05 March 2017

Vin de Francois 2015 Launched

The 2015 vintage of François Naudé's Vin de François was launched and sold by auction yesterday, Saturday 4 March.
Two very athletic acrobats

I was one of the attendees, collected at midday and taken by a Range Rovers to a secret destination, so secret that the satellite navigation system couldn't find it and after ending up in farmyards after miles of dirt tracks the driver had to phone for directions. Eventually we drove into La Paris estate, some eight kilometres from Franschhoek.
Champagne topper up

There we enjoyed generous pours of Soutiran Champagne Brut Premiere Cru Alexandre (50/50 Pinot Noir/Chardonnay) and 'The Wingnut' Methode Cap Classic Brut Rosé 2010 (50/50 Pinotage/Chardonnay), oysters and hot and cold canapes. For entertainment there were exotic acrobats, African face painting and music.

Canapes also served in the wood on the walk from the car park
The facepainters

Then, in a first for the auction, the cars took us to a second location – Ex Nihilo, Paarl, for dinner and the auction.

François' 'Nuts About' Chenin Blanc 2011, 'The Wingnut' MCC rosé and Vin de François 2015 (from decanters) were served. I'd not had 'The Wingnut' before, and I found it delightful, with a crisp streak of acidity balanced by  typical Pinotage sweetness.  

François Naude

François said that this, the ninth vintage of Vin de François had, for the first time, exactly the same contributions as the previous vintage, namely:

Beyerskloof – one barrel from 19 year old Bottelary bush vines and one barrel that had been selected for the 'Diesel' bottling.
Delheim - one barrel from 20 year old bush vine block in the Vera Cruz estate vineyard
Kanonkop – from the oldest 60+ year old bush vines used for the premium 'Black Label'.
Lanzerac – one barrel from their oldest block
L'Avenir – one barrel from a 24 year old block planted by François and one barrel earmarked for their 'Single Block' and 'Provenance' labels.
Rhebokskloof – one barrel from the great decomposed granite block. This is the winery where François is currently working. 
Simonsig – one barrel from the famous 20 year old 'Redhill' vineyard
Wildekrans- one barrel containing a blend of their two oldest bush vine blocks.

Vin de François 2015,” said François, “has intense colour and flavour, with red plums and ripe bananas and a spicy oak characteristics. The palate is ripe and complex with sweet integrated wood character. It is drinkable now and will age beautifully for 5-10 years.
2015 was a magic vintage offering long maturation.”

The menu
Of course, I couldn't see what they'd painted on my face until I got someone to photo me
It shouldn't need saying, but although  Vin de François has never named a cultivar on its labels, it is always 100% Pinotage. This vintage is gorgeous young, after decanting, and it's only going to get better in a few years. If I can keep my purchases that long!!

Auction Catalogue and Bidding Paddle


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