Noon Gun 2016
Flagstone’s unpretentious blend of Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier, is fondly referred to as, ‘Mom’s Plonk,’ and delivers balanced drinkability year in and year out.
We put an extraordinary amount of care into crafting this quirky blend – which for the past 12 vintages has won numerous awards and a legion of fans around the world for its balance and zesty concentration.
When I started making wine under my own label, I was, like most young winemakers, obsessed with crafting exuberant examples of single varieties like Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
All my naïve pontificating eventually got to my mother, who told me it was OK if I wanted to be the Mozart of Merlot or the Salvador Dali of Sauvignon Blanc, as long as I also made a wine for her which was unpretentious and all about balanced drinkability. Although we called the project Noon Gun, my mom always referred to this blend as “Mom’s Plonk” – it was her way of helping me keep my feet on the ground.
There was always a bottle of “Mom’s Plonk” in her fridge, and I was in serious trouble if I didn’t keep the standard of her favourite tipple up to her high expectations – year in, year out.
Obviously with all our wines, we want to create a wine that cannot be made in any other cellar. It must have that special Flagstone character – we call it “The Yum Factor”. This is achieved by balancing the different blend components as perfectly as possible, so that they meld together seamlessly, while retaining their varietal aromas and flavours.
We blend what we believe to be the three best white varieties growing in South Africa today, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier. The Chenin Blanc grapes are from quite old, gnarly, dry-grown vineyards in the Swartland. They are naturally in balance and yield a very small, concentrated crop. This gives amazing structure and creaminess to the wine. The Sauvignon Blanc loves our mineral rich soil and cool sea breezes and offers zesty zing with passionfruit and fig flavours with a long, refreshing finish. These grapes hail from various coastal vineyards, including Elim, Elgin and as far north as Lutzville. The Viognier adds an inviting fruity/floral nose and lots of ripe citrus flavours on the palate. We source our Viognier from both warm and cool climates to get both the heady, spicy flavours and enticing floral aromas.
What’s in the name
The Noon Gun canon stands on Signal Hill above the town centre in Cape Town, known in South Africa as The Mother City. Its daily firing is South Africa’s oldest official tradition.
You can always tell who the new tourists in town are, because the big bang at noon sends them scrambling under sidewalk restaurant tables. To Cape Town residents, the daily boom signals lunchtime.
Originally, the noon day white plume of smoke from the barrel of the Noon Gun was used by ship’s captains at anchor in Table Bay as a way of keeping accurate time on board. By so doing they were able to determine Longitude accurately at sea.
The reason we called this winemaking project Noon Gun, however, is because of a wonderful and typical Cape Town story. Some years ago a young newspaper reporter was sent to write a piece on Cape Town’s Noon Gun. He traipsed up to the canon’s position on Signal Hill. There he interviewed the naval officer who fired the Noon Gun every day.
The obvious question arose – how did the officer know when to fire the canon?
“Easy,” replied the officer, “I just look through my binoculars at the clock on the City Hall and when the big hand hits 12, I fire the canon.”
Intrigued, the reporter scurried down to the City Hall and on finding the maintenance manager, asked him how he adjusted and set the time on the clock.
“Oh, that’s very simple,” the manager confided, “Everyday, I climb into the clock tower and look towards Signal Hill. When I see the plume of white smoke from the Noon Gun, I adjust my clock.”
Totally confused the young reporter headed back to the newspaper, where his story was met with much mirth. Everyone else knew that the maintenance manager and the naval officer were cousins and took great delight in telling this story to anyone who asked.
The canon is actually fired electronically from the Cape Town Observatory.
Intriguing, floral nose of guava, orange zest and apple. The smooth, balanced palate offers honeydew melon with slices of paw paw, a touch of orange peel, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. The fruitiness is balanced by a creamy mouthfeel and a zesty crisp lingering finish.
Love For Noon Gun 2016
- Bronze 2014 IWSC
- 3.5 Stars 2013 John Platter Wine Guide
- Silver 2013 Catavinum World Wine & Spirits Competition
- Bronze 2013 Veritas
- Bronze 2013 Veritas
- Bronze 2012 Veritas
- 3 Star 2011 John Platter Wine Guide
- 2011 SAA Wine Selection
- Best Value 2011 WINE Magazine Best Value Award
- 2011 Comair Wine Selection 2011
- Bronze 2010 Veritas
- Bronze 2010 IWSC
- 2010 WINE Magazine Best Value Award
- Commended 2010 IWC
- Silver 2009 Veritas
- Silver 2009 Decanter Awards
- Bronze 2009 IWSC
- Bronze 2008 Decanter Awards
- 2008 WINE Magazine Best Value Award
- 34% Chenin Blanc
- 34% Sauvignon Blanc
- 23% Viognier
This versatile wine is perfect on its own but also works as an excellent pairing with any of these dishes:
- Caramelized leek, wild mushroom and spinach lasagna
- Ricotta and basil frittata
- Whole grunter on the braai, with a cherry tomato, black olive, lemon and rosemary salsa. Served with crushed baby potatoes and green beans in a tarragon mustard vinaigrette
- Roast free range chicken, homemade tarragon mayonnaise, served with an avo, watercress and asparagus salad in a verjuice dressing
- Sticky 5-spice pork ribs with pineapple chutney
- A classic chicken Caesar salad
This wine is the joker in your pack, a veritable partner ready to accompany summer days, casual company and spontaneous moments.
- Alcohol 13.5%
- Residual Sugar 3.6 g/l
- Total Acid 6.2 g/l
- pH 3.26