Quoin Rock Gently Roars at Knorhoek
Experience 4.0 Stellenbosch Wine 4.5

Quoin Rock Gently Roars at Knorhoek

QUOIN ROCK WINES
Friday 19 July 2019
https://quoinrock.co.za/
http://www.knorhoek.co.za/

Dr Peter Rating – Experience: 4/5
Dr Peter Rating –
Wines: 4.5/5

I have long wanted to visit Quoin Rock, off the R44 due North of Stellenbosch, ever since tasting at nearby Delheim for the annual Harvest Festival (and grape-stomping) some 2½ years ago. I have been close by since, to Muratie, but never down the right hand fork of the Knorhoek Road. I almost did not visit today either. Many Stellenbosch wineries were closed for their winter break and/or refurbishment. I started my day at Morgenhof and found Summerhill and Deux Frères shut. The drive up the rural, wet valley, streams in full flood after recent heavy rains, with pruned vines beside the road was beautiful. I stopped at a barrier only for the guard to tell me that Quoin Rock was closed too. Knorhoek – so called as ‘the place where lions growl’ – at least was open which I had planned to visit after and so I headed beyond to the estate with its pastoral setting.

Knorhoek

Knorhoek

I passed the entrance with its classic sweeping, curved walls and along a rock-edged twisting driveway. I parked and entered the simple, cosy Tasting Room within a traditional white washed and green tin roofed building. I was met by Amos who had been my excellent tasting host at Delaire Graff. He did well to remember me with my hair much longer in a kind of Einstein-meets-Richard Branson style (I am hoping that some of either will rub off on me). It was good to see Amos again. It was then that I discovered that Knorhoek had been sold to a new owner earlier in the year. The Towerbosch Restaurant and Guesthouse accommodation were open but there were no wines. I could sense my frustration rising at yet another abortive visit to a wine estate when Amos explained that a limited number of Quoin Rock wines were available for tasting (R70 for 3 wines, waived on purchase of 2 bottles). My relief was obvious.

Knorhoek

Knorhoek

Quoin Rock was closed too for extensive refurbishment over 7 years and only opened in late-2018, with winter closure to 1 August. The 3 available wines come from the Namysto range with stylish and distinctive modern label. ‘Namysto’ is Ukrainian for ‘amulet’ and the design incorporates not only red and white beads that symbolize grapes but the meeting of Ukraine and South Africa, the owner’s birth and adopted country, respectively. Beaded necklaces are traditionally worn in both countries and often believed to bring magical powers that bring prosperity and power.

Quoin Rock

Knorhoek

The Namysto White – mostly Sauvignon Blanc (95%) with a dash of Sémillon and barrel-matured for 6 months – showed an immediate intense, pungent nose of green bell pepper very like a Marlborough, New Zealand Sauvignon. Green grass, asparagus, lemon and lime citrus aromas followed. The wine was fresh, light and bright on the palate with characteristic zesty acidity and better than average length. This was a classic, representative, quality Sauvignon Blanc if ever you want to buy one.

Quoin Rock

The sibling Red, a blend of mostly Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, was full bodied and glorious ruby red in appearance. Red and black fruit aromas were of good intensity as I might expect of a 2015 vintage – plum, cherry, mulberry, cassis – together with sweeter pepper spice and clove. Matured for 20 months in French oak barrels, the tannins gave structure without aggression to balance well the fruit flavours. I liked too how the Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon matched each other to make for one of the best SH/CS blends I have tasted in South Africa that are, of course, a speciality in Australia.

Quoin Rock

I am pushed to find a favourite wine but the Sauvignon Blanc natural sweet dessert wine just edged out the Namysto Red. Natural sweet wines are those with above average sweetness and residual sugar made from grapes that have been picked late. In this case, the Sauvignon Blanc grapes have been ‘vine dried’ whereby the bunch stalks are twisted before harvest. This is an ancient Roman technique used to concentrate sugar and flavour that I have seen before at Solms-Delta. The liquid gold wine showed an inviting and delicious intensity of dried stone fruits, of peach, nectarine and apricot, with assured intensity. Fruit, acidity and sugar perfectly balanced on the palate for an unctuous and luscious dessert wine that begged to be drunk more. This was another wine I could not resist buying.

Knorhoek

Quoin Rock

I can now see what my oenophile friends rave about when discussing Quoin Rock. Knorhoek offered a taster – a faint lion’s roar – of what there is to come. The wines were well made, distinctive and of high quality as was Amos’ hosting and explanation. I left feeling that my tasting task was just about half done as I stopped for a superb photo on my way back down the valley. The downside to being tempted by the mini tasting has the upside that I must return again and to sample the full range of Quoin Rock as well as Knorhoek wines….

