Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Bottelary Winemakers' Langtafel Lunch at Mooiplaas

The offering from Kaapzicht. They have just bottled the 2013 Chenin and don’t have the labels yet but wanted us to taste it. It is fresh and fruity with an elderflower floral nose and will improve and improve. In the middle is the much awarded Steytler Pinotage showing just where Pinotage should be with deeply concentrated pure fruit flavours with some warmth from the alcohol. And on the right their beautiful ice wine. We don’t get ice in the Cape so Danie Steytler freezes the grapes in liquid nitrogen over a weekend and then presses the frozen grapes on Monday. It contains a residual sugar of 240ad is full of honey and fruit with a good ratio of sugar to acid balance
The display of Mooiplaas wines in the tasting room
Hartenberg’s offering of 2010 Riesling Honeysuckle floral nose, clean sweetness and depth on the palate with a dry finish. Made as a food wine and it so worked with the snoek quenelles as it wiped the palate clean of any cream or sugar. The surprising late harvest Riesling was much drier than expected. It has an RS of only 58.6 and good acid finish but the honey is there underpinning it. The Cabernet is a classic expression of the grape – distilled cassis and gentle wood and years to go.
Mooiplaas Pinotage is full of rhubarb, black cherries and is quite meaty with sweet fruit, hot alcohol with an herbal wood end with notes of cinnamon and turmeric. It was not a good match for the snoek which flattened the wine and made it taste a bit metallic and the wine is too good for that. This wine has years to go but is drinking very well right now.
The Platter 4 star Mooiplaas Cabernet 2005 is faultless and ready now. It is full of cassis and liquorice. Both Cabernets and the Steytler went so well with the main course of oxtail pot pie and voting for them at lunch made them equal winners.
Tielman Roos, Mooiplaas viticulturalist tells the guests about the Bottelary, its terroir and then about Mooiplaas and what it has to offer
Tamsin (Tammy) Jaftha winemaker at Hartenberg on the left with her colleague who runs the Hartenberg tasting room.
The very long table seated 48 for lunch and took up the centre of both rooms
The menu for the lunch showing which wines were paired with which course
Plating up for 48 people in the busy but small kitchen
Our chef for the day Dirk Roos checking that everyone is happy
Louis Roos, Mooiplaas winemaker talks about their wine...
.. while we wait for the starter and some wine to be poured
We are introduced to all the staff who have helped with the meal and some who will serve us
Journalist Norman McFarlane, making notes, and his wife Eppie
Danie Steytler, winemaker at Kaapzicht, which is the next door farm, tells us about his wines
First course: Fresh Tomato soup with smoked paprika and basil oil. Served with both the Kaapzicht and Mooiplaas chenin blancs and went well with both
Tammy Jaftha, winemaker at Hartenberg, tells us about their wines
Cape Malay snoek quenelles with cape gooseberry compote. The snoek was flaked and cold and mixed with some oat bran for texture. Its perfect match was the Hartenberg Riesling.
The main course was a slow roasted deboned oxtail infused with cinnamon, garlic and herbs with a pastry lid. It came with truffle bulgar wheat, roasted baby fennel and tomatoes. All the wines served with this dish sang, loudly. The Mooiplaas Cabernet 2005; Hartenberg Cabernet 08 and the Kaapzicht Steytler
Dessert was a heavenly light pastry case filled with a passion fruit cream and topped with fresh raspberries and cream and it was beautiful with Kaapzicht’s Chenin Blanc Ice Wine.
One of our fine servers, who were so, so good.
Kaapzicht’s winemaker, Danie Steytler and his wife Karen
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2013
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