In the words of Rijk Melck, custodian of the historic Muratie Estate: ‘I must say it was great pride, deep gratitude and warm memories that put a big smile on my face when we were honoured with a 2018 Platter’s five-star award for our flagship Bordeaux-style blend, Ansela van de Caab 2013. For us at Muratie this award is a wonderful and fitting tribute to the legacy of those who came before, who dared to dream, who turned a dream into reality.’
Melck continues: ‘It feels like yesterday that I rode on the back of an ancient Toyota Hilux 2.4 D through some very old neglected vineyards at Muratie. Standing on the back with me were wine industry stalwart Duimpie Bayly, my father Ronnie Melck and Paul Pontallier, the master himself from Château Margaux. I recall my dad saying to Paul, ‘This little piece of heaven on earth was destined for great things and it’s my dream to produce an excellent Bordeaux-style blend from this Simonsberg appellation.” That was way back in March 1989. It has taken 28 years since that little outride with my father and Monsieur Pontallier, both of whom are sadly no longer with us, for my dad’s dream of a supreme Bordeaux-style blend to be fulfilled. Patience is indeed a virtue.’
Melck concludes: ‘For us, this prestigious award honours all those involved in our journey from dream to reality, alongside Francois Conradie whose last vintage at Muratie was 2013 before he tragically succumbed to cancer a year later. The 2013 Ansela van de Caab is part of the treasured legacy he left us at Muratie.’
Muratie Ansela van de Caab 2013
The Ansela van de Caab pays tribute to a slave girl at the Castle who overcame the horrors of slavery at the Cape in the late 17th century, to become one of the first owners of Muratie. ‘Multi-layered dark fruit & spice, authoritative tannins, great persistence, Irresistible now but a definite keeper’ is the 2018 Platter’s wine guide description of this Cabernet Sauvignon-led Bordeaux-style blend, with 25 per cent Merlot and 15 per cent Cabernet Franc, which spent 24 months in French oak (50 per cent new).
Dark, intense and brooding, the nose promises much: cedar wood, blackcurrants, plums and mulberries with a distinctive herbaceous and spicy edge, and the palate more than delivers on that exciting promise with rich, savoury flavours and fruity succulence. A long finish develops from fruit to savoury, and ends with an enticing combination of the two. This wine epitomises balance, with the elegant tannins, fresh acidity and masterly oak treatment all playing their part. This is a wine to savour with the very finest culinary offerings, or simply to be enjoyed with good friends.
One might have to search the shelves for the 2013 Ansela van de Caab, which retails for approximately R325, but the 2014 and 2015 vintages will be great investments, especially the 2015, which is being released in December 2017. This vintage would be one to buy and to cellar for five to 10 years, well worth the wait!