#capewinelover #DrPeter

Wines tasted (bought *):

White:

2016 Namysto White (95% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Sémillon) – R120

Red:

2015 Namysto Red (60% Shiraz, 29% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc) – R150*

Dessert:

2014 Namysto Sweet Sauvignon Blanc (375 ml) – R95* FAVOURITE WINE

Knorhoek

You Might Also Like

Warwick Wines Win their Colours

More than Just a Destination

Value for Money from Angel Gabriel in the Vineyard

Red and White Wines with Frog’s ‘Legs’

Family Fun in Pairs at Four Cousins

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

Scary Jan Harmsgat Delivers Elegant Wines

SMV, SMG, GSM – BLICS and PAPERCLIPS!

Individual Quality at Jordan

Clouds Reign in Stellenbosch

Cheers! Or Beers?!

It’s High Time Again

From the Angel Gabriel to the Arch Angel

From Palette to Palate to Muratie

British Reserve and Excellence at Sumaridge

Lemberg Punches Above its Weight

Wonderful Grapes at the Vineyard Hotel

Trading Wines in the City Bowl

Verticle Tasting on the Ridge in Elgin

Serenity without Worry or Preoccupation in the Chapel

Iona Wines Remain Excellent In and At the Vineyard

Delaire Graff Wines Sparkle

Well and Truly Oaked!

God Bless Slaley and All who Drink with Her

Lust-ful Reds in the Vineyard

Of Female Rugby Players and Ballet Dancers! Let’s Continuously Study Very Seriously: Wines of the Loire and Northern Rhône

Family Fun at the Greek Harvest Festival

DeWaal Sits Atop the Pinotage Hill

No Black Marks at Raka

Red and White Cab – and So Much More – at Asara

Exciting, Excellent Keermont

More Still at Tanagra

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

Groot Phesantekraal an Unexpected Surprise!

On Yonder Hill There Stands a Vineyard!

Water into Wine at Uitkyk

High Living on the Stoep Sipping Aged, Luscious Red Wines

Peace but No Rest for Rust en Vrede

iWine rather than IMAX at the Cape Gate Mall

Altitudes with Wine!

Only One JC Le Roux Wine Sparkled and Scintilla-ted

The Phoenix Rises from the Terroir at Thelema

Opening the Book at Elgin Vintners

The Gods Come Home to the Vineyard

Simple Spier

Boutique de Brendel

Grape Fun – Stomping Well Worth the Journey!

Posh Spice in Franschhoek!

Sweet and Safe Times Pair Well with the Whales

Wacky – not Tacky – in Robertson

I-own-a Wine Farm!

Waxing Lyrical about Canto

Rustic Charm at the Altydgedacht Wine Farm

All Green at Villiera

Beyond Expectation

Wines from the Orchards at Le Pommier

Rain Meets Earth at Newton Johnson

Red Chair in the Morning

Good Things Come in Twos – at Southern Right too!

Lost and Found at Lomond – 100s!

Magical Wines Star at Dragonridge

Rivergold is a Gem Waiting to be Discovered

New Branding for Old-enburg is Perfect

Sugar and Spice is Twice as Nice

Bramon Beside the (Plettenberg) Bay

Better than a Fair View Where the Goats do Roam!

One Day, Three Tastings, Five Wines and Seven Sisters

In the Vineyard with Beyerskloof

Big Preparations in the Little Vineyard

Neil’s Vines on the Tr-Ellis in Stellenbosch

Diploma Done and Dusted – But for the Final Result – I Passed!

Classy, Small and Precious Kleinood

Where Eagles Care

Keermont Farmhouse Redefines Luxury

Taking the Garage into the Classroom

Au Revoir France!

‘Out of the Office’ at Groot Constantia

Hidden Valley and Its Wines are Revealed

Wagons to the Cellar at Waboomsrivier

Anysbos a Wine Estate to Look Out For

Hout Bay Vineyards – Simply the Best!

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

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

Great Value in the Swartland

Sylvan Vale Wines Good for a Meeting or an Eating

How Do You Grow a Vineyard Like Maria?

Taint, Mould, Sweet-Sour, Elastoplast, Stale Honey, Bee Wax and Potato Skin With the Wine Prof

Heaven Meets Earth at Bouchard Finlayson

In the Garage in the Heart of McGregor

Swallowing Fine Wines at Paserene

Sax ‘n’ Berg at the Vineyard

Bartinney Clings to the Mountain

Laibach Shows its Spots

Kosie Wynes at Groenland

Alto Reaches Heights with the M.P.H.S.

