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

Great Value in the Swartland

Rustic Charm at the Altydgedacht Wine Farm

New Branding for Old-enburg is Perfect

Second Helping – and Tasting – at Oak Valley

In the Garage in the Heart of McGregor

No Black Marks at Raka

SMV, SMG, GSM – BLICS and PAPERCLIPS!

Good Things Come in Twos – at Southern Right too!

Beau-tiful Beau-tique Beau-Constantia

Only One JC Le Roux Wine Sparkled and Scintilla-ted

Posh Spice in Franschhoek!

Villion Pairs with Barton in Bot Rivier

Exciting, Excellent Keermont

Wines Merely to Lust After

Back to the Future in the Berg of Paarl

Opening the Book at Elgin Vintners

Value for Money from Angel Gabriel in the Vineyard

All Green at Villiera

K-eynote W-ines at the V-ineyard

Sax ‘n’ Berg at the Vineyard

‘Out of the Office’ at Groot Constantia

It’s High Time Again

Magical Wines Star at Dragonridge

Anysbos a Wine Estate to Look Out For

High Living on the Stoep Sipping Aged, Luscious Red Wines

Altitudes with Wine!

Rivergold is a Gem Waiting to be Discovered

Warwick Wines Win their Colours

Wine Dinners are Not For Me

Englishman Meets Mrs English at Classic Lanzerac

Iona Wines Remain Excellent In and At the Vineyard

Bartinney Clings to the Mountain

I-own-a Wine Farm!

Lithos Wines Soar above Mountain and Forest

Real Wines in the Place of God

Individual Quality at Jordan

Super Surprises at Super Single Vineyards

More than Just a Destination

Quality with Style in the Vineyard

Peace but No Rest for Rust en Vrede

Boutique de Brendel

Wacky – not Tacky – in Robertson

Family Fun at the Greek Harvest Festival

A Warm Welcome in the Cool Climate at South Hill

Heaven Meets Earth at Bouchard Finlayson

South over the Hills in Elgin

Wines from the Orchards at Le Pommier

Multi-Faceted Wines on Display at the Vineyard

Very Cape Wines at Capaia

Swallowing Fine Wines at Paserene

Classy, Small and Precious Kleinood

Trading Wines in the City Bowl

Clouds Reign in Stellenbosch

PicknPay Pairs it again at the Stellenbosch Wine Festival

From Palette to Palate to Muratie

Red and White Wines with Frog’s ‘Legs’

An Early Start at Rietvallei

Leaping to the Right Conclusions

Dreaming of a Wine Christmas

The Italian Collection at the Vineyard

Well and Truly Oaked!

King Chenin Kens (Knows) the Wood from the Trees

Superb Views of Guardian Peak

I Needed to be Guided by the Angel Gabriel

Pastures Anew at Rustenberg

Honest, Affordable Family Wines at Landskroon

Family Fun in Pairs at Four Cousins

Bracing Brakes on the Red Wines at Remhoogte

Mutual Attraction

Au Revoir France!

Kept Alone at Kaapzicht

Waxing Lyrical about Canto

Rain Meets Earth at Newton Johnson

Grape Fun – Stomping Well Worth the Journey!

My Best Blend at Zandvliet

The Terroir is Honoured in the Bottle at Springfield

Wine Passions Mounted at Cavalli

Better than a Fair View Where the Goats do Roam!

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

iWine rather than IMAX at the Cape Gate Mall

Malverne Dis-Clos-ed

Wines Out of the Barrel at Kanonkop

Onderkloof Beats All the Odds Below The Valley

Mixed Spice at the Pinotage Festival

Dave Goes Down Under and the Wines Go Up

How Do You Grow a Vineyard Like Maria?

Peter Puts into Hermanus

The Bestbier Family produces Best Wines at Goede Hoop

Saxenburg Puts Heart, Mind and Soul into Its Wines

Diemersdal has Six Appeal

Nala Wines are Well Engineered in the Vineyard

From the Angel Gabriel to the Arch Angel

Being Creative at Flagstone

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

God Bless Slaley and All who Drink with Her

Morgenhof in the Morning

Big Preparations in the Little Vineyard

Mooi Mooi Mooi Mooiplaas

Where Eagles Care

Purring at the Wines in Tyger Valley

Sa-Bot-Riveur!

Simple Spier

Superb De Trafford Worthy of Being My 200th Wine Estate

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

Bellville to Bellevue to Belle Wines

Lemberg Punches Above its Weight

Sylvan Vale Wines Good for a Meeting or an Eating

Iconic Steenberg

Windfall Offered Unexpected Delights

Cabsolutely Frankulous at the Carnival

Sweet and Safe Times Pair Well with the Whales

The Garagiste in the Garage at Sonklip!

The Big Easy Tee’s Off in the Vineyard

Taking the Garage into the Classroom

Com-fort-able Wines at Fort Simon

Ghostly Clouds Swirl at Spookfontein

Ruddy Red and Blanc Sauvignons

Verticle Tasting on the Ridge in Elgin

Swiss Family Sauvignons at Eikendal

Lust-ful Reds in the Vineyard

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

Perfection is Attainable at Boschkloof Wines

Blaauwklippen was Good for a Friday

Syrah Pillars of Excellence at Haskell

Fun(ny) Times at Lourensford

Serenity without Worry or Preoccupation in the Chapel

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

Sugar and Spice is Twice as Nice

Summer Whites …… and Rosés

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

Pedigree Stud Grub at Cavalli

Class in Glass at Glenelly

Always a Favourite – Guaranteed to Delight

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

Colmant Sparkled

Delaire Graff Wines Sparkle

Rickety Tram Passengers at Rickety Bridge

Hout Bay Vineyards – Simply the Best!

Dornier Disappoints

Kosie Wynes at Groenland

More Still at Tanagra

Red Chair in the Morning

Shiraz Purrs at Manley Wine Lodge

Blush-endal!

Straw Berry Yields for e-Ver-gelegen

A Cracker and a Stormer at Paul Wallace

On the Left, but then on the Right …

Grape Expectations are Met at Zevenwacht

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

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

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

The Gods Come Home to the Vineyard

A Kleine Experience at Zalze

One Day, Three Tastings, Five Wines and Seven Sisters

The Darling from Darling Steps into the Vineyard

Golden Wines at the End of the Rainbow

Beyond Expectation

Vista to Verdot at Glen Carlou

Laibach Shows its Spots

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

Lost and Found at Lomond – 100s!

Neil’s Vines on the Tr-Ellis in Stellenbosch

No Blues at Hillcrest

Hearty Food and Wine Brought by the Stork at Hartenberg

Scary Jan Harmsgat Delivers Elegant Wines

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

Mulderbosch didn’t quite Meet the Yardstick

Keermont Farmhouse Redefines Luxury

More-ish Wines at Môreson

Peter Falke Didn’t Knock my Socks Off

Quality Abounds on the Mound at La Motte

Water into Wine at Uitkyk

Wonderful Grapes at the Vineyard Hotel

Simonsig Excellence Today with a Traditional Legacy

In the Vineyard with Beyerskloof

Wagons to the Cellar at Waboomsrivier

British Reserve and Excellence at Sumaridge

Groot Phesantekraal an Unexpected Surprise!

The Phoenix Rises from the Terroir at Thelema

Eq-wine – Fine Wines and Fast Horses!

On Yonder Hill There Stands a Vineyard!

Leave a Reply

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