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November Vin-atics Tasting Notes

Everything you need to know about reproducing this month's Vin-atics dinner in your own home.

by: Cathy Marston | 29 Oct 2010

2010 Solms-Astor Cape Jazz Shiraz    R55 from the farm
It’s sweet, it’s red, it’s fizzy, it’s a bit unusual – it’s totally fabulous! This is made in the style of a red Lambrusco so it is only slightly fizzy, has a high acidity and is a really fun summer drink. Lots of berries and cherries and a nice low alcohol (9%) for all-day drinking.

Did you know – that this is Solms-Astor’s biggest-selling wine and is immensely popular in the States.

Food Ed. Aletta says – all these fabulous berry flavours and the touch of sugar seem to be made for dessert! So I’ve chosen Mini Chocolate and Cherry Puddings which I think will end the evening off in fine style.

2010 Solms-Astor Vastrap     R55 from the farm
An unusual ‘Cape’ blend of Chenin Blanc, Semillon and Riesling made in a reductive style to keep all the freshness and lively yellow fruit. Some of the wine has spent time in old oak which has subtly enhanced the mid-palate without detracting from the zingy finish.

Did you know – that ‘Vastrap’ means to ‘trample’ and was originally used to denote a musical party and dance to trample in a new cow dung floor?

Food Ed. Aletta says – I think the yellow fruit flavours and the aromatic grape varieties should be livened up by this Chilli Snoek Pate. The wine is rich with a twist in the tail which matches the food perfectly!

2010 Solms-Astor Langarm    R55 from the farm
An equally unusual ‘Cape’ red blend, this time made from Shiraz, Pinotage, Tannat and Mourvèdre. This has been very lightly-wooded so the resulting wine has soft, sweet tannins, lots of dark berry fruit and a dry nutty finish.

Did you know – that ‘Langarm’ is also a dance (all these wine names are inspired by co-owner Richard Astor’s love of traditional Cape music) which is traditionally done at the end of the working week.

Food Ed. Aletta says – there are some great country dishes using every bit of pig except the squeak, and I have chosen this Charcuterie and Liver terrine to match the rustic flavours in this wine.

2010 Solms-Delta Amalie    R95 from the farm
A classic white Rhône blend of almost 50% Viognier with the balance made up of Grenache Blanc and Roussanne. The Grenache was ‘desiccated’ – dried out on the vine – to concentrate the flavours of peaches, almonds, russet apples and hints of herbs.

Did you know – that desiccation was practiced by the Ancient Greeks to strengthen the flavours and colours in their wines?

Food Ed. Aletta says – I love apricots in savoury dishes and the spices of the Moroccan Chicken and Saffron Pie should prove to be a winning combination with the wine.

2010 Solms-Delta Lekkerwijn    R64 from the farm
One of the Cape’s most serious pink wines, this is made from Shiraz, Mourvèdre, Grenache and Viognier and was – unusually – fermented and aged in oak. It’s a wonderful salmon pink colour with flavours of the garrigue – strawberries, herbs, wild flowers and spice.

Did you know – the region of Southern France most famous for rosé wines is Tavel which uses the same grape varieties to this wine?

Food Ed. Aletta says – mmm – mussels, garlic, olives and parsley – all the wonderful flavours of the Mediterranean in this Mussels with Olives and Gremolata dish.

2007 Solms-Delta Hiervandaan    R108 from the farm

Classic Rhône-style wine made from Shiraz, Carignan, Grenache, Mourvèdre and Viognier. Only the Viognier skins are used to add some aromatics to the final blend and 16% of the Shiraz is desiccated to concentrate the flavours and colour. Spicy, rich, hearty, filled with cooked, black fruit with a long spicy finish.

Did you know – that Viognier (a white grape) is regularly added to red wines in the Rhône where it adds elegance and perfume to famous wines such as Côte Rôtie, Hermitage and Crozes-Hermitage.

Food Ed. Aletta says – There are so many flavours in this wine that I’ve chosen an equally robust and flavour-full dish – Penne with fillet, gorgonzola, pepperdews and rocket with a redcurrant dressing. Very yum!


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