I have had a bottle of La Luna 2006 red blend standing on my desk for some time now, a gift from Avondale. There was no more suitable night to drink it than on Wednesday evening, waiting for a glimpse of the disappearing moon during the lunar eclipse on a stormy Cape night, and in the company of knowledgeable wine lover Dusan Jelic, Social Media Manager of wine.co.za.
La Luna is a blend of organically-grown Cabernet Sauvignon (30%), Cabernet Franc (30 % ), Merlot (20%), and Petit Verdot (20%), the first three varieties identified by Dusan on taste. The wine was matured in French Oak barrels for 12 – 16 months.
Avondale has established itself as an eco-friendly wine estate outside Paarl. The label says that Avondale “…look to the skies to make extraordinary wines on our piece of the Earth. The soft suppleness of this convivial Red Blend reflects the graceful ways that Avondale is attuned to cosmic influences and rhythms“. Its Terra est Vita (soil is life) neck label reflects the sustainable and natural viticulture that is practised at Avondale.
I asked Dusan to guide me through a tasting of the wine. He sniffed the cork, which confirmed that it wasn’t corked. We chatted about drinking and tasting wine, and the subjectivity of the evaluation. Dusan said that for him the company in which one tastes wine makes a huge difference to its enjoyment and memorability. One of his favourite winetasting memories was when he and his friend read poetry, inspired by a good wine. Wine removes the barrier between people, he said. In Serbia, Dusan’s home-country, one would never taste wine without serving food. He says that he has had to get used to this not always being the case in South Africa. Dusan described the nose as being inviting. There was balance between the nose and palate. The wine has a deep rich colour. Dusan could taste jaminess, with a taste of raspberries, plums, prunes, and cherries, as well as chocolate. He described the wine as smooth and polished. Dusan slurps the wine, saying that the extra air allows one to taste the wine better. The media release described the wine as follows: “The velvety red blend offers scents of cedar, truffles and dark fruit with subtle forest and herb undertones, while full plum and mulberry flavours and soft tannins combine for a lovely, vibrant suppleness”.
Avondale calls its unique blend of organic and biodynamic wine farming with modern science BIO-Logic. “La Luna derives its name from the way the moon influences our living system, and reflects the biodynamic farming methodology employed by the farm. By being attuned to the cosmic influences and rhythms, Avondale is able to fine tune its activities on the farm to be in harmony with the celestial forces”, says the Avondale media release.
We were over the moon with the enjoyable bottle of La Luna, and Dusan tried his best to get every last drop out of the bottle when it was finished!
La Luna 2006 Red Blend, Avondale, Paarl. Tel (021) 863-1970. www.avondalewine.co.za
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter:@WhaleCottage