Ruddy Red and Blanc Sauvignons

Mulderbosch didn’t quite Meet the Yardstick

I Needed to be Guided by the Angel Gabriel

Super Surprises at Super Single Vineyards

Golden Wines at the End of the Rainbow

Putting into Port at De Krans

Wines Merely to Lust After

Quality Abounds on the Mound at La Motte

Grape Expectations are Met at Zevenwacht

Ghostly Clouds Swirl at Spookfontein

Second Helping – and Tasting – at Oak Valley

Lovane Serves its Guests Well

Fun(ny) Times at Lourensford

Peter Puts into Hermanus

Perdeberg Earns Its Stripes

Wine Dinners are Not For Me

A Warm Welcome in the Cool Climate at South Hill

Nala Wines are Well Engineered in the Vineyard

Superb Views of Guardian Peak

Morgenhof in the Morning

A Kleine Experience at Zalze

Wine Passions Mounted at Cavalli

The Bestbier Family produces Best Wines at Goede Hoop

Saxenburg Puts Heart, Mind and Soul into Its Wines

Colmant Sparkled

Honest, Affordable Family Wines at Landskroon

Around the (Old) World in 18 Hours – starting with the European Cuvée!

Wines Out of the Barrel at Kanonkop

Com-fort-able Wines at Fort Simon

Perfection is Attainable at Boschkloof Wines

Class in Glass at Glenelly

Quality with Style in the Vineyard

South over the Hills in Elgin

Bracing Brakes on the Red Wines at Remhoogte

Hard Graft without Grafts at Abingdon Wines – No Hail to the Monkeys

Pastures Anew at Rustenberg

Onderkloof Beats All the Odds Below The Valley

Iconic Steenberg

Kept Alone at Kaapzicht

K-eynote W-ines at the V-ineyard

Dreaming of a Wine Christmas

Vista to Verdot at Glen Carlou

Mutual Attraction

The Terroir is Honoured in the Bottle at Springfield

Summer Whites …… and Rosés

The Garagiste in the Garage at Sonklip!

Diemersdal has Six Appeal

Straw Berry Yields for e-Ver-gelegen

The Italian Collection at the Vineyard

Syrah Pillars of Excellence at Haskell

The Darling from Darling Steps into the Vineyard

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

My Best Blend at Zandvliet

The Big Easy Tee’s Off in the Vineyard

More-ish Wines at Môreson

Pedigree Stud Grub at Cavalli

Peter Falke Didn’t Knock my Socks Off

Multi-Faceted Wines on Display at the Vineyard

On the Left, but then on the Right …

Villion Pairs with Barton in Bot Rivier

Superb De Trafford Worthy of Being My 200th Wine Estate

Swiss Family Sauvignons at Eikendal

Windfall Offered Unexpected Delights

Bellville to Bellevue to Belle Wines

Real Wines in the Place of God

Leaping to the Right Conclusions

A Cracker and a Stormer at Paul Wallace

Dornier Disappoints

King Chenin Kens (Knows) the Wood from the Trees

Malverne Dis-Clos-ed

Purring at the Wines in Tyger Valley

History in Every Glass at Overgaauw

Cabsolutely Frankulous at the Carnival

Blaauwklippen was Good for a Friday

Mixed Spice at the Pinotage Festival

Speed Tasting with Sommelier ‘Royalty’ at my First SASA Meeting

Hearty Food and Wine Brought by the Stork at Hartenberg

Back to the Future in the Berg of Paarl

Lithos Wines Soar above Mountain and Forest

Beau-tiful Beau-tique Beau-Constantia

Sa-Bot-Riveur!

Eq-wine – Fine Wines and Fast Horses!

Rickety Tram Passengers at Rickety Bridge

Stellenrust Eagerly Impresses

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

PicknPay Pairs it again at the Stellenbosch Wine Festival

Shiraz Purrs at Manley Wine Lodge

Always a Favourite – Guaranteed to Delight

Simonsig Excellence Today with a Traditional Legacy

Very Cape Wines at Capaia

Englishman Meets Mrs English at Classic Lanzerac

Being Creative at Flagstone

No Blues at Hillcrest

Dave Goes Down Under and the Wines Go Up

An Early Start at Rietvallei

Blush-endal!

Mooi Mooi Mooi Mooiplaas

Leave a Reply

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