Wednesday, July 06, 2016

De Wetshof Limestone Hill Chardonnay with lunch at Charango Bar and Grill, Cape Town

This was the release of the 2016 vintage of Limestone Hill, De Wetshof's unwooded easy drinking Chardonnay from the De Wetshof stable of 6 different Chardonnays. Charango is in4 Bree Street so we took the bus and enjoyed the welcome Pisco sour. Then over lunch we discovered that Limestone Hill is the perfect wine to go with all sorts of different foods, heat levels and tastes. And great to quaff.
Charango Peruvian Bar and Grill has menu dedicated to Peruvian-Japanese fusion, or Nikkei cuisine supervised by Head Chef Kieran Whyte. They have a fairly small but very interesting menu
Both De Wet brothers Johann (viticulture and marketing) and Peter (winemaker) were there with PRO Emil Joubert to welcome us
The Pisco sour welcome drink. Pisco is a high alcohol grape brandy made in Peru. It is made with egg white, lime juice, simple syrup, and bitters and served on ice. It is wonderfully sour and packs a punch
The barman adding the necessary touch of bitters to the cocktail
Old friends Michael Olivier and Mike Bampfield Duggan and, behind them, Peter de Wet
Opening speeches by Emil Joubert and Johan de Wet
Johann tells us all about the Limestone Hill which takes its name from the terroir heavy clay with limestone on which it is grown in Robertson. It is full of lively limes, apple and lemons with good minerality and long after flavours. It aids and supports the food it is served with, making them more delicious. American wine critic Robert Parker has said about it: "Understated and less tropical than some of the better un-oaked Chardonnays, this wine possesses far better balance and sheer drinkability – not to mention more finesse – than 99% of the world’s Chardonnay I have experienced.” We loved it enough to make it our wine of the week
The wine
Head Chef Kieran Whyte tells us about the menu which will be served tapas size and style
Sending information on to Facebook and Twitter! Next to Lynne is Bennie Stipp Marketing Director for De Wetshof
The menu
The gentle seared Tuna Tataki came first bedecked with sesame seed , caviar and mayonnaise in a ponzu (soy with a citrus added) and miso sauce with preserved ginger. We love winter in the Cape when we get beautiful fresh tuna like this. It did need more dipping sauce as the ponzu was only a drizzle. Luckily , it came with the next course. The ginger sang with the wine. So great for sushi too
Prawn toasts. You often get these in Chinese restaurants. They are topped with minced prawn, sprinkled with sesame and then deep fried till crisp. They came with a good soy dipping sauce
Next: Dirt rubbed Tuna tacos. More of the fresh tuna, covered with a spicy earthy rub then cooked briefly before being enclosed by the soft tacos with crisp slaw, avocado and wasabi. Really good. The slaw came with lots of mayo and could have disguised the tuna but the wine cut through it to the fish
Allan Mullins of Woolworths chats to Jeanri-Tine van Zyl. Next to Allan is Michelle Coburn, Features Editor of Woolworths TASTE magazine
Then shredded pork tacos with apple, pickles and chipotle chillies. Completely different from the tuna, equally as good. These bite sized dishes were bursting with flavour and texture. The pork was a bit fatty, the wine swept the grease away
'Chicha' Pork Belly with sweet corn, and chorizo sausage. This seems to be a traditional Andean dish. The sweet corn sauce was lovely and the pork quite tender. The crackling however was a bit of a disappointment. It was melt in the mouth with little flavour. We prefer the other style with the crunch and the taste of pork fat.
Dessert: there were two. First a crisp wafer taco filled with a rich dark Peruvian chocolate mousse, popping candy and mini whispers - fun, messy and very moreish. The wine stood up the chocolate!
And then Picarones, the traditional warm sweet potato donuts served with dulché de leché (caramelised condensed milk). A great end to a good introduction to a lovely wine and some interesting food. We must go back and try some more, with a bottle of the Limestone Hill
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2016

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