). This has rich mocha flavours which will develop into more rich dark chocolate with ageing!
Having tasted these amazing wines Ethan then went for the close on asking which wines we would like to take away with us. Not being backwards in coming forward, I asked him if apart from the current vintage would JC consider selling any gems from his relatively young wine library (cellar).
Ethan disappeared for a few moments and when he reappeared I couldn’t have been happier! Not only was JC happy with selling some of his bottle aged classics but Ethan was permitted to take me to the fermentation room where these were stored, stacked in vast wooden crates!
As Ethan expertly clambered from one crate to the next with great agility he managed to locate me an extremely rare 2009 Semillon ( no longer made), a 2012 Viognier, 2009 Syrah-Grenache and a 2008 Merlot! I topped this off with 2 bottles of the sensational 2015 Chardonnay vintage and settled up before my avarice got the better of my wallet!
Back in the Merc, Tim, our driver, picked up the pace as we desperately tried to make it to Bientang’s Cave restaurant; we were already nearly an hour late for our midday lunch reservation.
As we hurried down the stone staircase to the restaurant the roar of the Indian Ocean crashing against the rocks was dramatic and enchanting! We made our apologies, having out of courtesy already phoned ahead to advise of our tardiness!
I was so impressed that they still had kept us the best table in the house right next to the Ocean and of course guaranteed themselves a handsome tip at the end of the meal!
It didn’t take us long to order. We are both suckers for seafood and shellfish.
this was followed by …
and a plate of calamari in a light tempura batter!
Delicious in every way you can think of and so fresh you felt like you’d plucked it from the sea yourself!
Their wine list was overwhelming and we eventually decided on a 2014 Bouchard Finalyson Kaaimansgat/Crocodile’s Lair Chardonnay, a brilliant partner to the seafood. This along with Hamiliton Russell has to be one of the Cape’s most revered Chardonnay’s. As we sipped this stellar wine, a subtle balance of light oaking and robust minerality, we both remarked that this had to be one of the greatest lunches that we had ever enjoyed together!
It had the holy trinity of sublime food/wine, superb weather/al fresco eating and a location to die for!
Just when we thought that things couldn’t get any better our waiter brought us the bill. An unbelievable £19 a head!! OMG!! you’d pay that for a bottle of average Aussie Chardonnay in All Bar One! So here we were in a stunning location, eating the finest fruits that Neptune could yield and drinking wines that Bacchus could have pressed himself for less than the price of a One Day Travelcard from Egham to London!!
Look out for Veni, Vidi, Vici, VINO Part 3 coming soon when we get a VIP tasting at the world famous Vergelegen estate and go to a black tie event at a millionaires apartment in Clifton!