Some PR practitioners are better than others. In addition to her substantial natural assets, Nicolette Waterford has access to helicopters. So when she stopped by at Doolhof to talk wine tourism on International Malbec Day earlier this week, she choppered in like Hilary Clinton. How cool is that!
Perhaps she was presenting a proposal for International Pinotage Day? Although Pinotage is not the most popular varietal on Doolhof at the minute after the farm failed to feature in the recent Pinotage Guide, even though they bank with sponsor ABSA and Decanter magazine thought their Pinotage the best in SA last year. Oops!
Angelo Casu, mine host at the Grande Dédale boutique hotel on the farm (owner Dennis Kerrison has an unwritten rule, everything must begin with the letter “d”) tweeted the arrival of Nicolette. Although Dennis was slightly miffed that Dédale rather than Doolhof was given as her destination. But then the one is French and the other is Dutch and with Nicolas Sarkozy hopefully on his last small legs (round one of the French general election takes on Sunday), Angelo can hardly be blamed for favouring things French at the minute.
Especially when the great grape of Cahors, Malbec, makes the finest wine in the Doolhof range: as a single varietal and in the stunning Minotaur blend. The farm is pure Cahors – the reds are inky black (thanks to cold soaking of the grapes) and I’m sure we’ll see a Lady in Black soon.
There is already a Doolhof Dark Lady Pinotage, but William Wordsworth gave it a catastrophic tasting note: “worse than a puzzle-peg. They are abominably harsh, obscure & worthless. The others are for the most part much better, have many fine lines, very fine lines & passages. They are also in many places warm with passion. Their chief faults, and heavy ones they are, are sameness, tediousness, quaintness, & elaborate obscurity.” OK, so he was talking about the Dark Lady sonnets of one W. Shakespeare, but you get the message.
Dennis’s wife Dorothy (that “d” again) would like to buy the whole valley below the Bainskloof Pass and a canny investor could do worse. For the wines of Doolhof have a unique and tasteable terroir. It’s just a question of nailing down what it is. My suggestion would be to aim for Cahors in the Cape. After all, it’s a situation vacant.