I recently joined a select few fellow media and journalists at one of the smartest hotels in Johannesburg, The Four Seasons The Westcliff, to taste a pretty smart new wine – the latest release from De Toren Wines – titled Book XVII (seventeen).

De Toren wines are well-known worldwide and have certainly upped the prestige of South African wines on the international wine circuit and its clear to see why. We started off the lunch sipping their De Toren Delicate (which is a super smooth Malbec dominated blend, served slightly chilled and the perfect match to the canapes of cured tuna loin, crostini’s with aubergine caviar and an Eisbein terrine) and looking out over the exquisite view of Johannesburg, one that the Westcliff is very well known for.

Our seated lunch was served in the Cellar Door private dining area and featured exclusive presentations by Managing Partner of De Toren, Albie Koch and the winemaker himself Charles Williams, who has poured his heart and soul into this limited range of De Toren Book XVII – only 1419 bottles were filled and the wine although having a price tag of over R 2000 a bottle, will likely sell out to private investor and bespoke hotels such as The Westcliff very soon.

The Book XVII offers a very ripe, almost fig and fruitcake bouquet to it – smooth and seductive are words that come to mind and worked perfectly with my delicious Angus fillet served with parmesan polenta and delicious dark berry jus.

The exclusivity of the bottle is its selling point, and the chances of finding one again would be rare. The ultra-luxurious Book XVII was a logical evolution of De Toren’s acclaimed Bordeaux blends, an expression of meticulous winemaking and extreme viticulture. Often compared to the famed ‘super-Tuscans’, it’s a wine silky smooth yet powerful, and a worthy addition to any connoisseur’s cellar.

This opulent Bordeaux styled wine is crafted from specially selected vines. Merely 4 single bunches are grown per singular vine to produce only the most expressive grapes. Each bunch is individually nurtured and manicured by hand.

Each bottle is beautifully presented in a wooden cage that contains the wine but still allows the bottle to be visible from all angles and can only be opened by its very own and unique, accompanying key. The bespoke packaging is rounded off with a handwritten bottle number. I like the fact that you could hide the key away to keep your wine safe from unwanted beverage sippers!

Winemaker Charles Williams believes that the sensational Book XVII 2017 is truly a celebration of this vintage’s magnificent expression of fruit, its impressively bold characteristics, yet subtle elegance. This, along with the team’s extraordinary devotion and expertise invested in crafting this one-of-a-kind wine, makes for an exceptional combination.

The Book XVII 2017 vintage is available at R2750.00 per bottle from the De Toren online on their website.

Visit De Toren Private Cellar:

Polkadraai Rd, Stellenbosch, Cape Town. Open from Monday to Friday from 08h00 – 16h00. Tastings are by appointment only. Available weekdays, every tasting is an hour and a half and includes a tour through the vineyard, cellar, maturation room, and finishes off with a tasting of their luxurious wines.

Call them for more info: 021 881 3119 or visit them online here…

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