The Old Diocesan Issue5 Mar2020 - Page 64



WINE
Royale by
Rowand
In Issue 4 of The Old Diocesan,
we bid farewell to Don Rowand
(1955F), above, who died at his
home Nova Zonnestraal in August
2019. Now we can report on a
bittersweet moment in December:
the release of the first vintage of a
wine in his name, the Constantia
Royale Don’s Reserve 2019.
During a long career in the
insurance industry, Don and
brother Robert Rowand
(1961F), along with a team
that included Dick Slingsby
(1945O) and acclaimed
heart surgeon Marius
Barnard, pioneered the
concept of dread-disease
insurance. But it was
in retirement that Don
turned to a particular
fondness of his: wine. As
the Don’s Reserve label
now notes, his “love
of wine, particularly
French whites, took
him to Old and New
World vineyards far
and wide, sampling,
learning and without
doubt enjoying the
finished product.”
Realising “the
terroir of Constantia
would be perfect for
Sauvignon Blanc”,
he and his wife
Lynn launched what
was to become the
Constantia Royale
label in 2015.
62 | THE OLD DIOCESAN
Made with grapes grown on the
16-hectare Nova Zonnestraal
estate, Constantia Royale has
become a notable addition to
Cape Town’s Sauvignon scene.
To complement their original
wine, in recent years Don and
winemaker Roger Burton worked
on a classic Constantia white
blend of Sauvignon Blanc and
Semillon, intended to be a more
restrained wine that would
benefit from ageing. The
result is Don’s Reserve.
The inaugural vintage
received 91 points from
Tim Atkin MW and 4 stars in
Platter’s 2020, which described
it as “structured, linear, full
of energy, bone-dry yet not
harsh. The 12% semillon
polishes the edges, and
introduces elegant and
persistent cool-climate
lemongrass flavours”.
Don has one
grandchild at
Bishops, two to come,
and a further two
who are ODs – Andre
Sale (2017F) and Jack
Rowand (2019B).
As Don’s son Mark
(an Old Stithian)
says of the official
release in December,
“Don would be looking
down with approval.”
For more information see
constantiaroyale.co.za.
IN A PLATTER
The release of Platter’s 2020 South
African Wine Guide in November saw
several ODs come up trumps. David
Trafford (1981W), above, of De Trafford
Wines was the top OD performer, with
his Cabernet Franc 2015 taking home
the Wine of the Year honours in its
category, while his CWG Auction
Reserve Perspective 2017 and Elevation
2013 both earned 5 stars. Shannon
Vineyards’ James Downes (1990W),
who was named 2019’s Grower of the
Year by Tim Atkin MW, led the Merlot
category with the Mount Bullet 2016.
Other ODs celebrating 5-star awards
included Sir De Villiers Graaff (1988F)
for the De Grendel Elim Shiraz 2017;
Anthony Hamilton Russell (1979F) for
the Hamilton Russell Chardonnay 2018;
Gary Jordan (1978G) for the Jordan
Chardonnay CWG Auction Reserve 2018;
Chris Rawbone-Viljoen (2001F) for the
Oak Valley Groenlandberg Chardonnay
2018; and Chris Alheit (1990O) for the
Alheit Magnetic North Chenin Blanc
2018. See www.wineonaplatter.com.
DE TRAFFORD
CABERNET FRANC 2015
“Seamless, with dark
berries complemented
by fresh hints of green
herbs. Bottled by hand,
unfiltered and kept
in French oak for 19
months, this vintage
is a keeper.”





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