The Alphabetical

Jamie Who's thoughts on new boutique wine, The Alphabetical

David Cope and Simon Wibberley couldn’t be more different. David is the creative guy with awesome, wild ideas, big dreams and a general balls-to-the-wall attitude when it comes to his approach to life. David doesn’t like the word “no”. Simon is more measured. He’s clean-shaven, calculated and practical with an ability to smell bullshit from a mile away. As a business partnership, they are a potent, talented team – maybe partly because of this contrast in style?

With that in mind, I found a great example of irony in the fact that their newest wine – The Alphabetical- mirrors the winemakers’ personalities. It’s a collection of grapes and varietals from two regions, and the individual characteristics of Stellenbosch and the Swartland shine through to create a harmony that works well. Better than well in fact. I tasted dusty, chalky earthiness from the Swartland grapes but those robust, spicy notes were balanced nicely with elegant, soft, more refined characteristics from the Stellenbosch grapes. It’s Yin and Yang. It’s David and Simon. It’s awesome.

To elaborate a bit on the grapes that these guys have sourced, they’re from Lammershoek in the Paardeberg, an area where big dogs like Eben Sadie, Adi Badenhorst and Chris Mullineux all have farms or get grapes from themselves. The other portion is from Glenelly in the Simonsberg in Stellenbosch, an area also home to great names like Rustenberg, Kanonkop, Warwick etc. So, in a nutshell, they’re not exactly skimping.
The process sees David and Simon getting involved in wine production at Lammershoek, then transporting this wine to Glenelly where they blend in some more juice from Simonsberg to make the final product. The wine is then bottled and stored in Stellies. On a quick call to David this morning I asked if he would like to thank anyone who had possibly helped them along the way. This was his reply: “If it weren’t for the guidance of Craig Hawkins at Lammershoek and Luke O’Cuinneagan at Glenelly, we’d be freaking useless.” You’ve got to love the humility.

Watch out for this one kids. It’s R75 a pop and is a blend of about eight varietals (hence the name). Its got one of the coolest labels I’ve seen, some refreshingly quirky copy to explain the winemakers’ philosophies and – most importantly – it tastes brilliant. I preferred it slightly chilled and think it might be one of the easiest wines to pair with food that I’ve seen in ages. For a taste, or to place an order, get hold of these guys at david@alphabetical.co.za or simon@alphabetical.co.za.

Cheers,

Jamie Who

The wine can be found and enjoyed at Bree Street haunt, &Union (021 422 2770).

Jamie Who, food blogger for www.aficionado.co.za, certainly has a way with words, check out what else he has to say.

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