Monday, September 05, 2016

A visit to Ridgeback Wines

We hadn't visited Ridgeback since 2013 and they invited us to return and taste their wines recently, so we decided to combine the visit with a trip to see the Spring flowers up the West Coast last Saturday, which was a lovely sunny day. The tasting was followed by lunch on the deck and then a chat with the owner Vernon Cole and his daughter. They are originally from Zimbabwe where the Ridgeback dog is famous.. It was a very friendly tasting and we were ably led through the wines, which are made by Toit Wessels, by Pieter van Straaten. Then we motored off through the Malmesbury and Darling countryside to spot the daisies
The rustic tasting room. They have about 14 wines on their current list, we tasted many of these. We bought a box of the good Lion Hound 2015 White for drinking this summer, it was on special at R300 for 12. It is a blend of their rather tropical Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier - crisp, clean full of peaches and limes so refreshing. We also rated the Ridgeback 2015 Chenin R80 and the Ridgeback 2014 Viognier 2014 quite highly. Both are well made and drink well. the Viognier is wooded but this has softened with age. Both are 4 star Platter wines, as are the 2 reds below.
We sat inside as it was a bit windy on the deck initially. Then it was time to taste the reds. The well wooded 2013 Cabernet Franc, R110, impressed with lots of savoury umami, red fruit and black olive notes with plums and rhubarb. A food wine. The His Master's Choice 2013 R150. a blend of Shiraz, Mourvèdre and Grenache also had us talking: Rich intense fruit with cherries, pomegranate and cassis and salty savoury liquorice from the Mourvedre, this Rhône blend finishes with white pepper on the end. We also liked the spicy Shiraz 2013, R110
The restaurant and tasting room are built on stilts over a huge pond filled with water birds and koi fish
Just one duck awake
An unusual duck. There are also white swans and a pair of New Zealand black swans
Lots of huge koi carp, in gleaming colours
They all look the same size but apparently the smaller ones swim deep
The wind had dropped, so we moved outside for lunch on the deck under the trees
Owner Vernon Cole and his daughter Vanessa
Pieter chose this sweet and sour pork dish for his lunch
Lynne had two starters instead of a main: Calamari was on special and the other was spicy Thai fish cakes with a sweet chilli sauce. The portions are very generous.
John chose the rump steak with a Teriyaki dressing, pepper cream sauce and chips. We had no room for dessert and finished with coffees. Thank you all at Ridgeback 
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2016
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