Wine Dinners are Not For Me
Experience 3.0 Restaurant Lunch & Dinner Stellenbosch Wine 3.0

Wine Dinners are Not For Me

ALLUVIA BOUTIQUE CELLAR GOBLETS & WINE CLUBS SA DINNER
Tuesday 9 April 2019
http://wineclubssa.co.za/
http://www.alluvia.co.za/
http://www.camberley.co.za/#home-section

Experience: 3/5
Wines: 3/5

I was invited by a friend to a dinner at the Alluvia Boutique Cellar near Stellenbosch. I knew little about the event beforehand save that Alluvia is located on the R310 Helshoogte Road between Tokara/Thelema and Le Pommier wine farms to the East of the City. The invite was 6.30pm for 7.00pm and I arrived as the sun was setting over the lower Banhoek Valley and surrounding mountains. Alluvia claims it to be the ‘most photographed vineyard in Africa’ though I do not know on which basis.

Alluvia

Alluvia

Several guests were already present when I arrived for a welcome glass of Rosé. The wine was a Blanc de Noir made from Pinotage, yet to be labelled as of 2019 vintage. The other guests seemed mostly well known to each other and jackets and handbags were already laid on chairs to reserve places on one of the 4 long tables. I soon saw Bjorn van Oort who I know from the excellent Pinotage & Biltong and Cabernet Franc festivals. I then realised that the evening was one of the monthly Goblets & Gourmets Wine Club dinners. I had not been to one before so it was interesting to attend.

Alluvia

Alluvia

Goblets & Gourmets is one of 4 regional wine clubs that Bjorn runs, meeting on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at different wine estates in the Cape Winelands. It was started in 1998 and the oldest of all. There is an annual member fee of R350, with dinners costing between R280 and R350. Some 40 guests attended.

Alluvia

Alluvia

Alluvia, like the Clouds Wine & Guest Estate close to Delaire Graff on the opposite side of the Helshoogte Pass, offers luxury, boutique accommodation and spa facilities. The property has origins dating back to the 1930s and a chequered history of ownership until the property was bought in 2002 by the Brugman family. You will not find Alluvia listed in the 2019 Platter’s Wine Guide. The wine farm is at 600 metres above sea level and known for Cabernet Sauvignon. The name ‘alluvia’ is derived from the fertile alluvial soils that overlay granite and sandstone of the surrounding mountains.

Alluvia

Alluvia

We were soon ushered into the Dining Room. Bjorn explained that it was the first dinner at Alluvia. The estate produces few wines and so those from Camberley, also a boutique winery, were included for tasting. I did not know the function format but we began with a tasting of the wines from the 2 farms. Alas, and rather inexplicably, the Alluvia owner/winemaker was not available to talk about the wines. A Camberley representative was left to pick up the pieces but his knowledge, including those of the Camberley wines, was poor. It made adequately rating the wines difficult but I nevertheless did not consider the Alluvia wines to be above average. The best wines were the green styled Cabernet Franc and the sweet, dried fruity Straw Wine.

Alluvia

Alluvia

Bjorn encouraged us to score each wine after tasting using the 20 point scale – ‘3 for appearance, 7 for nose and 10 for palate, or whatever you wish’ – after which there was a show of hands for a consensus score. The mix of 2 wine estates and lack of clarity of vintage and information made it all rather confusing me for as hunger beckoned. It did not help assess and appreciate the wines that the glasses were musty (perhaps fresh out of a box) and that the kitchen smells wafted across the dining area.

Alluvia

Alluvia

The 3 course meal consisted of mussels, lamb neck with vegetables, and malva pudding with vanilla ice cream. By now, the wines were long cleared with the expectation that guests would buy a bottle to go with their food. I may have been spoiled recently by the restaurants I have been to but the quality of the food frankly was poor. The mussels were chewy, the lamb neck scraggy and with little meat, and the dessert plain. My host and I left after we had finished our dessert.

Alluvia

Alluvia

I did not enjoy the evening as much as the regular Wine Club members obviously did. I felt very much like a square peg in a round hole. I realised as I left exactly why I established the Cape Wine Lovers’ Society rather than join a Wine Club or meet to taste at wine estates. I value the independence I have of any wine farm, producer or retailer which allows me to host events with the wines I know and like. Moreover, a meal with wine – rather than wine with a meal – is an expensive format for me. I was surprised too with how little knowledge was offered about Alluvia and its wines. Bjorn is a genial man and a perfect host for the event but should have been able to fill in the gaps more than he did. He, for example, told that the Straw Wine was made by neighbouring Zorgvliet and did not know the cultivar but when I tracked down a bottle it had the Alluvia label. A google search under the table by my friend confirmed it to be made from Chenin Blanc. It may well be that the Wine Club member is not too interested in the wines and seeking a social evening with friends. There is nothing wrong with that. It is just not what I seek or desire.

