Short odds on Van Biljon Cinq becoming one of Stellenbosch’s finest
THERE ARE some stretches along the beautiful wine routes of Stellenbosch that offer a better hit-rate than others for those in search of the best – strips of road with members of the Top 100 ‘club’ on either side in the sort of concentration that makes it possible to visit several within an hour or two without breaking the speed limit. Off the R44 to Somerset West, south of Stellenbosch, the Annandale Road is one such stretch – a narrow tarmac reaching up the side of the Helderberg mountain and flanked by Guardian Peak, Ernie Els and Hidden Vally en route to Uva Mira. The Helshoogte Road to Franschhoek takes you east past Neil Ellis, Tokara, Thelema and Delaire Graff. Whereas west of the CBD there are two more scenic routes: the Stellenboschkloof Road beginning alongside Neethlingshof and passing DeMorgenzon on the way to Jordan, and the Polkadraai Road (M12) that passes Mulderbosch, De Toren, Reyneke and Saxenburg before the winelands end and suburbia begins.
It’s on the Polkadraai Hills that one of the newcomers among the Cape’s top producers has a growing reputation for the good stuff on a boutique scale. With veteren winemaker Chris Keet at the helm in the cellar, Van Biljon Wines have twice been Highly Recommended in Platter’s South African Wine Guide for their Bordeaux-style red blend called Cinq – the maiden 2011 and the 2013 vintage getting the nod in the 2014 and 2016 editions respectively, with the 2013, classical and elegant, recently released at R350 a bottle from the farm.
The name of Anton and Julia van Biljon’s property is Tarantaal, home of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cab Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec vineyards as well as a guest cottage (self-catering). He has medical practices in Hermanus and Stellenbosch. She has a company that designs and manufactures swimwear, a business that takes her around the world on a regular basis. Some would argue that the couple has been too bold too soon in the pricing of their wine. But then again, this is one of THE prime bits of real estate in the heartland of Wine SA, and the cellarmaster is one of the best in the business…
Sales and cellar tours by appointment.