Muratie, the historic Stellenbosch family estate situated in the premium wine ward of Simonsberg-Stellenbosch, has released the 2014 vintage of their Laurens Campher, their highly acclaimed flagship white blend which pays tribute to the first owner of the estate, who showed his mettle, passion and determination to be united with the woman of his dreams.
Laurens met and fell in love with Ansela van de Caab, a slave at the Castle in Cape Town where he worked for the Dutch East India Company. He had a deep love for the soil and had always dreamt of becoming a farmer. So, when the Governor of the Cape, Simon van der Stel, granted him tenure of De Driesprong in 1685 (renamed Muratie in 1911), he moved to the farm at the foot of the Simonsberg Mountains. He frequently walked the 64 kilometres to Cape Town and back, a three day trip, to see his beloved Ansela. This courtship at the Castle continued for 14 years during which time Ansela and Laurens had three children. Eventually Ansela learnt to speak Dutch and was baptised at the Castle, enabling her to be emancipated in 1699, whereupon she and Laurens married and, with their three children, settled on the farm. The oak tree Ansela planted to bless their marriage still stands on Muratie, as does a small white house, their first home, built for them by Laurens. Fittingly the other Muratie flagship wine, a Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated red blend, is named Ansela van de Caab.
In the Vineyard:
This wine is made from meticulously sourced grapes from different sites and slopes. Vineyards vary in age from 10 – 15 years old. The Chenin Blanc is from an old north-facing bush vine block with low yields and good fruit purity.
In the Cellar:
It is a blend of 46% Chenin Blanc, 27% Sauvignon Blanc, 19% Verdelho and 8% Viognier. 40% of the wine was fermented in first-fill barrels and the rest was second- and third-fill 500 litre French Oak barrels, for a period of 8 months in total.
Lively fresh lemon and lime notes from the Chenin and Sauvignon Blanc are given added interest with fragrant floral hints from the Verdelho and Viognier components. On the palate, the wine is elegant and complex with flavours of honeysuckle, lime marmalade and fresh almonds, all wrapped in creamy oak. Zippy acidity runs through the wine until the eminently satisfying, lengthy finish.
This off-dry wine is best savoured with creamy chicken dishes, as well as mild, aromatic spicy dishes such as curries.
This wine can be enjoyed now or up to five years from now.
Accolades received for previous vintages of Muratie Laurens Campher:
Muratie Laurens Campher 2013:
· Rated the best value white blend at the 2014 RECM Best Value White Niche and White Blends tasting convened by Neil Pendock;
· Received 4½ Stars in the Platter’s 2015 Wine Guide;
· Rated as one of the Top 100 SA Wines for 2015. The Challenge, now in its fifth year, provides an objective independent and professional rating with judging panels made up of the highest quality, independent experts, and drew 500 entries from a record 140 leading wineries;
· Awarded Highly Recommended in Decanter magazine’s Cape Mediterranean Whites panel tasting, published in the June 2015 issue. Muratie’s Laurens Campher 2013, with a score of 91 points, came joint 4th in the tasting. Panelist Tim Atkin, awarded wine writer and leading commentator on South Africa wine, reported: “The tasting featured the cream of South Africa’s Mediterranean producers – an important category… White blends are still what South Africa does best”. Decanter is arguably the leading wine and spirits publication in the world.
Muratie Laurens Campher 2012:
· Awarded 92 points in Tim Atkin’s 2014 South African Report. Tim Atkin is an internationally renowned wine commentator and British Master of Wine. Highly regarded for his tasting, wine writing and judging experience spanning 28 years, and having tasted over 1000 South African wines for his current report, breaking the venerable 90 point barrier in his 2014 South African Report is no mean feat;
· Rated one of South Africa’s Top Six White Blends in Classic Wine magazine in 2014.
A VISIT TO MURATIE
A visit to Muratie today, still guarded over by ancient oak trees, reveals a piece of history where time has largely stood still. The passion for preserving the estate’s rich heritage and intriguing human stories from its centuries old history, are captured in every nook and cranny of this family farm. Even the wines and the food reflect a tangible sense of time suspended, with the estate’s wines and the Farm Kitchen restaurant dishes named after extraordinary characters from the farm’s colourful past.
The many and varied attractions at Muratie include:
· Wine tasting daily between 10am and 5pm in Muratie’s rickety cob-webbed old-world tasting room
· Wine and chocolate pairing
· The Melck family’s home-made preserves and treats for sale at the tasting room, which include nougat made from their own free range eggs, honey from the hives in the blue gum grove on the hill above the tasting room, home baked rusks and green fig preserves and apricot jam, made by Annatjie and Kim, from fruit grown on the farm.
· The Farm Kitchen restaurant;
· Winery and history tours by appointment;
· GP Canitz Art Gallery in the refurbished historic concrete tanks in the cellar;
· Self-catering accommodation in the GP Canitz’s original art studio which he built with bricks made on the farm;
· Functions hosted in the cellar inside old tartaric acid-encrusted concrete wine tanks which have been renovated and opened up for guest entertainment;
· Private tastings in the Kneipzimmer, GP Canitz’s drinking den;
· Exciting summer and winter events.