Not too long ago, we got a very cool gift from the folk at Fairview. This wasn’t all that unexpected, as Gosia used to work at Fairview, but still keeps in touch with a lot of her past colleagues as she now consults for the farm. But perhaps one of the things she misses the most about Fairview is the access to the veritable cornucopia of wines that the Paarl-based winery is capable of crafting. With a strongly female-driven winemaking team, and access to a medley of Mediterranean-style berries such as Grenache and Carignan, Fairview produces some exceptional (and award-winning) wines.
However, Bloemcool has a soft spot in Gosia’s heart. When she first arrived at Fairview in late 2015, the fledgling brand was given to her to launch via an event. It was a classic deep-end situation, but the end result was a beautiful brand that presented itself to the wine world as something completely different and esoteric from the rest of the Fairview portfolio. In fact, there is little to no mention of Fairview on the Bloemcool labels and branding. This was intentional, and stems from the fact that the team wanted to carefully disassociate themselves from any existing connotations wine drinkers might have from Fairview wines – and to really show the rest of the world what they got when they roll up their sleeves. That they are more than goats + cheese. More than lifestyle wine + farm time fun. And indeed, Bloemcool has really tread a path to prove this.
Since 2015, the perpetually updated and limited edition bottlings have won a stream of impressive awards, and been sold out from the Tasting Room faster than you can say ‘Bloemkoolfontein’, which not-so-coincidentally was the original name of Fairview and now bequeathed onto this special range. Each wine has a strong identity, linking it to some historical and quirky aspect of Fairview’s heritage – be it the Bergbok Chenin Blanc or the Houmoed Cabernet Sauvignon. We had the opportunity to sample what could be considered the flagship of the Bloemcool range – the Tinto Fino Tempranillo. Scarlet in colour, the aromas are rich and complex, smelling like the inside of a lavish Spanish hacienda – think cedar oak, charcuterie and wild raspberries from the garden.
Ultimately, if the team behind Bloemcool is the team behind Fairview, then it really asks the drinker to take a moment to realign your existing perceptions and make room for an update. Things aren’t always as they seem. They evolve. They grow. They make room for the new. These guys really know how to put their money where their mouth is – and that just happens to be right on the rim of each wine glass.
Bloemcool Tinto Fino is available from Fairview’s online store: https://www.fairview.co.za/product/bloemcool-tinto-fino/