Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Delaire Graff's Sunshine - a new Loire style Chenin Blanc MCC

There is a need on Delaire Graff for their own MCC and, this week, they released it. Named after the 118 carat Delaire Sunrise, the largest square emerald cut yellow diamond in the world. Morne Vrey has used mainly Chenin Blanc, making this more like a Crémant de Loire. It is a blend of Chenin Blanc (58%), Chardonnay (34%) and Cabernet Franc (8%). All the grapes come from the estate. It is intensely crisp and has quite a crackle on the palate. Given time, this will be a beautiful wine, but it will only be available at Delaire. Then it was time for a tasting of some currently available Delaire wines, followed by lunch on the terrace. It’s a hard life and, yes, the weather and the view were perfect.
A warm welcome with a tray of smoked salmon ‘sandwiches’
And another of choux gougères, filled with paté
A jar of gazpacho
or a cornet of beef tartare
and then some mini fishcakes
The lovely 2014 Cabernet Franc Rosé flowed and went well with the canapés
We are introduced to the Sunrise. Note the background decoration on the label is a depiction of the emerald cut of the yellow diamond after which the wine is named.  It is in the style of a Crémant de Loire blend, bready and leesy on the nose, has nice crisp bubbles and with lots of lime and pear drop flavours.  It has spent 15 months on the lees, has an RS of 5.9 and the acid is 8.
The view looking towards Paarl with the Banhoek Valley in all its early summer glory
Canapés and conversation on the terrace
Then taking our places for the tasting in the restaurant which was followed by lunch on the terrace
Wines we tasted were:
The 2014 Sauvignon Blanc is in the style we prefer with figs and green pyrazine notes, with crisp minerality  Then the Coastal Cuvée 2014 SB  which has a touch of Semillon added, Its slightly tropical in style with the detectable Semillon melding the acids and add richness. 2013 wooded  Chenin Blanc  from Swartland grapes is grassy guava and yellow peach on the nose and buttery with a lot of wood on the palate.  The  2013 Chardonnay: Umami on the nose then rich buttery limes with gentle soft wood, nice minerality. Also needs more time to gather itself together but will be a great wine. The 2013 Reserve White is 66% Sauvignon Blanc and 34% Semillon  Bready and leesy on the nose, there is a tingle on the tongue with the nice richness of the Semillon supporting the pineapple passion fruit and gooseberries of the Sauvignon. And finally the Laurence Graff Reserve 2011 red . It’s a single vineyard cabernet  with 5% Bordeaux varietals added.  The nose is full of cassis red velvet maraschino cherries and on the palate dark liquorice, cassis, brambles and warm wood. We loved it
Johann Laubser, Estate General Manager of Delaire Graff
Winemaker Morne Vrey
Fiona MacDonald, Annareth Bolton and her brother Higgo Jacobs
The beautiful Sunrise
The lunch menu
Trout Tartare, using good quality smoked salmon trout, on a blini with cucumber ribbons and savoury squid ink blots
Second course was almost too pretty to eat. A mosaic of lightly pickled octopus tentacles, topped with a perfectly cooked sea flavoured langoustine, artichokes and beetroot slices and a creamy foam
Main course was rather rare seared prime beef on yellow and red beets in a good wine jus and accompanied by a dish of those oh, so wicked truffle and parmesan crispy chips

Dessert looked like a disparate collection of separate ingredients but when you mixed them together on a spoon, they combined into pure heaven.  A panna cotta made with coconut cream, a tangy pineapple and mango sorbet, fruit jellies and rosewater pearls with crumpled fruit crisps and crunchy honeycomb and meringue pieces.  Brilliant, just too small.....
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2014

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