At the Bend in the Road in Bot River
Experience 3.5 Walker Bay & Bot River Wine 4.0

At the Bend in the Road in Bot River

PAARDEN KLOOF ESTATE/ECOLOGY WINES
Monday 14 May 2018
https://www.paardenkloof.co.za/

Experience: 3.5/5
Wines: 4/5

My last tasting of the day out to the Bot River vineyards was something of a double header. I visited Paarden Kloof Estate that also bottles wines under a second label called the Ecology Range. Paarden Kloof made for an unusual setting in that tasting of their wines was at the Ecology Lifestyle Farm on the R43 south of Bot River and the N2, towards Kleinmond. The rather quaint venue, partly under construction, was more like a padstal-come-restaurant (open Wednesday to Sunday) offering fresh farm basics, picnic gifts, a tea garden, fresh cut flowers, protea décor and a protea nursery, as well as selling the wines. The Platter’s Guide mentions a petting zoo and jungle gym too but I did not see these.

Paarden Kloof

Vines make up a small part of the 1430 hectare fynbos-rich estate (just 24 hectares grow Sauvignon Blanc, Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz) that lies between the Swart, Gouka and Lieeu Rivers on the slopes of the Babilonstoring Mountain to the South. Paarden Kloof means ‘valley of the horses’ in Dutch which celebrates the time in the 1600s when the valley was used as a veterinary base for the Voortrekker horses. Earlier still, the Khoisan tended their cattle herds on the river banks and traded butter with the European pioneers. Bot River is so named from the Afrikaans word ‘botter’ meaning butter. The Paarden Kloof estate boasts a herd of some 200 Nguni cattle and more than 400 sheep, watched over by their Anatolian shepherd guard dogs.

Paarden Kloof

Daphne was my friendly host for the tasting that included wines from both the Paarden Kloof and Ecology ranges, the latter launched in 2018 primarily for the restaurant. We sat in the covered Restaurant area at the rear of the property with its lovely view over a grassy lawn and trees beyond.

Paarden Kloof

Paarden Kloof

We began with 3 white wines, all Sauvignons Blanc in increasing age and made by different winemakers. The Ecology wine was shiny bright with shy green aromas of line, lemon and beeswax that grew in complexity in the glass. The acidity was fresh to the point of being slightly tart that suggested some added acid or very early picking. I preferred the ‘Bend in the Road’ wine that also was very shiny and bright, to the point of almost being clear in colour. The wine was more forwards on the nose with a good intensity of sweet citrus notes that turned more guava and tropical fruit salad as it warmed. The wine was richer on the palate with a more rounded acidity.

Paarden Kloof

The 2012 Paarden Kloof vintage, ‘Gaiety’, was my favourite of the 3 wines. It had a different fruit profile to the other 2 Sauvignons Blanc, showing warmer tropical flavours of litchi, guava, pineapple and gooseberry. I liked the softer acidity and better length from some development in the bottle.

Paarden Kloof

Two Shiraz followed and from much older vintages than typical for a tasting, that reminded me of the older wines I had tasted at High Constantia and Le Manoir de Brendel. The 2014 Shiraz from the Ecology range was medium bodied with characteristic currant, berry and black peppery spice aromas. Made in a lighter style than many a Shiraz, the tannins emerged on the palate to dominate the finish.

Paarden Kloof

Paarden Kloof

The 2009 vintage was better still and good for its age. It had greater body and complexity than the 2014 wine. I picked out cassis and bramble on the nose, with liquorice and black pepper too, subtler than the Ecology Shiraz. Spicy flavours showed on the palate with softer tannins for an above average length.

Paarden Kloof

Paarden Kloof

The last 2 wines of the tasting included a similar pairing for comparison between a 2014 Ecology wine and a 2009 Paarden Kloof wine, this time for Cabernet Sauvignon. The first was warm and rich on the nose with red and dark fruit aromas showing moderate complexity. Like the Shiraz, it had a light mouth feel but with firm tannins and good acidity. This will age well.

Paarden Kloof

‘Die Agterhuis’ is Afrikaans for ‘the house at the back, far away’, Daphne explained. The name comes from a small cottage that was built in the mountains – no one knows when or why built – that was lived in by a woman at a time when women could not divorce and so she left to live in the hills alone. The flagship wine was one of 6430 limited release bottles and my favourite of the tasting. The fruits on the nose were distinct to show good complexity – cherry, red plum, mulberry and tobacco – and the typically grippy Cabernet Sauvignon tannins smooth, rounded and well balanced on the palate.

