Thursday, November 06, 2014

New wines and a new chef at Rhebokskloof – "The Evolution of an Icon"

We just had one and a half hours, after our day in Breedekloof, to change into something more suited to an evening function (we did that in our car, as all the places in Breedekloof had closed) and then drive via the magnificent Bain’s Kloof Pass to get to this event held at the northern end of Paarl. Rhebokskloof has appointed Executive chef Alicia Giliomee to run the restaurant and we were also introduced to two new wines: Black Marble Hill Syrah and The Rhebok, a blend of Syrah, Pinotage and Mourvedre, which has a new label. The evening was amusingly and ably steered by Master of Ceremonies and Wine Manager Francois Naudé

The older house on the estate, used for casual meals and functions, on the way to the restaurant
The restaurant
A welcoming glass of Rhebokskloof Methode Cap Classique
Wines for dinner. Rhebokskloof Black Marble Hill Syrah and The Rhebok, their new limited edition Cape blend of 45% Shiraz, 30% Pinotage & 15% Mourvedre, which sells for R450, only from the farm, with its new label which shows a map of the vineyards, and their Pearlstone Chenin Blanc. We also had some of their Pearlstone Sauvignon Blanc
The terrace set very elegantly for dinner
A canapé of Duck terrine wrapped in a pork rasher, topped with an olive
Light as a feather, deep fried camembert balls on chilli jam
The view of the lake from the terrace. Rhebokskloof does superb summer picnics, we hear
Another canapé. Savoury cheesecake, topped poached pears in harissa
We didn’t sample this one, but it looks good, if possibly tricky to eat
Chicken ballontine wrapped in parma ham on risotto, topped with a deep fried sage leaf. These canapés were the starters and were served while we stood talking
The dinner gets under way
Francois Naudé, MC for the evening
The Rhebok Shiraz. Spicy rich, red fruit, raspberries, mulberry nose, Balsamic silky soft fruit, full mouth of joy & cherries, with dark toast on end
Speech time
More wines available for tasting
The new label on limited edition The Rhebok Cape Blend. If you point the neck of the bottle toward the gate, you can see the vineyards as they are laid out on the label. Its rich, spicy nose has hints of wood, rhubarb & cherry, with incense and sandalwood. Its flavours are of sour/sweet fruit; it has a long end with some spice
Samarie Smith, wine writer and judge, who has recently returned from France where she was part of the SA team in the International wine tasting competition, telling us about her trip
Main course was a rather fatty, unrendered but tasty, Pork belly, served with a lovely slow roasted duck crepinette, root vegetables, a good garlic mash and some red pepper sauce
We are introduced to Executive chef Alicia Giliomee
Here she is briefing her brigade in the dessert room
Lots and lots of tempting dessert options from tiramisu in the glasses, to chocolate truffles, flourless chocolate torte, small, quite dry profiteroles and some cheesecake slices
The cheese table also had tiny pecan tarts, preserved figs and chutney
The chef introduces her kitchen brigade to us
and the charming waiting staff
Francois with winemaker Rolanie Lotz, having fun as usual
A parting shot of the restaurant - time to go home after another long day!
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2014

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