The annual Michael Fridjhon Wine Experience was launched 16 years ago. The event aims to bring the finest benchmark wines from the Old and New Worlds to the palates of South African wine enthusiasts.
Since those early days, wines available from our top producers have come to rival many of the international classics - a measure of the importance of keeping the highest standards as a frame of reference. However, in the same period, the Rand has halved in value against the Pound, while the cost of the finest international wines has quadrupled in hard currency terms. In short, it gets more and more difficult (and certainly more expensive) for the event to remain true to its founding objectives.
It may not be able to continue indefinitely - the wines must always be of sufficient stature to live up to the founding purpose of the weekend and the package must remain affordable for those who wish to attend. This slightly disconcerting thought prompted the theme for the 2013 Telkom Business Michael Fridjhon Wine Experience - Absolute Benchmarks in the World of Wine.
A premier selection covering a broad spectrum of famous wines
Michael Fridjhon has assembled an extraordinary array of mature wines - each of which occupies its own unique place on the spectrum of wine absolutes - covering most of the important varieties and the undisputed premier appellations. There will be Chateau Cheval Blanc 1985 (arguably one of the world's greatest Cabernet Franc-dominated wines), Chateau La Conseillante 1985 (an extraordinary Merlot-dominated Pomerol), Remoissenet's Grands Echezeaux 1983 to represent Pinot Noir, and Montrachet 2004 from the Marquis de Laguiche to meet the most exacting expectations of Chardonnay aficionados. Chateau de Beaucastel 1998 will fly the flag for the Southern Rhone, Vouvray 1989 from Domaine Huet will state the case for Chenin Blanc, and from the same year a Scharzhofberger Auslese from Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt will speak for Riesling.
Between the tasting and dinner, Wine Experience guests will enjoy Louis Roederer Cristal 2004, the first prestige Cuvée ever produced in Champagne. Once they sit down to their meal, the 2002 Baron de L from Baron de Ladoucette's own cellar will reveal the full potential of Sauvignon Blanc grown in Pouilly-sur-Loire. Chateau Corton Grancey Grand Cru 1988 will be served alongside Hermitage 2003 to accompany the entrée while Chateau d'Yquem 2004, the greatest of all Sauternes, will bring the meal to a suitably sumptuous conclusion.
The Wine Experience Champagne Brunch - long regarded as an event in its own right - will provide guests with an opportunity to familiarise themselves with one of the most famous family houses in Champagne. Several wines from Pol Roger, ranging from the Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill (the great man's favourite fizz) to the Blanc de Blancs, Vintage and the Rosé 2004, will be served over the course of a brunch which begins towards the middle of the morning and continues into lunchtime. It is difficult for anyone who has indulged in the degustation of oysters, the array of cured hams, the mountains of crustaceans, the truffled scramble eggs, the cheese selection, the macaroons and the desserts to say they have ever left hungry or disappointed.
Details of the Telkom Business Michael Fridjhon Wine Experience 2013:
Date: Saturday, 31 August 2013 and Sunday, 1 September 2013.
Venue: The Hyatt Regency, 191 Oxford Road, Rosebank, Johannesburg.
- Saturday Benchmark Tasting starts at 6.30pm for 7pm sharp, followed by the Gala Dinner (8.30pm onwards) in the Ballroom.
- Sunday Champagne Brunch: Registration from 10.15am for 10.30am sharp. Brunch ends around 1.30pm.
- Full weekend package: R7600.
- Attendance of the Benchmark Tasting and Dinner only: R5700.
- Attendance of the Champagne Brunch only: R2250 - SOLD OUT.
- Rate is per person and includes VAT.
For more information, go to www.outsorceress.co.za