Rose and Protea.
I wasn’t planning on writing a review of my Saturday night at the Rose and Protea Pop-up Wine Bar in Dorking. But it was such a great evening with some truly fantastic wine that I felt I had to. This was our second time there, the first being September 2017. The Rose & Protea Pop-up wine bar happens every 3 months or so. Of course, having missed the last one in December, I was determined to go this time!
As with all my reviews, I’m not paid to do it, given free stuff or buttered up in any way, shape or form! This is what I choose to spend my money on and as such is an honest review of what I like.
It opened at 7 pm, we got there about 7.30 and just about got a seat because, for those in the know, it’s a brilliant evening tasting truly unique wine! And, the tables fill up quite quickly. We were recognized by both Andy and Becky Kershaw, the faces I know of Rose & Protea and I was most surprised that they remembered us. For the next one, I might try and reserve a table if that’s possible!
It is held in Peppe’s Cafe in South Street in Dorking.
I always hear about the Rose & Protea Pop-up Wine Bar on Instagram, where I follow them. If you give them a follow and turn post notifications on, you can find out when the next one is happening. Of course, I know it is more than a Tuppeny bus ride away for most of my regular readers! But let me take you through some of the wines which I tasted which you can buy online.
Dragonridge and Sonkop
The wines are split into two different labels Dragonridge and Sonkop. Rose & Protea are natural winemakers using a minimal intervention approach. This means that each vintage is different.
With the bigger producers, consistency is strived for across the years but not so here. I remember being on a tour of the Campo Viejo Bodega in Elciego, Spain and our guide showing us 70,000 barrels of wine of which the aim was consistency. Now, that’s not a wrong approach in my opinion, as when you open a mass-produced wine you know exactly what you are getting.
And because each vintage is different, Rose & Protea play to each vintages strengths. And to taste the wine, it makes complete sense.
A tasting flight of all 6 wines on offer was £14. To clarify, it’s just a small glass for tasting purposes otherwise after six glasses you would have to pour yourself out the door! But its certainly enough to discover each wine and get a good taste.
Usually, when I do my winery reviews I don’t put in my tasting notes because I find the sense of taste is so subjective. But, I’m going to share my tasting notes for this visit as sometimes contemporaneous notes convey a more, shall we say, authentic touch?
But, for those wishing for proper tasting notes by people with a far better palate than mine, i.e. the makers, and not some random drunk bloke, can be found here.
My tasting notes for the five wines
As expected, my notes got less coherent as the night went on to the point that I noticed the quote ‘Burn all Squirrels’ on the side of my notes the next morning! But here goes…
Dragonridge Capella Chenin Blanc 2015
Great colour, dry, warming, plenty of oak, hints of spice, tuck shop pear drops.
Dragonridge Pinotage 2015
A contradiction, cream at the back, long finish, liquorice, morello cherries, dry earth, long hot afternoons.
A&B Kershaw Sonkop 2016
Lots of leather, red fruit, redcurrants and raspberries, got legs, warmth, hot leather from a car that has been in the sun.
Dragonridge Shiraz 2015
Smells like a classic shiraz, first taste dryish soft tannins, bubblegum, plum and blackcurrant.
Dragonridge Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Fruity, raspberry tart and cherry, bitter dark chocolate, great with Green and Black’s chocolate, creamy aftertaste, kokinko, plum colour, cassis, grass, long warm finish.
As I said not terribly coherent but you get the idea!
I didn’t try the sweet wine on the list as I’m not really a sweet wine drinker. Of course, I’ve tried sauterne and ice wines but they just don’t ring my bell, I have a very savoury preference.
I came away with a bottle of the Cab Sav and Shiraz which I will keep for a special occasion.
So what do you take away from these wines? Undoubtedly, they are good. Brilliantly, they are honest. All the wines on offer are individuals and you can feel the heart and soul of the Kershaws in them.
I believe there is something for every palette in the wines I tasted. As I mentioned before, unless you are local it’s a long way to come but you wouldn’t be disappointed if you bought a bottle or two from them!
For more of my wine adventures, see below
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