Monday, May 11, 2015

Lunch with Taillard wines and Teddy Hall

A one hour bus drive into the country took us and several other journos and trade members to the Voor Paardeberg area to this farm nestled under the Kanonkop Mountain. Teddy Hall has been making their wines for them since 2014 and this was our chance to sample the wines with a pairing lunch laid on for us by chef Gustaaf Boshoff of Stir Food. The farm Kersfontein was founded in 1749 by Joseph Taillard and the current cellar was built in 1790. It is only used as a barrel cellar nowadays; they vinify elsewhere. It is currently owned by Peter Taljaard, who is in mining, so  the names of the wines all have a mining connection. The farm has 134 hectares
Waiting in town for the transport arranged to take us to the farm
Teddy Hall sabraged several bottles of their Pinotage based MCC to welcome us. Nice and crisp and fresh
The wines we tasted
The tasting was held in the barrel cellar
Pieter Taljaard's daughter Anelise has her own wine named Lobola. If this hits the right market, we think it might do very well because of the name
Lots of bottles in the cellar/tasting room
Anelise introduces Teddy and the tasting begins
We started with The Gully Blanc de Blanc 2013. It's an unusual blend of 32% Roussanne, 30% Chenin blanc, 30% Viognier and 8% Chardonnay, The term Blanc de Blanc is usually reserved for an MCC wine made just with Chardonnay. Thankfully the viognier does not dominate. It has notes of apple blossom and peaches on the nose, crisp acidity with freshness and a little bitterness on the back palate, probably from the wooded Chardonnay
Teddy pouring the wine
The chef explains the food pairings to us
The Menu
We had a good wild field mushroom risotto, perfectly creamy and al dente, with rocket, pine nuts and parmesan shavings. A very good match
John was given a pea risotto, also very good
Then the Bullion Pinotage 2013. Incense and spice and the usual young Pinotage metallic notes, with very dry tannins and some good licorice and fruit, but this needs much more time. It was paired with a good meaty, spicy and creamy bobotie
The Miner 2012 Cabernet/Merlot blend with a touch of Cabernet Franc (1%). Teddy says this blend will change every year. It has cassis and cherries, incense wood on the nose. On the palate full on dark and sour cherries with cassis. Silky soft, barely chalky with some licorice on the end. This was well matched with a slow braised umami shoulder of lamb, well cooked, tender and succulent with a good savoury jus from the chicken stock and topped with pomegrante on a good cous cous base. The wine complimented the lamb. By now we were getting a little full, even though the dishes were reasonably small. Four main courses, one after the other is filling
Next was the Deep Level Shiraz 2010. Slightly musty and spicy on the nose with cocoa, chocolate and mulberries, and drying chalky tannins with bitter toasted wood on end. Needs a lot of time. It was paired with the Coffee dusted beef fillet on a parsnip puree - spoiled for Lynne as the chef added vanilla to the puree and she doesn't like vanilla with meat, but other people liked it. Good beef, great wine jus and lovely parsnip crisps atop
We then tasted a sample of Teddy Hall's first wine "from grapes to bottle "for Taillard, called The Watershed, it will be released later this year. Made from Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot it is full of cassis, vanilla forest floor and cassis leaves. Herbaceous on the palate with violets and nice and warming, with a kick of acid and good rhubarb and cassis fruit, and some chalk. Needs lots of time, it's still newly bottled

Finally it was the Prospector's Cape Late Bottled Vintage 2009 in the port style. Juicy, sweet Christmas cake fruit. lovely and soft but not yet complex. Needs age. This was served with a selection of cheese, crackers and grapes
We love our MyCity bus, it means we can get to town easily for functions and we don't have to pay for parking all day at city rates
Thank you Teddy Hall, Kathy and Dane Raath and all at Taillard. A good day with good food and wine pairings
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2015
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