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Cape Classics Blog
June 24, 2011

Summer's here, which means endless activities and loads of fun. But what to drink when you're collecting seashells by the seashore? With its enticing melon, citrus and tropical fruit aromas and fresh, zesty palate of passion fruit, lime and mango, Indaba Sauvignon Blanc is the perfect warm weather wine. Whether hosting a lavish luau or a casual catch-up with friends on a back porch, this frequent “Best Buy” is versatile enough to make a splash at any affair this season.

June 1, 2011
Glenelly Estate Owner May-Eliane de Lencquesaing left her countryside home in France early last week to embark on a visit to the United States. During a weeklong stay in New York, the Bordeaux doyenne and former owner of Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande expressed her conviction in South Africa’s terroir, its potential for great wines, and her commitment to playing a part in the country’s economic development. Intent to convey her confidence in the quality of wine and the future of the South African wine category to the US, Madame de Lencquesaing met with press, top distributors and key restaurant and retail accounts to share her stories and passion.

A whirlwind of events organized by US importer Cape Classics commenced with a first-ever meeting between Wine Spectator Editor James Molesworth and Madame de Lencquesaing.  A ‘meet & greet’ with Cape Classics’ New York office followed, in which she emphasized the importance of discovery and creation, calling to mind her first trip to South Africa. Her seemingly endless wisdom left the office speechless as she headed to lunch with Wine Director Jesse Salazar of the prominent retail shop Union Square Wines & Spirits.

The next day of her journey Madame de Lencquesaing joined Food & Wine magazine Editor-in-Chief Dana Cowin and Executive Wine Editor Ray Isle at the world-class restaurant Le Bernardin. For the distinguished occasion famed Chef Eric Ripert and Aldo Sohm -‘Best Sommelier in the World 2008’-  worked together to create a special menu for the guests, prepared especially to perfectly match dishes to the Glenelly Wines.

A historical evening proceeded as executives from the top ten distributors in the US congregated for dinner with Madame de Lencquesaing and her grandson Nicolas Bureau - Glenelly Export Director - at the Four Seasons Restaurant. Attendees included representatives from Opici Wine Company, Glazer’s Wholesale Distributing, M.S. Walker, Southern Wine & Spirits, Winebow, Young’s Market Company, Fedway, The Country Vintner and Wine Trends. Over the course of the night guests were poured Glenelly ‘Glass Collection’ Chardonnay 2010 and Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, Grand Vin de Glenelly 2007 and Lady May 2008. Courtesy of Madame de Lencquesaing, the night concluded with Chateau Pichon-Longueville-Comtesse de Lalande 2006.

Prior to dinner service, Madame de Lencquesaing spoke eloquently of the history of South Africa’s terrior and winemaking history, often drawing a parallel to that of Bordeaux’s. She emphasized winemaking in South Africa has been going on as long as Medoc’s; in 1688 vines were first planted in both regions. Despite the long tradition, South African wines were generally unknown because of tough export conditions and later due to apartheid. However, combined with its history and the experience of the region’s winemakers, she commented “South Africa has the best terroir, best winemakers.”

The last day of Madame de Lencquesaing’s visit included an interview with the “World Wine Guys” Jeff Jenssen and Mike DeSimone for a new book project called “The Complete Wines of the Southern Hemisphere.” Her visit concluded with a Master Sommelier and Master of Wine dinner at New York’s upscale Compose restaurant. George Miliotes of The Capital Grille and Seasons 52, Thierry Pradines of Restaurant Associates, and Sandy Block of Legal Seafoods were in attendance, among others.  Considering herself more of an artist than a winemaker, Madame de Lencquesaing spoke of her passion for collecting glass pieces. She compared winemaking to glassmaking, explaining both are created from poor matter - sand and grape - to form rich pieces of art.