You bring the thunder. I’ll bring the Pinot.

Where I’m from thunderstorms dominate the sky in summer. They are mighty in their magnitude and brutal in force. These storms roll in from the west in a magnificent display of temper. Dark and brooding at first with a sudden switch to fury, there is nothing mild about these Free State storms. They are intense, wild and incredibly sexy. When these storms gather in the skies I open a bottle of Pinot Noir – because there is only one varietal to drink when nature displays her rage, and that is a sensual Pinot Noir. She brings the thunder and I bring the wine.

Pinot Noir is sexy. A great Pinot is dead sexy – and calls for an epic storm. 

Last year, judging the Cabernet Franc and Pinot Noir category on Wine magazine’s wine judging panel, I put my palate on a block and called 19 (out of 20) on a Pinot. Yes, it was a liberal score. But I really liked the wine. I really, really did. It was a wine I wanted to take home with me for Christmas. It was a wine I wanted to drink while watching clouds gather in the west.

It was the Paul Cluver Seven Flags ’08.

Yesterday I attended the launch of the sequel in Elgin, The Paul Cluver Seven Flags ’09.

I can tell you that the wine is made from 19 year-old vineyards – the farm’s oldest vineyards – that the wine is matured in French oak for 11 months, only 20% in first fill, that the fine grain and purity of fruit on this Pinot is immaculate, that it’s elegant, exact and delicate. That it retails for R350 a bottle and that it’s worth it.

But that doesn’t do it justice.

What I should tell you is that it’s a wine I would like to drink with my head resting in the lap of Thor.

Paul Cluver snr. and media enjoying views and Paul Cluver Seven Flags Pinot.

About Jeanri-Tine

I use to drink wine for a living. Now I just do it for fun. Wine journalist turned wine junkie for reasons of the heart more than the mind - it is the lifestyle which accompanies the drink which I find most entertaining...
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4 Responses to You bring the thunder. I’ll bring the Pinot.

  1. Dys Brewer says:

    I was very excited when this wine was launched. Sadly, 7 Flags does not age. I opened the 2006 recently at our wine club. Stored in perfect conditions, the wine was flat and dead. A second bottle was just as mediocre. Pity, as it was gorgeous in its youth. But at that price one would expect 7 Flags would develop accordingly.

  2. Jeanri-Tine says:

    Thanks for your comment. Sadly (or fortunately it seems) I have never had enough patience to mature the Seven Flags – too many thunderstorms to pass on. We did mention at the event that a vertical of the Seven Flags dating back to maiden vintage will be an interesting exercise, also, in light of your comment to provide valuable feedback to the consumer. You are absolutely right that at that price point the wine should cellar well. Sorry you were disappointed.

  3. lauren says:

    oh what wonderous prose! Have to get me a bottle (or rather, a man who can afford to get me one!)

  4. Kwispedoor says:

    Interesting indeed. I had some 2000 and 2001 Paul Cluver Pinot in the last two years and they were pretty damn nice. One would assume that the grapes used for the Seven Flags went into their regular label at the time and that the grapes would provide better maturation worthiness as the vineyards get older. Perhaps a vintage-specific issue?

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