Back so soon First week of the new year and I’m already on the trail. Been wanting to visit Klein Roosboom on Cliff’s recommendation for ages, but couldn’t get in. Managed to book a spot this time and had such a wonderful experience.
It’s the next estate you get to after Durbanville Hills along the Tyger Valley Road. Klein Roosboom is a boutique winery with some unique and interesting wines and one of the most enjoyable wine tasting experiences I’ve had. It’s in an entirely different category to it’s highly commercialized neighbour.
You can rock up and do a wine tasting at a table under the umbrellas, but it’s a far more memorable experience to squirrel yourselves away in one of the uniquely themed wine tasting caves. The caves have limited seating capacity for parties from 2 people up to a max of 8. If there’s more of you, you’ll have to settle for the main tasting area.
We booked the Rouge cave which is Baroque themed and predominantly red, as the name suggests. You feel like you’ve stepped into a hidden room in an ancient mansion, or an intimate bar in one of those very old theaters that are long gone today. Opposite our spot was a cave with two hanging macrame chairs where you can get seasick while tasting wine. If the tasting doesn’t make you feel like you’re floating, the hanging chairs sure will.
Jean was our waiter and Somelier. He was brilliant, very entertaining and knowledgeable, and took us through the tasting. He’s also a passionate foodie so we had a good long chat about where to fine-dine in Cape Town.
You can order snacks from the deli to accompany your tasting. We ordered way too much bread, and then realizing our mistake, we added cheese platter. I’d recommend the cheese or the meat platter and one of the bread platters – go for the one with the blue cheese and fig, or the rose jam. Yumm. I wanted to get a bottle of that rose jam but they don’t sell it.
The wines are interesting. I wasn’t absolutely blown away by any of them, and wasn’t expecting fireworks since I haven’t seen Klein Roosboom featured at the wine accolades events I ended last year and my liver at.
Some of their wines are unique, and I enjoyed the story behind them. The My Way Sauv Blanc was interesting and probably my favorite of the day. It is unlike any other Sauv Blanc – it has some very different characteristics and flavours. The number of fruits, berries, leaves and plants in that first sniff from Jean’s description read more like a 10 star dessert from a Michelin rated restaurant. The Rosé was good too – lovely rich colour, very inviting. It’s predominantly Merlot with some of their Sauv Blanc. For those who love an unwooded Chardonnay, theirs is okay.
The 2021 Cab Sav is very new and needs a few years in the bottle, so I took a chance and bought a bottle of the 2018 Cab Sav from the Vinoteque because who wants to wait 3 years to find out what it’s going to taste like then, right? Chances are I’ll have forgotten why I bought it, open it long before 3 years and it will end up in a lamb stew. While I’m at it a lamb stew in this cloudy weather sounds like a mighty fine idea. Remind me to go shopping later. Where was I…
I’ll let you know how the 2018 Cab Sav tastes when I open a bottle a lot sooner than 3 years from now.
I also tried the My Way red blend when it was first opened and I would have dived in and bought a case right then but Jéan told us to wait till after we’d finished with the other reds, and by then it had changed character entirely and lost its appeal.
All said, the wines at Klein Roosboom are very reasonably priced. The My Way Sauv Blanc is only produced in limited quantities – 3000 bottles if I recall correctly, and the Cellar Door price is only R165. Definitely excellent value.
If you’re looking for exceptional wines, you won’t find them here, but if you’re looking for a memorable experience in a whimsical, fanciful, Alice-in-wonderland like setting with decent wines and some great cheese and charcuterie platters (I still have to google spell that every single time), then you won’t be disappointed. It’s 20 minutes from Blouberg/Tableview so the Uber/cab/designated driver cost is a helluva lot less than the Stellies counterpart.