Sunday, July 30, 2017

Tasting Vriesenhof wines at Auslese

An invitation this week to attend a tasting of Vriesenhof wines at Auslese with the wines paired with food prepared in Chef Harald Bresselschmidt's kitchen sounded really exciting. He is rather good at this
We were welcomed by Delight Aitken, helping out on her day off. She had the two vintages of Vriesenhof's unwooded Chardonnay, 2016 and 2017 on offer. Both fresh and crisp and refreshing, the 2017 still settling
Julian Richfield enjoying the tasting with PRO Pippa Pringle
Vriesenhof owner Jan Boland Coetzee with industry guests David Smollan and Claudio Missaglia
Paired with the 2015 wooded Chardonnay, full of apple and pears and gooseberries was this Prawn mousse with cucumber and tomatillo
And with the 2011 wooded Chardonnay rich and elegant , a pairing of seared Swordfish on a creamy caper sauce with water lilies
The Vriesenhof Pinot Noirs always impress, they are juicy, full of raspberries and strawberries with minerality and aging potential without showing any heavy wooding or tight tanninsThe 2015 was paired with duck hearts and breast with a forest mushroom ragout, a very good pairing
And a juicy roll of springbok loin marinated with aged raspberry balsamic vinegar was another special match
We were able to taste a 2015, a 2009 and a 2003, The 2009 really sang
Then to the 2016 Pinotage, perfumed and full of blueberries and raspberry fruit, showing more of the Pinot face, it is delicate with no metallic flavours or heavy wood. It was paired with a rather cold Cape Malay Lamb Bobotie topped with a relish of pineapple, peppadew and carrot, spicy but better warm
Lynne being schmoozed by Ed Saunders of Fork, he is very good at it
Graham Howe dips in to hear some industry gossip
A selection of the wines we tasted
There was another pairing for the 2016 Pinotage; pork shoulder on skewers with Jerusalem artichoke slices and a prune jus
Two chefs, no doubt discussing business. Pete Goffe-Wood talking to Chef Harald Bresselschmidt. And in the background, another Chef, Giorgio Nava of Carne and 96 Keerom St
Kallista is one of Vriesenhof's flagship wines, a rich and complex Bordeaux blend it never fails to impress. We tasted three vintages and they just got better and better as they got older. The 2013 pairing was an ostrich medallion with a bone marrow crisp, on a broccoli fondu
Paired with the 2013 was cured air dried Beef Tartare with a blackberry dressing, one of the favourites of the tasting, it kept having to be replaced. Deliciously moist and flavourful beef with the blackberry dressing perfectly matching the cassis flavour in the wine
We really like the new labels
The Vriesenhof 2015 Grenache was meaty and a little wild with dark fruit, as one expects from this grape. A food wine. The pairing with Lamb’s liver with black garlic was the talk of the room; you were encouraged to go and taste this excellent pairing
The Grenache had another pairing - Beetroot Borscht with a crisp rabbit Pierogi, very flavourful
With the Vriesenhof 2016 Red blend of Grenache 50%, Shiraz 34% and Mourvedre 16%, there were another two pairings. This was a really nice wine with which to finish the tasting; good dark fruit, spicy with black cherries and pepper. First, Duck Ham with purple Kohlrabi - puréed and made into a crisp salad
Giorgio Nava with the Bryan sisters from the Caribbean, Mala and Nasheka
And then with a small cup of warm mushroom soup, with roasted leeks and pine ring mushroom cubes, very comforting indeed and a great ending to an epic tasting
Broadcaster Guy MacDonald of Magic Radio delegated to take a photo with an unfamiliar camera
Another happy group enjoying the day was Seth Shezi, Tshepang Molisana, Malu Lambert and Lesedi Ramonyane
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