Wednesday, August 26, 2015

New wines with lunch at Vrede en Lust, Franschhoek

 Back again to Franschhoek on Friday for a tasting of some new wines and a vertical tasting of one of Vrede and Lust's two flagship wines, The Boet Erasmus (Simonsberg-Paarl): a Bordeaux style blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec. This was followed by a light lunch in Lust restaurant. This is one of the most energy efficient green farms in the Cape. The vineyards vie for space with solar panels
The gathering started in the cellar vestibule where we were introduced to two Artisan wines; a Riesling from Elgin and a Semillon. These wines are hand made in very small quantities and only available for their wine club members.
The tasting was held in the barrel cellar, perhaps a little chilly for August
Good canapés of cheese shortbread topped with Boursin and mini heirloom tomatoes
Also very fresh tuna which was seared, kebabed and then dressed with a sweet Asian umami sauce
The wines being poured
Joint owner (with his brother Dana) Etienne Buys opened the tasting with some history of the farm and the wines. Founded in 1688 by French Huguenot Jacques de Savoye, the Buys family are the 17th owners. Etienne is the viticulturist, supervises the vineyards and oversaw the building of the very modern winery
Winemaker Susan Erasmus explained her winemaking philosophy
and talked about the wines we were about to taste. We tasted another Semillon, the Barrique 2009 (R120) very elegant, an Elgin Kogelberg 2013 Chenin Blanc (R120) full of zesty orange peel and minerality. The Casey's Ridge 2014 Pinot Noir (R175), a new addition, grown on their Elgin farm
And then we did the vertical tasting of the Boet Erasmus (R175). He was the maternal grandfather of the Buys brothers. We tasted from 2007 through to the current release the 2012. The constituent grapes have varied slightly in the quantity used through the years and we found that the blend is recognisable. We particularly liked the 2011 full of violets and perfumed fruit on the nose. Lovely soft berry fruits, soft chalky tannins with liquorice wood on the end. As the vines get more mature, so the flavours of this wine are gathering their skirts together. The 2012 is even more complex and layered
We then proceeded to lunch next door at Lust restaurant
A display of the wines in a niche
The lunch menu
Their good artisanal sourdough bread
Non-meat eaters got herb crusted salmon on sweet potato puree
Meat eaters got a hefty sirloin steak topped with a marrowbone, served with heritage carrots, a good wine jus and sweet potato puree. We drank some of the wines we had tasted in the cellar
Dessert wasn't dessert but a savour goats curd cheese patty, breaded & fried, topped with candied baby beets and dressed with walnuts and olive oil and raw beetroot slices. So wanted a slice of their chocolate cake...
Enjoying a coffee before taking the transport back to town
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2015

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