Paarden Kloof

As I left, Daphne showed me the small, intimate Tasting Room at the front of the building that showed signs of future improvements. She pointed out the artwork on the rear of the Paarden Kloof bottle labels. The landscape artist was Peter Clarke who was a top black Overberg painter in the 1960s. He was self-taught and a former dockworker who was forcibly removed from Simonstown to a flat in Ocean View, where Daphne had visited him.

Paarden Kloof

My visit to Paarden Kloof made for a relaxed end of my day and I thoroughly enjoyed the tasting. It was good to be able to sample some older wines at a tasting – who says that Sauvignon Blanc cannot be drunk a few years after bottling? – at this rather quirky establishment.

Wines tasted (bought *):

White:

2015 Ecology Sauvignon Blanc – R55
2013 Paarden Kloof Bend in the Road Sauvignon Blanc – R95
2012 Paarden Kloof Gaiety Sauvignon Blanc – R75*

Red:

2014 Ecology Shiraz – R95
2009 Paarden Kloof The Long Road Shiraz – R145
2014 Ecology Cabernet Sauvignon – R125
2009 Paarden Kloof Die Agterhuis Cabernet Sauvignon – R225 FAVOURITE WINE

Paarden Kloof

You Might Also Like

In the Highlands in the Lowlands of Elgin

Fun(ny) Times at Lourensford

Allez les Boks – Pas les Bleues!

Heaven Meets Earth at Bouchard Finlayson

Vrede en Lust Struggled to Reveal it’s Delight

Pastures Anew at Rustenberg

Grape Expectations are Met at Zevenwacht

Never too Early in the Morning for Wine Tasting!

Morgenhof in the Morning

Shiraz Purrs at Manley Wine Lodge

From the Angel Gabriel to the Arch Angel

The Darling from Darling Steps into the Vineyard

It’s all Art and Wine at Almenkerk

A Lekker Jol at Wandsbeck

Wacky – not Tacky – in Robertson

Yanky Doodle Dave Didn’t Bring all the Wines

Iona Wines Remain Excellent In and At the Vineyard

Woody Wildekrans

Decent Wines Rock from the Pulpit

Elegant Wines Kiss the Lips in the Vineyard

Old Oaks at La Bourgogne

Multi-Faceted Wines on Display at the Vineyard

Wine on the Slopes at Chamonix

PicknPay Pairs it again at the Stellenbosch Wine Festival

Quality Abounds on the Mound at La Motte

More than Just a Destination

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

Hand at Work Handiwork at Boschrivier Wines

Saxenburg Puts Heart, Mind and Soul into Its Wines

Villion Pairs with Barton in Bot Rivier

Hermanus-sleepers-fontein!

Sugar and Spice is Twice as Nice

Wines Out of the Barrel at Kanonkop

Busy, Bubbly, Noisy Wonderfontein

Blaauwklippen was Good for a Friday

Rivergold is a Gem Waiting to be Discovered

Peter Has a Whale of a Time in Hermanus

All is Not Lost in a Safe Port

Baby Thrown Out with the Bath Water?

Groot Phesantekraal an Unexpected Surprise!

River Grandeur at Viljoensdrift

Cabsolutely Frankulous at the Carnival

Com-fort-able Wines at Fort Simon

More Plaisir at de Merle Please!

Horsepower in the Vineyard

More Still at Tanagra

Haven Rather than Heaven at La Bri

Grand Wines at the Big Top!

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

Red Chair in the Morning

Excelsior Blends Quality with Price

Heaven and Earth Create a Costly Pairing

Wines from the Orchards at Le Pommier

I Needed to be Guided by the Angel Gabriel

Where the Lions Roar in the Wild West of Bot Rivier

No Black Marks at Raka

Eq-wine – Fine Wines and Fast Horses!

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

Nala Wines are Well Engineered in the Vineyard

The Gods Come Home to the Vineyard

A Family Occasion – the Story behind the Bottle

Lust-ful Reds in the Vineyard

The Garagiste in the Garage at Sonklip!

