I have a real thing about Pinot Noir and lamb. Don’t know why, I just think it’s one of the world’s natural combinations and most styles of the wine go really well with most styles of cooking for the meat.
I also have a real thing about lamb and Easter – I suspect it’s something to do with my church-y background – some kind of Paschal lamb thing or similar.
Anyway, whatever the reasons, this is the food/wine combination which is whetting my whistle at this time of year. Here are 5 wines matched to 5 different baby baa-baa dishes.
Limelight Pinot Noir 2012 R60 at major retail outlets
If Pinot has a fault, it’s that it’s actually just too darned expensive. So when you see one coming in at this sort of price, it’s always worth a look.
Made by Danie and Peter de Wet of De Wetshof, this is a cracking intro to Pinot-drinking. Light, fruity, tweak of spice and oak, could easily be chilled if the weather plays along – and if it does, this is the perfect wine for minted lamb chops on the braai.
De Bos Walker Bay Pinot Noir 2012 R95 from independent retailers
This is the Fairtrade-accredited range of wines from Bosman Family Vineyards farm in the Hemel en Aarde Valley.
It’s a maiden release and is another one of these ‘great value Pinots under R100’ which seem (finally) to be cropping up from time to time.
It’s got a lovely low alcohol of 12.5% and lots of juicy red fruit making it a great partner for some Asian-spiced lamb ribs.
Ormonde Pinot Noir 2010 R97 cellar door
This is a new release for this Darling powerhouse, source of many people’s Darling Sauvignons, but also capable of making extremely interesting and very well-priced top stuff as well.
It’s quite a savoury wine, already showing just a little bit of age, and the forest-floor notes and cooked raspberries and strawberries would go well with this umami-laden lamb with red wine, anchovies and olives.
Groote Post Kapokberg Pinot Noir 2012 R155 cellar door
This is their new name for the reserve range and is named after the blankets of white spring flowers which cover this mountain on the farm, making it look like snow.
This is a pretty serious number with a fair amount of oak but more than enough bright red berried fruit to carry it off.
It’s got a fair twist of spice to it so if you’re thinking of going Moroccan with that lamb, this might be the wine to choose.
Haute Cabrière Pinot Noir 2010 R180 cellar door
HC is all about the fizz in most people’s eyes, but they are very serious about their Pinot as well, keeping them in their picturesque mountain cellars for a couple of extra years to ensure that they are drinking beautifully on release.
I had this in a tasting against a rather fine Burgundy and it didn’t disgrace itself at all – lovely earthy flavours, savoury and lip-smacking, dried cranberries and currants and all-in-all, a great partner for a classic roast lamb.