Monday, April 20, 2015

Saronsberg Full Circle Rhône blend 10 year vertical tasting with lunch at the Cape Grace

Once a year Saronsberg raid their vinoteque and produce a vertical tasting of one of their wines for the wine media. Last year it was their ???, this year it was their Rhone Blend Full Circle, which is their top red flagship wine. It was a most excellent and very interesting tasting. It is so educational to see how the blend matures with time and to pick out the really good years and learn why they were so good from the winemaker, Dewald Heyns. He has been with Saronsberg for all these years and the 2004 was the first wine he produced for them
It was held at the Cape Grace Hotel. We tasted impressive vintages, starting with the current one and working back: 2013/12/11/10/09/08/07/0605 & 2004. This was then followed by lunch in the restaurant accompanied by some of these wines. Do you ever go to eat at this hotel? You should
The welcome drink was Saronsberg’s 2011 MCC Brut, served on the deck next to the pool.The Brut is made from 91% Chardonnay and 9% Pinot Noir. Toasted brioche on the nose and fresh green apple flavours ending in a nice creamy dry finish, it is worth every cent of the R130 cellar door price 
Smoked salmon tartar topped with salmon caviar on melba toast shards was the excellent canapé
Winemaker Dewald Heyns with journalist Shante Hutton of wine.co.za
The Full Circle line up
We take our seats for the tasting
They provided enough glasses so that we could all taste all 10 wines together
The first five, 2013 to 2009. The younger wines are already showing their pedigree but as you go back to the the 2010, you discover how superb this blend can be when ready for drinking. The current vintage 2012 has now sold out so we await the release later this year of the 2013. These are wines to put down in your cellar if you can. They are dense in colour, intensely soft and fruity on the nose, with soft chalky tannins, plums and cherries on the juicy palate, ending with a dollop of spicy pepper and some wood elegance. Lynne’s favourites were the 2008 which shows vanilla and dark wood, cooked spicy berries and an aroma that needs exploration! It has dark cherries and rhubarb and is nicely integrated, making it soft and delicious and drinking so well. Also the 2004 which although the first one made, is still drinking well with notes of spicy wood, incense, violets roses fennel and turmeric, soft sweet fruit, still a juicy food wine and it still has a year or two to go
Dewald take us through the wines, giving us lots of information on the grapes, terroir, soils, climate and growing conditions in the year in which each wine was vinified
Getting serious with the wine
Describe that nose! Dewald taking questions
 Karen Glanfield Pawley
PRO Nicolette Waterford
Guy MacDonald of Goodhope FM’s Breakfast show, dreaming of lunch? No, it’s “What is that flavour I am tasting?”
Owner of Saronsberg Nick van Huysteen
appreciating his wine
Christine Rudman has a question
Alan Mullins and Christine Rudman celebrate a great tasting and head for lunch. Richard gets ready to assist Alan
The starter on its startling yellow plate. It’s a caramelised aubergine salad with a goat’s cheese mousse, warm tomato vinaigrette and onion crisps on top of some barlotti beans. If only we knew how Chef gets those aubergines to this sublime caramel! Served with Saronsberg Grenache 2012, a great match for the aubergines
Red or yellow? They were all delicious
The menu
Alan Mullins enjoying the day
The main course of braised lamb shank with a beautiful plum jus, labneh cheese topped with crispy filo, mashed potato. Served with the Saronsberg Shiraz 2012
A light and lovely deconstructed pear and almond tart with spiced orange, Valrhona jivara chocolate crème, streusel and rich honey ice cream. Served with Saronsberg Viognier 2013
And with coffee, there were friandises made by an expert. Tiny raspberry macaroons, a walnut nougat, caramel truffles and white chocolates filled with a crème . YUM
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2015
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