Thursday, July 31, 2014

We luv Wine @ Cape Gate Pinotage and biltong tasting preview at L'Avenir, Stellenbosch

This tasting for the public will take place on Friday, 22nd August between 17h00 and 21h00 and Saturday, 23rd August between 12h00- and 18h00. See details here. Today, we joined other members of the fourth estate at a media prequel of the festival, which included a tasting of some of SA’s best Pinotages, matched with a selection of biltong and dried wors (sausage). A light lunch which followed was a biltong quiche from Joubert & Monty’s cook book . You can taste these wines and more, together with Joubert & Monty’s range of biltongs and droë wors as well as delicacies from other sources, at the festival. Pebbles Project will be the beneficiary of the festival and their representatives will be present to spread their message and raise funds and awareness. Today’s tasting was held in the tasting room at L’Avenir in Stellenbosch
Warmly welcomed by Cobie van Oort of CVO Marketing and Francois Naude, who has a long association with L’Avenir as the previous winemaker and, now, as a consultant
On the edge of the dam close to us, a grey heron poses for the camera
A welcome glass of some L’Avenir Brut Rosé for everyone
The table inside the tasting room, set for the tasting, was also covered in biltong and wors
Cobie tells us how the tasting will go. Each wine will be paired with one flavour of biltong or wors. We can decide whether they work or not, or if the wine would be better with another flavour
No vegetarians were invited and no vegetables were harmed at this tasting
Kyle Kristal, sales manager at Joubert and Monty, tells us how the company has grown and about the products
Dirk Coetzee, L’Avenir’s winemaker, tells us about his wine
These were the pairings we were asked to make. All the farms gave us two pinotages from their cellars apart from Raka, who only had one. All of the pinotages were enjoyable and drinkable - and that is from Lynne, who is not usually a big fan of this grape varietal, unless the wine is over 10 years old
Both delicious pinotages from L’Avenir went very well with the secret recipe biltong
Lemon and herb is not a flavour many of us associate with biltong, but it did match nicely with the Rhebokskloof. The Pearlstone is sweet and smoky with a herbal tangy nose. The very, very good 2012 Estate wine is full of licorice and smoky whiffs, with delicious red and black cherries. It is soft and approachable with warm alcohol. It was Lynne’s favourite of the tasting. Frankly, it would go with anything. Except perhaps the chilli, which might overwhelm the elegance
Sweet red pepper biltong was also a new one for us and was not unattractive, as the sweet pimento flavours did meld nicely with the two vintages of the 21 Gables top end pinotage. The 2011 is herbal and spicy on the nose with turmeric, lovely soft fruit and some nice warm chilli spice on the end. So it could stand up to the chilli biltongs. We were very interested to hear about their new optical grape sorter and would love to see it in operation next harvest. An expensive rarity that can make a huge difference to wines.
Raka was paired with the spicy BBQ and and its black pepper earthiness on the nose and good structure with sweet fruit and chalky spiciness was a conundrum with this biltong. Perhaps better with a milder flavour

Lanzerac pinotages were paired with the smoky sweet chilli and the Irresistible chilli and were a little overwhelmed by the chilli. The Pionier 2011 is a great wine, with sweet and sour fruit and good chalky tannins to make it last. The chilli gave it too much of a blast and the 2012 from the premium range was flattened by the chilli. This would have been better with the red pepper flavour
Some happy attendees: blogger Anel Grobler, Yolanda Martins from Spier and Adinda Booysen, Marketing Manager from Lanzerac
We hear about the wines
Adinda Booysen tells us about Lanzerac wines
Girls having fun while working
and enjoying being with L'Avenir's handsome winemaker Dirk Coetzee
Time to go through to lunch on the terrace
Lots of jollity and more wine to taste
Two slices of biltong and mushroom quiche with a leaf and crouton salad ‘dressed’ with grated cheese and biltong. We didn’t see any oil and vinegar
Old friends catching up
Dirk and Francois, L'Avenir's winemaker and his predecessor

© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2014

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