The second vintage of Frans K Smit, the much-anticipated 2009 vintage, is due for release soon. A few wine writers were sent a sample recently, and I opened mine over the weekend, tasted it, and then took it to Karoux, our local gourmet restaurant in McGregor, where it teamed beautifully with a silky duck liver pate, partnered a steak and shortrib creation with panache, and added style to a sophisticated rendering of skilpadjies on white onion puree.
It is a splendid Cape blend with cab predominating but not overpowering, the merlot, shiraz and pinotage each adding significant elements to a very classy wine. I think it should be left to its own devices for another few years, when it could deliver quality that will prove that the 2009 vintage attained its predicted heights.
The 2004 was the maiden vintage of this one-bottle range, produced as a tribute to the talent and commitment of cellarmaster Frans Smit and the 2009 marks his 20th year at the historic farm. Along with his impressive list of vinous achievements, Frans is also a hugely popular, modest, friendly, down-to-earth winemaker, which makes reviewing his products even more enjoyable.
The 2009 vintage should be available from specialist wine outlets and online fromhttp://store.spierwines.co.za)in around three months at R745 a bottle.
As it falls into the super-price category, I am going to add my usual comment about any South African wine retailing at R500 and more: at this price level I think that some percentage of the considerable profit margin should be channelled to a wineland charity, as no wine, however fine, costs that much more to make, bottle and label than its cousins selling at R450. I know Spier does great community work in the vicinity of the home farm, but I think Frans should be asked to choose a charity of his choice which will benefit from sales of this beautiful blend.