Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Preview tasting of the new Haskell wine releases

Haskell Cellarmaster Rianie Strydom
Lots of room in the wine cellar, as there was a very long table
We began tweeting, but were a bit hampered being underground and the WiFi connection was weak
Grant Dodd, a partner in Haskell wines, tells us about the farm and the wines we are about to taste
Aeon is one of their three Shirazes. We tasted the 2011 and it is elegant and complex with deep layers of soft sweet fruit with a good dollop of spice and vanilla. Lots of mulberries, cherries  and a little rhubarb leave lingering flavours with a little chalky tannin.
Grant Dodd answers questions about the wines
Rianie explaining what she wants to achieve with these wines. The Chardonnay is kept on the lees while it remains in the Burgundy barrels to get the maximum amount of flavour and maturity. She prevents malolactic fermentation where possible.
We have a lively debate with James Pietersen, Christian Eedes and Anel Grobler
Lots of aromas to appreciate
Rianie with viticulturalist Wikus Pretorius
Taking wine seriously during the tasting
James Pietersen looking contemplative
Media gals: Anel Grobler, Karen Glanfield Pawley and Shante Hutton
Some labels worth having and wines to admire
A mural shows a winter view of the vineyards
We go upstairs for some lunch. Kim Maxwell, Karen Glanfield Pawley and Mike Bampfield Duggan with plates at the ready.
The menu
The wines with lunch
The delicious Mauritian fish curry went amazingly well with the Chardonnays
It was a very good spread
Something for everyone, even those on a diet, and all went so well with the wines
Shall we try some of this?
Tasha Thomas, Preston Haskell’s House Manager, supervising the food in the kitchen
Lunch in front of the fire
Haskell’s labels are very simple, but very direct, and stand out well on a shelf
The beautiful view from the house, which is high up in Fresnaye. Even on a day with wild storms sweeping in from the North West
Other guests having a relaxing chat in the lounge
Ancient doors guard the wine cellar
Alan Mullins in deep discussion with Mark Norrish - of course they are talking about wine. Richard, Alan’s aide is in the background
Nicolette Waterford saying goodbye to Alan. What a nice tasting this was
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2014

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