Thursday, April 14, 2016

Superb pairings at Tracy van Maaren trade wine tasting at Auslese

Why are we telling you about a trade wine show you probably will never be invited to? Because it showcased some really excellent wines and some amazing food pairings by Chef Harald Bresselschmidt at Aubergine and we think you should know about them, as it might give you some constructive ideas and some good wine suggestions. Tracy represents an excellent range of wine farms and, this year, there were a couple of new ones.
The tasting was from 3 to 7
Elsie Pels CWM with her range of fine wine glassware, Signature Crystal from Bohemia. Should you be interested in purchasing some, you can contact her on 076 942 5412 elsie@signaturecrystalglassware.com
It is always great to start with a bubble and John Loubser's Silverthorn range of MCCs is eminently suitable. His Jewel Box, a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, was paired with two different oysters
The Genie, a salmon pink rosé MCC made from Shiraz, which has notes of roses and Turkish delight, was matched with superb quality tuna and flaked salt. We could also taste The Green Man, a classic Blanc de Blanc from Chardonnay, fast becoming a favourite of ours
It was a very good turnout of sommeliers, restaurateurs, hoteliers, wine shop owners and wine media
These small Fromage blanc and red pepper tarts were matched with the Eagle’s Nest 2015 Viognier which is full of ripe peaches and butter with hints of wood on the end. The peppers fought a bit with the delicate flavours of the wine
To pair with the spicy and rich Eagle’s Nest Shiraz, air dried slices of springbok sprinkled with dark chocolate and some kale puree. The puree did not excite, the springbok was superb
This was a very clever pairing. Catherine Marshall's Clay Soils 2013 Pinot Noir with a crisp broccoli tempura, earthy creamy mushroom parfait and a saffron sabayon were delightful together - it is a really great Pinot Noir
as is her Sandstone 2015 Pinot Noir, rich with raspberries served with coq au vin on pak choi with a raspberry vinaigrette
Ginny Povall of Botanica Wines is a new addition to Tracy's excellent list of wine farms and this pairing of her Fire Lily straw wine n/v with the pork and prawn dumplings in a sticky sauce was inspired
Her labels are beautiful botanical references. The Arboretum 2014, a four way Bordeaux blend was complemented by the fried ostrich tartare topped with salted capers and good mayonnaise
Vriesenhof showed three of their best red wines. The 2014 Pinot Noir is elegant and always a great food wine. Lynne says they should have a spray of truffle oil at all tastings, it goes so well with these wines. This pairing was a seared duck slice on a polenta cube topped with a red cabbage square. Sadly, cabbage does not do much for Pinot Noir, but it could be removed
And this was Lynne's wine of the week and also her best pairing of the day. The lamb rump had been cooked perfectly and was in tender slices with herb notes, rather like a good Sunday lunch. The wine, the Vriesenhof 2014 Grenache is exciting, wild and free and full of all the right fruit notes to make the lamb even more delicious
You could also taste the 2009 Grenache, lots of concentrated full rich dark fruit flavours, lovely and mature and very different from the younger version
B Vintners (Muscat) de Alexandria has the pure fresh notes of hanepoot grapes, just picked, quite lovely and lively. This is a negociant venture between cousins Gavin Bruwer Slabbert and Bruwer Raats. The pairing with rabbit livers on a flower and herb jelly was inspired. How many times have you had rabbit livers in South Africa? We need more. Iron rich, they come somewhere between chicken livers and lambs liver, very tender
Their Liberté Pinotage was paired with chicken sukiyaki with smoked fish aroma, unusual but good
Bryan MacRobert’s Steen (Chenin's old name in the Cape) is made in the Swartland and has those oxidised, almost sherry, layered flavours one has come to recognise from the new wines in the area. It was paired with beautifully thick slices of Kassler style pork loin on a parsnip puree with tarragon

The Field Blend of dense Shiraz, Mourvedre, Cinsaut and Carignan replicates many a Rhône wine tasted in Southern France. This went with Warthog croquettes, which were quite a tasty mouthful. A winery to watch
Then it was time for the Raats wines, which never fail to impress and excite. Bruwer's 2014 Red Jasper Cab Franc led Bordeaux blend is ripe and ready and went so well with the Beef Brisket with potatoes


But the best match was the cold vichyssoise velouté with prosciutto flakes and pesto. paired with the Old Vine Chenin Blanc which is a superb expression of the grape, this is Bruwer's skill showing. Multilayered flavours of apple and cream, crisp citrus, ginger and floral perfume. Our favourite Chenin of the evening
In the busy prep kitchen which kept turning out food non-stop all evening
Tessa and Hans Hugo having fun
Remington Norman at the Eagle’s Nest counter
Maggie Mostert, chef Harald Bresselschmidt and Hennie Coetzee
Jan Laubser and Anel Grobler with Andrew Chicorimbo
Discussing the wines
Bruwer Raats
Chef Harald with Michael Pownall
Richard Kershaw in deep discussion. His superb Elgin Syrah and Chardonnay are a delight
Jan Boland Coetzee with Chef Harald
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2016
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