Ancient trees are important, living connections to our past. They have been neglected, loved, ignored, pampered, forgotten or worshipped. These trees have survived trauma, disease and the elements. Like our elders, they have a story to tell and the more the tree has witnessed, the grander its story.
Cape Town has such a tree; a gnarled Milkwood that reaches some 500 years back into our history. This is Treaty Tree, a historical monument in the suburb of Woodstock, that leans out over the corner of Treaty and Spring streets. It has seen massacres, slavery, hangings, treaty signing and once used to peer out over the Woodstock beachfront. Besides famous and infamous events, Treaty Tree has watched everyday life over several centuries. It has stood through shifting climates and all manner of weather. Its shape is an impression of its long relationship with the Cape Doctor.
Treaty Tree’s dendrology will one day offer us snapshots of time, where each year is etched into the tree’s rings. South Africa’s 350-year-old winemaking history speaks to these moments, contained in vintages and accessed as a living memory years later.
It is through this impression that our Treaty Tree red and white blends are named. The berries that go into these wines weather elements longer than most of our grapes. We flirt with disaster and trust that the extra time on the vine will compose a wine worth pausing to enjoy, to engage the moment and to reflect on the climatic journey from seed to cellar.
Treaty Tree Cabernet / Malbec / Merlot
Deep ruby red with garnet rim.
On the nose summer fruits like strawberry, cherry and black-ripe youngberry, cassis, fennel and the faintest hint of basil.
The serious, creamy palate is complemented by concentrated flavours of black cherry, wild mint, blueberry and dark chocolate.
This Bordeaux blend pairs well with any beef or game bird dishes, like rosemary-braised lamb shanks or a hearty venison pie!
Treaty Tree Sauvignon Blanc / Semillon
Intriguing, light lime green hue shot through with white gold.
On the nose, the wine jumps out of the glass with focused aromas of asparagus, fresh thyme, gooseberry and sweet melon. In the background, a hint of white pepper and nutmeg.
The wine seduces your palate with a texture of creamed honey, but the flavours are taut citrus fruit framed by a suggestion of toasty oak. An extraordinarily complex and satisfying mouthful.
The wine pairs amazingly well with shellfish and fish. Steamed mussels in a tomato sauce, crayfish cooked in the shell on the braai, with an olive oil and garlic basting, or even Snoek cooked on the braai, the traditional way with marmalade, all go brilliantly. But that’s all sort of expected, I suppose. It’s when the wine can also stand up to a steak sandwich that you really realise the power and structure in this wine.
Available from Norman Goodfellows and the Flagstone Cellar Door in Somerset, including their online website: www.flagstonewines.com
RSP: R120 & R145 respectively
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Categories: Flagstone Wines