Last night we attended a wine dinner at Les Cavistes featuring John Seccombe from Thorne & Daughters. I had never heard of this South African producer before but after a little searching I was intrigued by what sounded like a strong lineup of whites, so I bit. It's worth mentioning I think SA is putting out some incredible whites these days, especially chenin blancs. John is the owner, wine maker, bottle washer, etc at Thorne which started making wine in 2013. he cut his teeth at wineries in SA, Australia and France before starting his own. The wines see very little wood and those that do only old barrels.
Each served with a different course we tasted
2017 Cat's Cradle (100% old bush vine Chenin Blanc)
Excellent dry version of chenin. White fruit and mineral it went well with some eggplant ricotta cannoli to start.
2016 Rocking Horse (blend of Roussanne, Chenin Blanc, Semillon, Clairette Blanche & Chardonnay)
2017 Rocking Horse
The 2017 was the better of the two with a much expressive nose. Not quite as good as the Cat's Cradle but still excellent. Served with two types of "crostini", mackerel with onion confit and the other with octopus & piperade.
2017 Paper Kite (100% old vine Semillon)
50-85 year old vines. Floral and waxy. Quite unique and really delicious served with some mahi-mahi maki
2017 Tin Soldier (100% Semillon Gris)
Another interesting wine. Kind of salmon/beige colour due to some fermentation with the skins. Peach notes with that waxiness. I prefer the Paper Kite version but the pairing of the Tin Soldier with some medium rare veal & fresh pea puree was inspired.
2017 Wanderer's Heart (Grenache, Cinsault & Mourvedre blend)
The only red he brought with him. Made in a lighter bodied, high acidity style reminding me of some Raul Perez wines I tasted recently. Floral and spice nose. Very good and went well with a grilled pork chop dish.
2017 Man in the Moon (100% Clairette Blanche)
This was served with a cheese plate with quince paste. Don't think I've ever had a 100% Clairette Blanche before. Dry with a little colour again owing to some skin fermentation. Citrusy and white fruit notes. Interesting but it didn't wow me so I wasn't that disappointed this was the only wine he didn't bring with him to sell.
There is no Canadian distribution of his wines (yet) and according to Wine Searcher there is only limited distribution in the US (California). I ordered some bottles last night which I hope to get by the end of this week.
Very enjoyable evening and this just added to my desire to go to Cape Town and the surrounding wine regions soon.