Noble Wines without the Rot
Experience 3.5 Franschhoek Wine 3.5

Noble Wines without the Rot

NOBLE HILL WINE ESTATE
Sunday 19 March 2017
http://www.noblehill.com/

Experience: 3.5/5
Wines: 3.5/5

Noble Hill was another estate I had not heard of or whose wine I had ever drunk. I was in the Paarl wine district, it was open for tasting on Sunday, and so I visited. The oak-lined drive guided me to a shady car park. A set of steps led up to the small Tasting Room beside the Latin-inspired, airy Cosecha (meaning ‘harvest’) restaurant. Though late afternoon, the restaurant was still busy but the Tasting Room was less so. The owner’s 2 large ridgeback dogs roamed the room together with a small but still sizeable puppy.

Noble Hill is a boutique wine estate with 30 hectares under vine with a mix of red and white cultivars. There are over 600 olive trees too, of 4 varieties, that are used to produce the Virgin Territory brand olive oil. I was hungry and so I ordered a cheese board before tasting. It came promptly and contained generous portions of tasty blue and Languedoc cheese.

My tasting host was Francina (R40 for 5 wines). Two glasses of white wine were poured ‘blind’ for starters. This gave me a further chance today, having visited Anura Vineyards beforehand, to practice my Cape Wine Academy learning from the Certificate Course. There’s so much detail to think about and write down. The structured tasting analysis helped me to identify a lightly oaked Chardonnay and a Sauvignon Blanc.

Francina told me the owners were from California. I asked how often she saw them and she told me that they are there often. I was lucky to meet the owner, Kathleen. She was friendly and full of smiles. I love to meet vineyard owners and wine makers. I am increasingly conscious that there is as much a story about vineyard owners as there is about their vines and wines.

Kathleen told me that she and her winemaker son bought the farm some 20 years ago. The Tasting Room has been expanded and the restaurant built. The setting is magnificent with a shady lawn leading to a dam. Picnic baskets can be bought to share on the lawn. Kathleen explained how she wanted a Californian ambiance for the Tasting Room. I liked the casual, modern uncluttered style that would not look out of place in a family home.

The cellar was at the back of the Tasting Room and Kathleen kindly showed me around. It was quieter now, she said, with harvesting complete and the new vintages in production. Her wines are sold in equal amounts in South Africa and for export.

I returned to taste 3 red wines. Each one was slightly different in their characteristics and a challenge to assess and to identify the grape cultivar. These were undemanding wines for easy drinking at home, with or without a meal. I preferred the Cabernet Sauvignon to the Merlot, both of which I correctly picked out. The Estate Reserve Bordeaux blend was fruity and with mild spice, with medium-body and with moderate tannin wet grippy tannin. I thought it was a Shiraz but it was the end of a testing tasting day. By the way, the little green pots are spittoons!

I sampled the Mouvèdre Rosé as an extra to finish. I didn’t buy any wines, rare for me, but that was because I had spent enough on wine recently rather than for any other reason. I left contented and wondering what the story was about the logo of the old keys. I read after that these were found in a box when the farm was bought. They proved of little use to open any of the buildings or gates – but have found a noble home to belong to now.

Wines tasted (bought *):

White:

2015 Chardonnay – R125 FAVOURITE WINE
2016 Sauvignon Blanc – R89

Rosé:

2016 Mouvèdre Rosé – R105

Red:

2013 Merlot – R135
2013 Cabernet Sauvignon – R135
2015 Syrah – R105
2013 Estate Reserve (59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot) – R80

You Might Also Like

Elegant Wines Kiss the Lips in the Vineyard

Tram-Way to Heaven in Franschhoek

Libby Would not have been Proud of Linton Park

Honest, Affordable Family Wines at Landskroon

Family Fun in Pairs at Four Cousins

Kept Alone at Kaapzicht

All Green at Villiera

View from the E-Skaap-ment

Where’s the Grande in Provence?

