The launch of the Curator’s Collection at Glen Carlou was, from start to finish, a celebration. It was the culmination of winemaker Arco Laarman’s twentieth anniversary of working in the wine industry and five years leading the cellar at Glen Carlou. Naturally, this beautiful winery just outside Paarl, welcomes an excuse to celebrate (and pop the corks on a few good wines) and on this occasion, it did.
Often winemakers are restricted to working within a wine farm’s constraints – creating wines that the farm is most famous for. It’s a wonderful opportunity for a winemaker to work outside of those boundaries, and create interesting wines from small vineyard parcels that allow unique expression. Arco was given such an opportunity, and we gathered to sip, swallow and savour it.
The Curator’s Collection, exclusively available at the Glen Carlou tasting room and restaurant, evolves depending on different varieties and what Arco finds interesting. ‘It’s a great way for me to experiment, whether it is with different winemaking techniques or access to an interesting parcel of fruit,’ says Arco. Some of the wines are a production of a little over 500 bottles, the exception being The Curator’s Collection Chenin Blanc which consists of 1500 bottles.
Along with Arco, the hospitable staff at Glen Carlou and other wine writers, wine makers and journalists, we had the opportunity of not only tasting the collection, but experiencing it paired with food, delicately prepared by Chef Johan Stander. It was an auspicious moment to be part of, and a trip to the beautiful vineyards of Glen Carlou to taste this collection yourself is highly recommended.
The current wines available in the range are the 2013 The Curator’s Collection Chenin Blanc, 2010 the Curator’s Collection Malbec and 2011 The Curators Collection Tannat. Later in the year, a Viognier and a Cabernet Franc will be released. Pricing ranges from R98 for the Chenin Blanc to R175 for the Tannat. Be sure to take a few bottles home, before they all disappear!
Photography Bernard Myburgh