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


You Might Also Like

Fish (and other foods) with Wanda!

Bon Courage and Bon Voyage

PicknPay Pairs it again at the Stellenbosch Wine Festival

Satisfaction in Getting My Ducks (and Wines) in a Row

My Best Blend at Zandvliet

Well Hosted and Enjoyable – Even Though I did not Experience at its Best

Sax ‘n’ Berg at the Vineyard

From the Angel Gabriel to the Arch Angel

Joy at Really Tasting the Difference at Esona

The Vineyard Hotel a Classic Vehicle to Showcase L’Ormarins Wines

Classy, Small and Precious Kleinood

Back to the Future in the Berg of Paarl

Waxing Lyrical about Canto

No Blues at Hillcrest

1 Night, 7 Oaks, 3 Wine Tastings for Visit 2!

Rijk Tulbagh Gives Name to Cellar and Town

Better than a Fair View Where the Goats do Roam!

Bellville to Bellevue to Belle Wines

King Chenin Kens (Knows) the Wood from the Trees

Hout Bay Vineyards – Simply the Best!

Quality Abounds on the Mound at La Motte

Seven Reasons To Visit Seven Oaks Wines

‘Out of the Office’ at Groot Constantia

Baby Thrown Out with the Bath Water?

Boutique de Brendel

Ghostly Clouds Swirl at Spookfontein

It’s all Art and Wine at Almenkerk

Heaven Meets Earth at Bouchard Finlayson

K-eynote W-ines at the V-ineyard

A Myth, a Princess, History and Destruction, 2 Names and 4 Styles – Shiraz with Pizzazz

A Cape Wine Master-class

Verticle Tasting on the Ridge in Elgin

In the Highlands in the Lowlands of Elgin

Peace but No Rest for Rust en Vrede

Wine on the Slopes at Chamonix

Delaire Graff Wines Sparkle

The Gods Come Home to the Vineyard

Rickety Tram Passengers at Rickety Bridge

Nala Wines are Well Engineered in the Vineyard

Maiden Visit to Lord’s Bowled Me Over

Wine Notes Composed at D’Aria

More-ish Wines at Môreson

Golden Wines at the End of the Rainbow

Groot Phesantekraal an Unexpected Surprise!

Individual Quality at Jordan

Windfall Offered Unexpected Delights

Always a Favourite – Guaranteed to Delight

Great Value in the Swartland

Wines Out of the Barrel at Kanonkop

A Cracker and a Stormer at Paul Wallace

Cabernet Franc – Well Worth a Gamble!

God Bless Slaley and All who Drink with Her

Grape Expectations are Met at Zevenwacht

Anysbos a Wine Estate to Look Out For

Franschhoek’s Hidden Gem Is Reluctant to Reveal

Kosie Wynes at Groenland

Posh Spice in Franschhoek!

High Living on the Stoep Sipping Aged, Luscious Red Wines

Rain Meets Earth at Newton Johnson

Same but Different End to the Diploma Lectures

On Yonder Hill There Stands a Vineyard!

Mulderbosch didn’t quite Meet the Yardstick

Well and Truly Oaked!

The Ladies in Red

Swallowing Fine Wines at Paserene

Relaxing Rosendal

Trading Wines in the City Bowl

It’s High Time Again

Virgin Whites Led Me into the Last Temptation

Very Cape Wines at Capaia

Sweet and Safe Times Pair Well with the Whales

Putting Capelands on the Cape Winelands Map!

Lust-ful Reds in the Vineyard

Malverne Dis-Clos-ed

Wines That Don’t Cost The Earth

Morgenhof in the Morning

Real Wines in the Place of God

Simonsig Excellence Today with a Traditional Legacy

The Garagiste in the Garage at Sonklip!

A Sparkling Tasting at Charles Fox

At the Bend in the Road in Bot River

More Still at Tanagra

All is Not Lost in a Safe Port

How Do You Grow a Vineyard Like Maria?

Oh-MG at Anthonij Rupert

Saxenburg Puts Heart, Mind and Soul into Its Wines


No Black Marks at Raka

Where the Lions Roar in the Wild West of Bot Rivier

Serenity without Worry or Preoccupation in the Chapel

Linga-ring in a Winery in Malawi

Fun(ny) Times at Lourensford

Beau-tiful Beau-tique Beau-Constantia

The Phoenix Rises from the Terroir at Thelema

Iconic Steenberg

Colmant Sparkled

Honest, Affordable Family Wines at Landskroon

Masses of Fun and a little Chaos at the Ambeloui Harvest Festival

Idiom Wines Make a Statement

Rustic Charm at the Altydgedacht Wine Farm

Cork and Talk with Dave

Four Partners (not Cousins) at the Vineyard Hotel

Diemersdal has Six Appeal

Magnifico – Grazie Mille Idiom!

Superb De Trafford Worthy of Being My 200th Wine Estate

Englishman Meets Mrs English at Classic Lanzerac



Old Oaks at La Bourgogne

Pastures Anew at Rustenberg

Pinotage Hits a Purple Patch in Paarl

South over the Hills in Elgin

Neil’s Vines on the Tr-Ellis in Stellenbosch

Vista to Verdot at Glen Carlou

I-own-a Wine Farm!

Excelsior Blends Quality with Price

Shiraz Purrs at Manley Wine Lodge

Tasting Vines at the Vineyard

Sip Sip Sip and Drip Drip Drip at Domaine des Dieux

Late at Lateganskop

Family Fun at the Greek Harvest Festival

All Green at Villiera

In the Vineyard with Beyerskloof

Peter Puts into Hermanus

The Darling from Darling Steps into the Vineyard

Where Eagles Care

Grand Wines at the Big Top!

Beyond Expectation

Rivergold is a Gem Waiting to be Discovered

Idiom Puts on a Festival Master Class

The Big Easy Tee’s Off in the Vineyard

Opening the Book at Elgin Vintners

In the Garage in the Heart of McGregor

The Early Bird Catches the Wine

Superb Whites in the Near Dark at Mont Blois

Lemberg Punches Above its Weight

Straw Berry Yields for e-Ver-gelegen

More than Just a Destination

Being Creative at Flagstone

Super Surprises at Super Single Vineyards

Wacky – not Tacky – in Robertson

Wines to Love on Love Street

Sugar and Spice is Twice as Nice

Hearty Food and Wine Brought by the Stork at Hartenberg

Cabsolutely Frankulous at the Carnival

Class in Glass at Glenelly

Blaauwklippen was Good for a Friday

Onderkloof Beats All the Odds Below The Valley

Multi-Faceted Wines on Display at the Vineyard

Red, Red (Spanish) Wine

Barrels of Fun at My First Stellenbosch Street Soirée

Excellent Unstated Wines and Service – Naturally!

Iona Wines Remain Excellent In and At the Vineyard

Elegant Wines Kiss the Lips in the Vineyard

Simple Spier

Elgin Valley is the Cool Wine Tour

Waterf-ord More Ord-inary Than Extra-ord-inary

I Needed to be Guided by the Angel Gabriel

Value for Money from Angel Gabriel in the Vineyard

Ruddy Red and Blanc Sauvignons

Leaping to the Right Conclusions

Marching into France

British Reserve and Excellence at Sumaridge

Red and White Wines with Frog’s ‘Legs’

Latching onto Superb Wines at De Grendel

Red Chair in the Morning

Wines Made to Stand the Taste of Time

Dreaming of a Wine Christmas

Hazendal Fit for a Tsar, a Hare and a God of Wine

Magical Wines Star at Dragonridge


  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 […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *