Every time I go to a tasting featuring top South African wines I count myself lucky. Lucky and proud. And the recent vertical tasting of Tokara’s Director’s Reserve Red wines at Jardine Restaurant in Stellenbosch made me immensely proud. South African wines stand right up there with the best in the world and is gaining a serious reputation for its buttkickery.
Miles Mossop, as one would expect of a winemaker, is one of the personalities that was intricately involved in the crafting of the Cabernet Sauvignon wines that epitomise the pinnacle of what can be called Tokara’s wine mantra. Fresh from a winemaking stint in the USA, Miles started his tenure at Tokara in 2000 which can only be described as stellar. Like a doting parent Miles presided over the wines comprising the Director’s Red wines and with the rest of the winemaking and viticulture team at Tokara a legacy started that spans back to 2003. With the focus being on origin and vintage expression from the start, is there any doubt as to why the quality of the Director’s range is so consistently excellent?
A comment that was uttered by at least 4 people during the tasting alluded to the freshness and purity of fruit of all of the wines presented. This is no mean feat, considering the age of the oldest wine at the tasting (14 years). According to Miles it was clear from the beginning that the focus would be on Bordeaux varietals and more specifically Cabernet Sauvignon. “The blend must reflect the very best of the year while maintaining consistency of style. I think we’ve achieved this really well. For the Director’s Reserve range we chose elegance and balance above a robust and impressive wine,” beams Miles.
I mentioned the word “lucky” in the opening sentence, but when it comes to Tokara’s winning wines luck has nothing to do with it. Viticulturist Aidan Morton, who started at Tokara in 2001, says, “To make sure we’ll ultimately get the best quality we researched the soil, got advice from neighbours and learned what was available in the industry. Technology and research was and still is instrumental with the progression and development of our wines. The eradication of leafroll virus was a big focus and our efforts to clean-up the vineyards are ongoing – we check every single vine for virus every season and infected vines are promptly removed. We’ve been doing so since 2001. Today I can proudly say we do not have a single infected vine on the farm. The wine quality is backed up by our efforts.”
Commitment and attention to detail has paid off big time for the folks at Tokara. Something to be proud of for years to come.
Click on this link for a selection of images as well as tasting notes relevant to the wines experienced: http://bit.ly/2twOymQ.