A Family Occasion – the Story behind the Bottle
Experience 4.5 Paarl Wine 4.0

A Family Occasion – the Story behind the Bottle


Experience: 4.5/5 (when visited)
Wine: 4/5

Sometimes a bottle of wine has a story behind it. This is the case with the 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot that Afsana chose for our Christmas Day lunch.

Some months ago in early 2016 my partner and I were returning to Cape Town from a day in Wellington and happened upon the Nelson estate. It was a late Saturday afternoon and we decided by chance to see if there was any tasting.

We drove through the impressive white gates and tree-lined drive and parked between the estate buildings on the hill. As we stepped out of the car to get our bearings, a man appeared over the lawns on a BMW trails bike. He introduced himself as Alan Nelson, the owner, and asked us what we were doing.

We asked if we could taste some wines, not knowing that the estate heavily focused on weddings and functions, and that wine tasting was usually by prior appointment. We were in luck, Alan explained. Lisha, his eldest daughter and the estate wine-maker was home. We learned too that all the nelson family members are involved with running of the estate.

We were treated to a most memorable and unique tasting – just us with the wine-maker. I cannot remember each wine we tasted but it included a broad selection from the Nelson’s Creek, Nelson Estate and Lisha Nelson Signature ranges. Our visit was particularly timely as we were to visit the champagne, chablis and Bordeaux regions in France in May. Lisha had recently been to France and so was able to offer many useful tips ahead of our trip.

We left with a bottle of the 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot from the Estate Range. It was at the time one of the most expensive wines we had bought so vowed to leave it until a special occasion.

And so, it was on Christmas Day. The wine was delicious! Full-bodied and deep luscious berry red in colour, it had an aromatic mix of blackcurrant and blackberry with spicy cedar on the nose. The soft, smooth tannins melted in the mouth with a firm aftertaste.

This wine was a perfect match for our turkey and our special family occasion. It was well worth the wait.

Wine tasted:

2009 Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot


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  1. Cabernet Franc – Well Worth a Gamble! – Cape Wine Lovers Society

    […] dry tannins), Hannay Wines (2015, made from 9 barrels, smooth, fruity, medium-purple in colour), Nelson Wine Estate (2008, smooth subtle fruit, soft tannins), Rainbow’s End Limited Release (2015, rounded, medium […]

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