Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Steenberg spring wine launch with lunch at Bistro 1682

We were invited to Steenberg's Bistro Sixteen82 on the first day of Spring to come and celebrate the release of their three new wines, all named after the ships involved in the Battle of Muizenberg: a 2017 Ruby Rosé, The Sphynx 2017 Chardonnay and the 2015 Stately Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz blend, which would be served with lunch. The grapes for these wines come from other areas like Robertson
Our welcome was much enhanced by a glass of Steenberg 2011 Lady R MCC
Caroline van Schalkwyk, Steenberg Marketing Manager, Journalist and wine judge Fiona MacDonald, Natalie Collard of the Wine of the Month Club, Dr Winnie Bowman CWM, and Steenberg Cellarmaster JD Pretorius
JD gets a warm welcome from Winnie
Such a happy day! Prosper Gundura from Norman Goodfellows with Chris du Toit, Graham Beck CEO and Kobie Lochner (marketing for Graham Beck and Steenberg)
A welcome and introduction from Caroline van Schalkwyk
JD with Siobhan Robinson of Wines of South Africa and Chris Taylor, vice-chairman of the Muizenberg Historical Conservation Society, who gave us a lecture about the Battle of Muizenberg in 1795 when the British raided the Cape to try and take control from the Dutch using the Royal Navy ships Stately, Ruby and Sphynx
We begin lunch with the first wine, the 2017 Ruby Rosé, a blend of Shiraz and Cinsaut. It has notes of raspberry, Seville orange and light blackberry
The menu
The Home cured duck was lovely but there was very little of it. Dressed with a dollop of sumac labneh cheese, a creamy raspberry vinaigrette, radish, pine nuts and some tinned or preserved raspberries on mixed leaves
In between courses, we had a slide show history lesson about the Battle of Muizenberg
A beautiful pink protea on each table
Here comes the Steenberg Sphynx Chardonnay 2017, It has a nice nose, white peach and a whiff of smoke and stony minerality. On the palate very ripe peaches, some oxidation with quite heavy wood - it has had 100% new oak contact for 6 weeks and 1/3 has gone through malolactic fermentation, which is evident
JD talks us through the wine making process. They have done these three different wines because customers were always asking why Steenberg didn't have a Rosé, a Chardonnay and a red blend
All the Steenberg staff were wearing lovely spring flower corsages
The Sphynx Chardonnay 2017
This was paired with a tuna and avocado tartare, with cucumber dressing, a citrus gremolata sauce and a chilli saffron mayonnaise, lemon segments and topped with very good tiny crisp curried calamari rings. Lots of different elements on one plate
The Stately 2015, a blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon and 37% Shiraz. creamy with spiced cherries and black olives on the nose, sweet and sour cherries on the palate with some black berry fruit, spice and dark toasted wood
This was served with the main course of beautifully flavourful confit Springbok neck which just fell apart it was so tender. Served on a cream parsnip puree, brocollini, a cassis sauce and a Stately wine jus, and fresh blueberries, which we thought were just too sweet for this complex dish. The Springbok needed to speak for itself.
Pretty colours. For those who think that we of the fourth estate drink copious amounts with these meas, these are glasses which had not been finished after the first two courses
And with dessert, we were served the Steenberg Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc, such a nice expression of this varietal. Perfumed with elderflowers, it is crisp and lively and gives a beer like head in the glass. It is full of limes, passion fruit and blueberries, with cassis berries and leaves. Think this might be drunk often this summer
Served with dessert it sang with the lovely passion fruit and lemon tart (would have liked a bigger slice it was so good). The plate was fully dressed with the tart, a smear of Italian meringue, lemon curd, marinated strawberry salad, a red berry syrup, and ball of hibiscus ice cream, mint and pansies
A present for the presenter Chris Taylor
Chef Kerry Gilpin with Caroline
A ship in a bottle was one of the table decorations. We don't have a photograph but many of the staff were dressed in historic naval uniform and looked sensational.
Two media fashionistas: Seth Shezi and Tshepang Molisana

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