September Vin-atics Tasting Notes

All you need to know about the wines and food this month

by: Cathy Marston | 01 Sep 2010

Graham Beck Game Reserve Chenin Blanc 2009  R52.99 from Ultra Liquors
Made from incredibly low-yielding 40-45 year old bushvines and left to ripen fully, this is a rich and almost savoury wine with multiple layers of ripe tropical fruit – pineapples and peaches – and a clean crisp finish.

Did you know – that for every bottle of this wine sold, a donation is made to a fund which protects the indigenous flora and fauna on Graham Beck’s game reserve in Robertson?

Chef Caro says – Chenin Blanc is a great food partner and this unwooded version is rich and not completely bone-dry so should go very well with the tangy savouriness of the Gruyere Cheese Souffle. Try it with and without the sauce and see if it makes a difference!

Flagstone Noon Gun 2009   R41.99 from Ultra Liquors
A great food-friendly blend of mainly Chenin Blanc with 35% Viognier and 20% Sauvignon Blanc, all of which are unwooded. Flavours of melons and ripe stone fruit are offset by tangy marmalade hints and a lip-smackingly dry finish.

Did you know – the Noon Gun is named in honour of the Noon Gun which is fired every day at 12 o’clock sharp to let sailors keep a track of time?

Chef Caro says – the aromatic spices in the Butternut and Lentil Bobotie should be perfect partners for the perfumed Viognier element of this wine. Bruce makes marvellous wines and is a master-blender to boot!

Van Loveren Wolverine Creek Reserve Chardonnay 2008    R59.99 from Ultra Liquors
A multi-award-winning wine which punches far above its price category. This is the quintessential oaked Chardonnay with a beautiful balance of yellow stone fruit and creamy vanilla oak, well-judged acidity and a harmonious, clean finish.

Did you know - this will be the last vintage labelled as Wolverine Creek – apparently the Americans thought we had wolverines in South Africa! The new label will be named after one of the farm’s founders – Christina Van Loveren.

Chef Caro says – this Chicken in White Wine recipe is based on one from Nigel Slater called Coq au Riesling. I wouldn’t cook with the Riesling but wouldn’t be at all surprised to find it goes with that wine as well – you’re going to need smooth acidity to cut through the cream.

Zorgvliet Silver Myn Merlot/Cabernet Franc 2006     R42.99 from Ultra Liquors
Made from 56% Merlot and 44% Cabernet Franc by Cab Franc lover, Neil Moorhouse, this wine is spicy and lively with the soft black cherry fruit given edge and definition by herbs and eucalyptus.

Did you know – this is the last vintage of this wine, and you might find the 2007 labelled as Argentum is the only one available. Same price, slight addition of a bit of Cabernet Sauvignon but still a great wine and a good food match.

Chef Caro says – the slight zip of the ginger and soy sauce in the Beef Satays should be perfectly partners for the spicy notes of the Cabernet Franc. And the subtle tannins should offset the creamy peanut sauce to perfection.

Nederburg Winemakers Reserve Rhine Riesling 2009     R38.99 from Ultra Liquors
The grapes for this wine come from Paarl – the vines are aged between 20 and 30 years old. Officially an off-dry wine, this has flavours of flowers and herbs with a lively acidity and a soft, tropical fruit finish.

Did you know – that Rhine Riesling is often mistaken for Paarl Riesling which is a far inferior grape called Crouchen Blanc? All the great German wines are made from Rhine or Weisser Riesling and it is only in SA that we have this confusion.

Chef Caro says – mmm, Riesling, one of my favourite wines to have with food! This one is slightly off-dry so should be able to cope with the sugar in the Baked Apples in a Bag and the spices and cream will be picked up by the wine as well.

Boland Cellars Cappupinoccinotage 2010     R39.99 from Ultra Liquors

Well, like it or not – the chocolate/coffee Pinotage is here to stay! It’s all to do with the oak used – mainly toasted staves instead of barrels. This version is excellent value and offers ripe mocha and dark chocolate aromas combined with soft sweet berried fruit.

Did you know – the first people to make chocolate/coffee wines in SA were Diemersfontein and now you can get Malbecs, Shirazes and Tourigas in this style as well.

Chef Caro says – well, I wouldn’t normally think of having a Pinotage with chocolate but this one sounds like it’s a match made in heaven for the Chocolate Crepes with oranges! Can’t wait to see if it works!

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