Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Boplaas launches the new vintages of Portuguese styled table wine and older Cape Vintage Reserve Ports at Dear Me

We were invited to taste four Boplaas wines made with Port varieties and four of their ports last Thursday. The tasting was held in Tjing Tjing on the ground floor and then we went upstairs to the Dear Me restaurant to lunch, paired with more of the wines and Port
Higgo Jacobs with Margaux Nel, PRO Emile Joubert and pouring bubbly is Carel Nel
Carel Nel greeting journalists Graham Howe and Jeanri-Tine van Zyl
Tasting tables laid out and ready to start
The line up for tasting. The most interesting wine was the Touriga Naçional Unfiltered 2003 still full of rich red berries and vanilla oak; it had a long sour cherry finish. The Woolworths Boplaas Connection 2013, made from Touriga and Cabernet Sauvignon, had sweet and sour cherries and blackberries with good depth and might be a good food wine. The 2013 Ring of Rocks Tinta Barocca /Touriga Franseca is only available in restaurants and from the farm. It tastes of cherries with their stones. It's elegant with chalky tannins and needs time. The flagship 2012 Gamka (Lion in Khoisan), 72% Touriga 28% Shiraz, has an intriguing nose of violets and incense. It, too, has dry tannins, sour sweet cherries and is built to last
Then we moved on to the Ports: Boplaas Tinta Barocca Vintage Port 1986, bottled way back then with a screw cap, has bruléed fruit cake and whiffs of smoke and vanilla. It's very sweet, with layers and layers of Christmas cake fruit, sugar and alcohol with a long finish. Can go years more. It was elegant, had some herbaceous notes, and was fresh and full of cherries. The 1999 Vintage Reserve Port, made from Touriga and Tinta Barocca, is dark brown and showing its age a bit, but still has Christmas fruit. The 2003 Cape Vintage Port Touriga and Tinta was most peoples’ favourite in the tasting. Sweet plums and raisins, with ginger and vanilla. A lovely soft port with good lasting flavours and lots of warm alcohol. The Boplaas Cape Winemakers Guild 2006 Cape Vintage Reserve, a blend of Touriga, Tinta and Souzao, has a shy dusty nose but on the palate is delicious. Sweet black cherries and blackberries warm off the brambles. Warm, with good chalky tannins and well integrated. We think this will last for years. Lynne scored this 18. If you have any, lucky you. The Cape Tawny Bin 1880 was a revelation. Pale amber glistening in the glass, it had balsam, herbs, wood and Oxford orange marmalade on the nose. It was lighter in weight than expected, but those refreshing orange notes with spices made the flavours almost Moroccan. Exceptional

The tasting begins
Carel leads us through the tasting
and Margaux adds information on the wines
Serious tasting and Michael Fridjhon on his laptop making notes
We moved up to the restaurant, which used to be completely white. We think the blue makes the room look bigger and more interesting
Some Boplaas brandy for later
The wines with lunch
The menu with the wine pairings
The starter of pickled hake with pineapple on squid ink toast. If you enjoy pickled fish, it went well with the 2014 Cape Portuguese white blend of Verdelho/Chardonnay/Sauvignon Blanc. It's full of citrus and pineapple flavours, so the pineapple was a good addition. The bread was strange. Slightly fishy, but very soggy
Next course was ribbons of char-grilled courgettes with toasted pine nuts and lightly whipped goats' cheese, topped with fresh mint, basil and chives. We liked it. Something to serve vegetarian friends. We might add a dressing. Good with the Bobbejaanberg crisp, green and aromatic Sauvignon Blanc, which is grown in the Outeniqua ward of Upper Langkloof. It was awarded a double gold at Michelangelo and the Vitis Vinifera awards
The main course was a four meats tasting plate: We liked the sticky soy pork belly, and the fynbos smoked pulled quail bun very much. The tartare was not cut correctly, but it was made with good meat. The lamb and buchu stew could have been a big serving. Matching them with the four different Boplaas wines was fun and each had its own perfect match
Then three elements on the first dessert to pair with the unctuously sweet Boplaas CWG Ouma Cloete Straw wine and the Boplaas Cape Tawny Reserve port: Caciotta panna cotta (unsweetened cheese) with honey glazed grapes and a wine (not brandy) snap; pecan tart (delicious, we all wanted more) and molasses ice cream, which went so well with the wines
The Nel family lines up after a very good tasting and lunch. L to R. Daughter Rozanne, Mother Jeanne, father Carel Nel and daughter Margaux 
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© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2015
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