Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Haskell Vineyards media tasting of Syrahs with lunch at La Mouette

We were invited to a pairing of Haskell wines with lunch at La Mouette. A summer lunch with great wines, which were very skilfully paired with the food
La Mouette (the Seagull) on a sunny midday. It is on Regent Road in Sea Point
We were taken upstairs for this event. We began with a glass of their Dombeya range’s excellent Chardonnay; buttery citrus, with depth and long fruit
Canapés served were a tuna tartare on a rye taco and the famous La Mouette Truffle croquette
PRO Nicolette Waterford and Greg Landman having a quick hug and gossip
A happy Dr Winnie Bowman CWM
Time to start lunch and taste the wine with the food
Writer Malu Lambert with Winnie Bowman
Haskell CEO Grant Dodd tells us about the Haskell wines to be paired with lunch
The menu
La Mouette is owned by Chef Henry Vigar and his wife Mari. Henry explained the menu. We have great respect for them. You may not know that they were the highest earners for StreetSmart SA www.streetsmartsa.org.za last year. How do they do it? Yes, they are very popular and have very generous customers who do not mind them adding R5 to every bill. But Lynne learned from Mari that she very generously adds another R5 to each donation. Well done!
Art on the wall - some old restaurant order slips!
The first wine is the Anvil 2015 Chardonnay. All Haskell wines served were single vineyard varietals. Full on the nose, with minerality and butter, elegantly full on the palate, citrus clean with wet stone minerality and a dry finish. Made to last and it will. French Burgundy in style, some malolactic character and 50% new oak
Service which was efficient and quick, begins
Winemaker Rianie Strydom tells us about the wine
Scribes tasting and writing
First course to pair with the Anvil were two Fontina filled raviolis with a tomato truffle dressing and crisp parmesan crumb. The creaminess of the rich Fontina cheese which made the wine taste richer and creamier and the crisp stony taste & texture of the parmesan crumbs made the pairing work so well
Three Shirazes followed. With the second course the Haskell Hades 2014. The rocky vineyard is hell to farm on, hence the name, but produces very rewarding wines. Wine is all about structure and flavour said Len Evans, the famous Australian wine maker. It has a blockbuster nose, spicy with mulberries, white pepper and a slight lactic note. On the palate it's a kick of spicy fruit and acid with cheeky tannins. Mulberries, plums and Rhubarb with Masala spices, long flavours ending in ground black pepper and coffee
Hades was paired with a Chalmar sirloin, tender and pink to perfection with crisp coated bone marrow, a creamy cauliflower puree, confit red onions
and a café au lait sauce
with a dusting of black pepper
We all had lots of catching up to do after the long summer break
Caught by surprise. Philip van Zyl Editor of the John Platter Guide.
Rianie talking to Christine Rudman and Wade Bales
Discussing the finer points? Richard Holmes, Chris von Ulmenstein and Fiona McDonald
The fourth wine was the Haskell Pillars 2013 Syrah, herbal on the nose and palate, with hot spices and lovely rich red berry fruit.  This was paired with a roasted loin of lamb with a rich aubergine puree, salsa verde that so echoed the herbs in the wine, good supporting potato gnocchi and house-made ricotta. Here is broadcaster Guy MacDonald enjoying the pairing. We were also given the 2007 to taste. Identifiably the same wine, but it was richer and deeper on the nose, redolent with spices, it powered down in the glass over time
The final wine was the Haskell Aeon 2013 Syrah, full of stony minerality and incense wood on the nose, rather cellar like too. Minty, with rich soft plum sweetness, the layers 'ping' on the palate as they develop. Chef Henri really depicted the wine on the plate of the last course. Roasted plums with a plum puree, a filo crisp and a port reduction with an Aged Dalewood Superlatif Brie. They sang in chorus together
Alan Mullins of Woolworths chats to Haskell winemaker Rianie Strydom
Clifford Roberts enjoying a last wine
Christian Eedes of winemag.co.za asking some questions
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2017

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