François’ reputation as a master of Pinotage was earned while working at L’Avenir Estate where he won ABSA Pinotage Top 10 seven times. After retiring from L’Avenir he was besieged with requests for his knowledge and now he offers consultation services to a number of top wineries. And, with Pinotage in his blood, François couldn’t resist making wine for himself. Part of his consultancy fee includes the option of a barrel of Pinotage and he chooses ones best suited to make his dream blend which he named ‘Vin de François’.
The label was designed by well known designer Haumann Smal features a wing-nut design symbolizing the clasping together of family ideals, with the different wines from a variety of terroirs. But it also is a tongue-in-mouth reference to François distinctive ears.
But you can’t pop down to supermarket to buy this wine. Interested parties are invited to an auction. They are taken to a secret venue – this year it was Croydon Olive Estate Lifestyle Centre which ‘was transformed into a 1930’s Speakeasy Club with entertainment and food by celebrity chefs.
This year 36 people made successful bids, paying in total R720,000 for 200 cases of twelve bottles.
Only 2600 bottles of the 2008 vintage were produced, and 3 cases (36 bottles) are being offered to the general public via an online auction at http://www.levindefrancois.com/, with all proceeds being donated to the FAITH Foundation which fight against Foetal Alcohol Syndrome.
I tasted this wine last week with François (pictured) who says that the 2008 vintage “was excellent from a point of view of elegance and balance.” The wine had been in bottle for just a month and had an excellent deep colour with restrained fruit and tannins and the sense of locked up potential.
If you are in the Cape you may be interested in bottles of 2007 vintage which I noted on sale at 400R in Delheim winery’s tasting cellar.
Visit http://www.levindefrancois.com/ for more information and to bid.