– BEAUTIFUL SCENERY AND EXCELLENT WINES, BUT THE ACTUAL TASTING EXPERIENCE AS A WHOLE A LITTLE DISAPPOINTING.
So, Anthonij Rupert was actually the owner of L’Ormarins wine farm in Franschhoek, where these wines are made. Anthonij Rupert sadly passed away and hence there is now a range of wines in his honour.
L’Ormarins then bought the Graham Beck property adjacent to it in 2011 and this farm has now become the Anthonij Rupert and Terra Del Capo farms and wine tasting rooms.
We were not overly impressed with the tasting experience at Anthonij Rupert. Perhaps because it has only recently opened, perhaps because we had such a great experience at La Motte earlier in the day and we were comparing?! It just felt like it lacked a bit of heart and enthusiasm. Perhaps they have a more old school approach. The wines were brought to our table, explained and then left to taste. While it did allow us to enjoy each others company, I did find by the time I tasted the second wine I had completely forgotten what the TRH had said about it. And so the experience was more like – a lovely glass of wine on a farm house stoep, rather than an actual Wine Tasting Experience.
Nonetheless, the scenery is beautiful and the wine tasting is in the old Manor House where you can choose to sit outside overlooking the lawn or inside one of the rooms.
We actually ended up sitting out the back overlooking the old vegetable patch. The weather was spectacular and it really was lovely sitting under the trees on the porch of an old farm house. The wines are also exceptional, like Rust & Vrede, they are in another league. I still struggle a little though to justify R 400 for a bottle of wine (anything over R300 I struggle to taste the difference in value… perhaps there is still room for growth in my wine tasting capabilities :)).
I also found the tasting a bit overpriced. Yes, they are excellent wines and a fuller glass is poured, but R65 to taste three wines isn’t going to have me bringing friends back for more.
Overall, aside from the beautiful scenery and exceptional wines, the whole taste experience was found to be somewhat lacking. Not overly impressive as one would expect from a prestigious farm, but rather a little disappointing. Perhaps they are trying to create that environment of leaving you with the wines. We just did not walk away thinking, “great tasting experience, we should definitely bring people back here”… but rather thinking, “That was a little disappointing don’t you think?!” Still pleasant, just not amazing. Again, personal preference.
The only reason I do want to head back to the farm is to do a TERRA DEL CAPO tasting. Anthonij Rupert had a love for Italian food and wine and so, again, in honour of him this range has been launched and can be tasted in a separate tasting room on the farm. The range consists of a Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese and Arne.
Personal preference and comments aside, the wines were quite delicious. Very heavy wines, a lot of legs and perhaps to be accompanied with a meal. But very well rounded and sophisticated wines. I opted for the Anthonij Rupert tasting made up of the Anthonij Rupert Optima, Anthonij Rupert Merlot and Anthonij Rupert Syrah while my other half chose the Blends tasting made up of the Rupert & Rothschild Classique, Anthonij Rupert Optima and Rupert & Rothschild Baron Edmond. I do certainly appreciate it when they bring you a glass or jug of water along with the tasting.
The Rupert & Rothschild farm and tasting room are currently closed for some renovations, so the wines can be tasted at the Anthonij Rupert farm. Rupert & Rothschild are a boutique winery who make a Chardonnay (Baroness Nadine), Classique (Red Blend) and Baron Edmond (Red Blend).
A few wine notes below…
ANTHONIJ RUPERT OPTIMA
This is a Bordeaux Blend, a very well rounded blend and the easiest drinking of the five we tasted. We both commented that no significant varietal sticks out, but rather they are beautifully blended together. Having said that in comparison to the other wines, this wine was a bit more harsh and earthy. A very enjoyable typical Bordeaux blend, with heavy legs.
RUPERT & ROTHSCHILD CLASSIQUE
This blend is Cabernet Sauvignon based and you can taste the distinct Cab Sauv flavours coming through, especially compared with the Optima. There was quite a lot of sediment in the bottle as a result of the processing, where the wine is aged for a period in the bottle. Again, a lovely blend, especially if you are a Cab Sauv drinker.
ANTHONIJ RUPERT MERLOT
There was also a lot of sediment in this bottle (and the bottom of your glass). The Merlot is much rounder than the other wines, a lot more berry flavours even though the nose is quite earthy and white peppery. A lovely Merlot with a dry finish, but somehow not tanniny. Though dry it did not leave that “cluck your tongue” dryness in the after taste, but rather, quite smooth.
ANTHONIJ RUPERT SYRAH
Again, loads of sediment in this wine. A very smokey Syrah, definitely the smoothest of all the wines we tasted here. A rich blend of dark fruits, with the typical clove, pepper, smokey hints. A really fantastic Syrah, my other half even went far enough as to liken it to a Rolls Royce of Syrahs. A little out of our price range (R 410), but really really great!
RUPERT & ROTHSCHILD BARON EDMOND
This is the Flagship of the Rupert & Rothschild estate. This wine is a blend of Cab Franc, Cab Sauv and Merlot. Lighter than the Anthonij Rupert wines, with more cherry and cedar flavours. Also very heavy legs, a very smooth and very enjoyable blend.
So after a little complaining it was actually a very pleasant afternoon, not the greatest wine tasting experience as a whole, but fantastic wines which you can really appreciate!
Anthonij Rupert Wine Farm
Lattitude: 33˚52’48.47″ S Longitude: 19˚01’26.60″ E
The Farm is on the R45 (Approx 13km from the N1 turnoff) on the right hand side, driving towards Franschhoek.
021 874 9041