Decent Wines Rock from the Pulpit

The Italian Collection at the Vineyard

Oh-MG at Anthonij Rupert

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

Yanky Doodle Dave Didn’t Bring all the Wines

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

Dis-gorgeous at Weltevrede

Pinotage Hits a Purple Patch in Paarl

Sublime Sauvignon Blanc Makes up for Variable Bloemendal

Wagons to the Cellar at Waboomsrivier

Surprisingly Good – and Not Only for the Red Bus Tourists

Wines from the Orchards at Le Pommier

Bracing Brakes on the Red Wines at Remhoogte

Hope Brought to the Vineyard

Busy, Bubbly, Noisy Wonderfontein

Becoming Ship-Shape at La Couronne

Scary Jan Harmsgat Delivers Elegant Wines

Bartinney Clings to the Mountain

Eq-wine – Fine Wines and Fast Horses!

Haven Rather than Heaven at La Bri

Style or Substance? Nitida left Me Wondering

An Early Start at Rietvallei

Old Oaks at La Bourgogne

Nala Wines are Well Engineered in the Vineyard

Wine Notes Composed at D’Aria

Late at Lateganskop

Proudly Keeping it in the Family at Paul Cluver – or Not?

Malverne Dis-Clos-ed

Leaping to the Right Conclusions

Allez les Boks – Pas les Bleues!

Boutique de Brendel

Simple Spier

Relaxing Rosendal

All is Not Lost in a Safe Port

Woody Wildekrans

Quality Abounds on the Mound at La Motte

Le Lude Left Me Feeling Flat

Pick n Taste Time at Stellenbosch

Rijk Tulbagh Gives Name to Cellar and Town

Only One JC Le Roux Wine Sparkled and Scintilla-ted

Purring at the Wines in Tyger Valley

Colmant Sparkled

Baby Thrown Out with the Bath Water?

Summer Whites …… and Rosés

Hand at Work Handiwork at Boschrivier Wines

At the Bend in the Road in Bot River

Sylvan Vale Wines Good for a Meeting or an Eating

Judge and be Judged!

Morgenhof in the Morning

The Cut ‘n’ Paste Stellenbosch Wine Festival Comes to Cape Town

Wheels Turn Full ‘Cycle’ at Meerendal

Try as I Could I Did not Find Waterkloof Wines Dynamic

Bushmanspad Gave Me the Weirdest Tasting Ever

Intimate, Tranquil and Refined

Sip Sip Sip and Drip Drip Drip at Domaine des Dieux

Franschhoek’s Hidden Gem Is Reluctant to Reveal

Com-fort-able Wines at Fort Simon

Tasting Vines at the Vineyard

Wines That Don’t Cost The Earth

River Grandeur at Viljoensdrift

A Lekker Jol at Wandsbeck

More-ish Wines at Môreson

Wine on the Slopes at Chamonix

Superb Views of Guardian Peak

Peter Falke Didn’t Knock my Socks Off

iWine rather than IMAX at the Cape Gate Mall

More Plaisir at de Merle Please!

Champagne and Brandies left Me Disappointed

Hope Lies High in the Valley

Graham Beck MCCs Fizzled Out

Heaven and Earth Create a Costly Pairing

Blush-endal!

There’s No Gun Smoke Without Wine

Rickety Tram Passengers at Rickety Bridge

One Day, Three Tastings, Five Wines and Seven Sisters

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

Slave to the Rhythm at Solms-Delta

Laibach Shows its Spots

House Wine from the Wine Tram

2018 Wacky Wine Ends at Le Roux & Fourie

Vrede en Lust Struggled to Reveal it’s Delight

In the Highlands in the Lowlands of Elgin

Horsepower in the Vineyard

Swallowing Fine Wines at Paserene

A Quando-ary: When to Drink …?

A Kleine Experience at Zalze

Mulderbosch didn’t quite Meet the Yardstick

1 Comments

  1. Le Lude Left Me Feeling Flat – Cape Wine Lovers' Society

    […] weekend that included a day on the Wine Tram: Anura, Glen Carlou, Backsberg, Babylonstoren, Noble Hill, Vrede en Lust, Plaisir de Merle, Allée Bleu, Boschendal, Solms-Delta, Anthonij Rupert, Paserene, […]

Leave a Reply

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