12 July 2010

Bottelary Hills and Klippenkop?

I’ve had a couple of mystery Pinotages recently. The first is the attractively named Klippenkop 2008. That is on the new winelist of my favourite local Indian restaurant. For the past decade their menu hasn’t changed which meant that inflation made eating there become increasingly inexpensive. The wine list, inherited en-bloc from an even older one was dotted with basic generic names like Chablis, Liebfraumilch, Chianti, St Emilion etc and as the years passed so the restaurant sourced even cheaper representatives of these names till they could no longer buy some wine at less than what they were selling it. Gone from the new list are unfashionable unsellable Liebfraumilchs and their like, in come new world wines and, gulp, new prices.

Klippenkop is modern clean fruit led wine, no rough edges, enough acidity and body to pair well with modern Indian cooking and I’ve enjoyed several bottles in the past weeks. But who makes it? Some online sellers say it comes from Robertson Winery but my email to them asking if it is one of theirs has not been answered. The A number is A371 which belongs to Vinfruco which I believe is now part of The Company of Wine People. Probably Klippenkop is a shippers label sourced from whoever has excess at the time. But I like to think there is a winemaker somewhere who lays claim to it and so if you know who made this wine please tell me, in confidence if you prefer.

Bottelary Hills is the other mystery wine. There’s a newish promotional organisation called Bottelary Hills representing the wineries of this Stellenbosch Ward whose website states “Bottelary Hills will offer 2 brands, an entry / mid range brand named M23 and the other named Bottelary Hills which will be directed at the upper limits of the South African / New World range.” That’s pretty clear, then.

Except in their reply to my email asking for more information they say it’s not their wine and they don’t know what it is. The wine is closed with screw-cap on which is printed Koopmanskloof – which is another winery in the area but not one listed as a member of the Bottelary Hills group and the number is A317. No wine labelled Bottelary Hills is shown on the Koopmanskloof website and my email to them remains unanswered.

But what of the wine? Clean, some fruit but light bodied, even watery, workmanlike but unexciting.

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