Wines tasted (bought *):

White:

2015 Camberley Prohibition (Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon) – R72
2015 Alluvia Sauvignon Blanc – R125

Rosé:

2019 Alluvia Blanc de Noir Pinotage Rosé – R105

Red:

2014 Alluvia Cabernet Franc – R218 FAVOURITE WINE
2014 Alluvia Cabernet Sauvignon – R185
NV Camberley Pinotage Illusion (50% 2014 vintage, 50% 2015 vintage) – R165
2015 Camberley Shiraz – R300

Dessert:

2015 Alluvia Chenin Blanc Straw Wine (375ml) – R225

Alluvia Camberley

You Might Also Like

Grape Expectations are Met at Zevenwacht

Mulderbosch didn’t quite Meet the Yardstick

The Phoenix Rises from the Terroir at Thelema

Wines from the Orchards at Le Pommier

On Yonder Hill There Stands a Vineyard!

Value for Money at Van Zylshof

Simple Spier

King Chenin Kens (Knows) the Wood from the Trees

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

Quantity over Quality at Durbanville Hills

Four Partners (not Cousins) at the Vineyard Hotel

Superb Views of Guardian Peak

Wonderful Grapes at the Vineyard Hotel

Surprisingly Good – and Not Only for the Red Bus Tourists

Intriguing and Confusing – An Enigmatic Experience

Pastures Anew at Rustenberg

Sax ‘n’ Berg at the Vineyard

Libby Would not have been Proud of Linton Park

“Swimming Pool” Wines for Now – or Leave until Later

One Day, Three Tastings, Five Wines and Seven Sisters

Bushmanspad Gave Me the Weirdest Tasting Ever

Laibach Shows its Spots

Bellville to Bellevue to Belle Wines

Sylvan Vale Wines Good for a Meeting or an Eating

Mooi Mooi Mooi Mooiplaas

God Bless Slaley and All who Drink with Her

Water into Wine at Uitkyk

Peace but No Rest for Rust en Vrede

Robertson – Town by Name, Wine by Name

Syrah Pillars of Excellence at Haskell

Golden Wines at the End of the Rainbow

Multi-Faceted Wines on Display at the Vineyard

Warwick Wines Win their Colours

Englishman Meets Mrs English at Classic Lanzerac

How Do You Grow a Vineyard Like Maria?

Kosie Wynes at Groenland

Neil’s Vines on the Tr-Ellis in Stellenbosch

Keermont Farmhouse Redefines Luxury

Bon Courage and Bon Voyage

Tasting Vines at the Vineyard

Wines Merely to Lust After

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

View from the E-Skaap-ment

Wine Passions Mounted at Cavalli

Grape Fun – Stomping Well Worth the Journey!

Le Lude Left Me Feeling Flat

Bracing Brakes on the Red Wines at Remhoogte

Wines Out of the Barrel at Kanonkop

Never too Early in the Morning for Wine Tasting!

Kept Alone at Kaapzicht

Superb De Trafford Worthy of Being My 200th Wine Estate

Peter Falke Didn’t Knock my Socks Off

Simonsig Excellence Today with a Traditional Legacy

A Table Setting Fit for the Gourmet at De Grendel

New Branding for Old-enburg is Perfect

Next Time to Taste at Hannay

Perfection is Attainable at Boschkloof Wines

Malverne Dis-Clos-ed

River Grandeur at Viljoensdrift

The Garagiste in the Garage at Sonklip!

Good Things Come in Twos – at Southern Right too!

Super Surprises at Super Single Vineyards

Class in Glass at Glenelly

Individual Quality at Jordan

Quoin Rock Gently Roars at Knorhoek

All Green at Villiera

Heaven and Earth Create a Costly Pairing

Clouds Reign in Stellenbosch

Quality with Style in the Vineyard

Saxenburg Puts Heart, Mind and Soul into Its Wines

Pedigree Stud Grub at Cavalli

Hearty Food and Wine Brought by the Stork at Hartenberg

Eq-wine – Fine Wines and Fast Horses!

Where’s the Grande in Provence?

Langverwacht Introduced Me to Ruby Cabernet

In the Vineyard with Beyerskloof

Classy, Small and Precious Kleinood

Slave to the Rhythm at Solms-Delta

Delaire Graff Wines Sparkle

Bartinney Clings to the Mountain

K-eynote W-ines at the V-ineyard

Wine on the Slopes at Chamonix

Classic(al) to Barrique – De Morgenzon Hits all the Right Notes

Com-fort-able Wines at Fort Simon

Second Helping – and Tasting – at Oak Valley

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

Nala Wines are Well Engineered in the Vineyard

Only One JC Le Roux Wine Sparkled and Scintilla-ted

Dis-gorgeous at Weltevrede

A Kleine Experience at Zalze

Blaauwklippen was Good for a Friday

Swiss Family Sauvignons at Eikendal

Exciting, Excellent Keermont

From Palette to Palate to Muratie

Mixed Spice at the Pinotage Festival

Morgenhof in the Morning

Cabernet Franc – Well Worth a Gamble!

The Bestbier Family produces Best Wines at Goede Hoop

The Big Easy Tee’s Off in the Vineyard

Dornier Disappoints

Leave a Reply

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