Tuesday, February 28, 2017

MENU Wines of the Week: Eikendal Classique 2008 + Morgenhof LBV 1993

We served the Eikendal Classique '08 with a grilled picanha steak to a Dutch friend who brought it to us a few years ago. It was a very elegant blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% each Merlot and Cabernet Franc, made by Nico Grobler. The latter is a grape that does very well in the shadow of the Helderberg. It had sweet, ripe cassis and a touch of black cherry, with a delicious earthy, minerality; bone dry with very gentle, silky tannin. It had an especially good cork, which could have helped the wine to age for several more years, a rare example in a South African wine. Platter gave it 4½ stars in 2012 and the same to the current 2014 vintage in the 2017 edition

And an honourable mention to Morgenhof LBV 1993, legendary winemaker Jean Daneel’s first attempt at "Port"
We served it with a good selection of cheeses, fresh figs and grapes. Crusted and full of ripe dark cherry fruit and a hint of milk chocolate, with spice and elegant age, it was so enjoyable and at its peak. Platter only wrote about it in 2008 We served it with cheese at the end of a dinner party  

This wine was first mentioned in Platter in 1998 and they didn't score it. They should have, we would give it four and a half stars. Up to then, from 1995 to 1997, only the vintages up to 1992 (labelled "Ruby Port") were mentionedThe 1994 earned 3½ stars in the 2000 edition. The earlier vintages were made by Denzel van Vuuren with assistance from Pietie Theron of the KWV from Pinotage, Merlot and Tinta barocca
The entry from Platter 1998 says:
"Port '93  Jean Daneel’s first attempt at Port; Pinotage, Tinta barocca. Lovely 3.5 years in 300 litre barrels. To be labelled Late Bottled Vintage. Full-flavoured, can age profitably, but very drinkable now. 75gm/l sugar, 17.6% alcohol. 95 all tinta" (© Creda Press 1998)
Both of these wines were fine examples of good South African wines' ability to mature well over a long period
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2017

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