Peace but No Rest for Rust en Vrede

Kept Alone at Kaapzicht

Laibach Shows its Spots

Dreaming of a Wine Christmas

Beau-tiful Beau-tique Beau-Constantia

All Green at Villiera

Simple Spier

Noble Wines without the Rot

Graham Beck MCCs Fizzled Out

There’s No Gun Smoke Without Wine

In the Vineyard with Beyerskloof

My Best Blend at Zandvliet

Pick n Taste Time at Stellenbosch

How Do You Grow a Vineyard Like Maria?

Four Partners (not Cousins) at the Vineyard Hotel

Vista to Verdot at Glen Carlou

House Wine from the Wine Tram

Wine Notes Composed at D’Aria

Wheels Turn Full ‘Cycle’ at Meerendal

Mulderbosch didn’t quite Meet the Yardstick

More-ish Wines at Môreson

Try as I Could I Did not Find Waterkloof Wines Dynamic

Style or Substance? Nitida left Me Wondering

Posh Spice in Franschhoek!

Family Fun at the Greek Harvest Festival

Linga-ring in a Winery in Malawi

K-eynote W-ines at the V-ineyard

Windfall Offered Unexpected Delights

Better than a Fair View Where the Goats do Roam!

High 5’s All Round for Pride without Arrogance

Serenity without Worry or Preoccupation in the Chapel

Ghostly Clouds Swirl at Spookfontein

Great Value in the Swartland

Magical Wines Star at Dragonridge

Maiden Visit to Lord’s Bowled Me Over

Bellville to Bellevue to Belle Wines

Late at Lateganskop

On Yonder Hill There Stands a Vineyard!

Individual Quality at Jordan

Iconic Steenberg

Verticle Tasting on the Ridge in Elgin

Becoming Ship-Shape at La Couronne

It’s High Time Again

Kosie Wynes at Groenland

Anysbos a Wine Estate to Look Out For

Colmant Sparkled

Superb Views of Guardian Peak

Scary Jan Harmsgat Delivers Elegant Wines

The Phoenix Rises from the Terroir at Thelema

Seven Reasons To Visit Seven Oaks Wines

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

2018 Wacky Wine Ends at Le Roux & Fourie

The Big Easy Tee’s Off in the Vineyard

A Quando-ary: When to Drink …?

Bon Courage and Bon Voyage

Sa-Bot-Riveur!

Peter Puts into Hermanus

Value for Money from Angel Gabriel in the Vineyard

Leaping to the Right Conclusions

Wines to Love on Love Street

Blush-endal!

No Blues at Hillcrest

Hope Brought to the Vineyard

Rain Meets Earth at Newton Johnson

Relaxing Rosendal

Straw Berry Yields for e-Ver-gelegen

Bartinney Clings to the Mountain

Sublime Sauvignon Blanc Makes up for Variable Bloemendal

Waxing Lyrical about Canto

Joy at Really Tasting the Difference at Esona

Wines That Don’t Cost The Earth

Hope Lies High in the Valley

Sweet and Safe Times Pair Well with the Whales

Champagne and Brandies left Me Disappointed

Rijk Tulbagh Gives Name to Cellar and Town

In the Garage in the Heart of McGregor

Trading Wines in the City Bowl

Dis-gorgeous at Weltevrede

Very Cape Wines at Capaia

Class in Glass at Glenelly

Intimate, Tranquil and Refined

Sax ‘n’ Berg at the Vineyard

Rustic Charm at the Altydgedacht Wine Farm

British Reserve and Excellence at Sumaridge

The Italian Collection at the Vineyard

Cabernet Franc – Well Worth a Gamble!

Onderkloof Beats All the Odds Below The Valley

Barrels of Fun at My First Stellenbosch Street Soirée

Sip Sip Sip and Drip Drip Drip at Domaine des Dieux

Tasting Vines at the Vineyard

Sylvan Vale Wines Good for a Meeting or an Eating

Being Creative at Flagstone

Judge and be Judged!

Neil’s Vines on the Tr-Ellis in Stellenbosch

Boutique de Brendel

Franschhoek’s Hidden Gem Is Reluctant to Reveal

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

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

Beyond Expectation

Malverne Dis-Clos-ed

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

Oh-MG at Anthonij Rupert

Leave a Reply

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