Thursday, October 25, 2018

Malanot wines with lunch at Table Seven, Salt River

Cape Wine Master Marius Malan makes his Malanot Wines on Summerhill estate in Stellenbosch from bought in grapes (he also makes their wine). We were given an opportunity to meet him and taste his wines this week at a very good venue in Salt River
Table Seven is not a conventional restaurant. They do event catering, a chef’s table, chef cooking demonstrations, consulting, wedding catering, and private chef work. From the impressive food we were served, we can recommend Chef Luke Wonnacott and his wife Kate. He is obviously classically trained and very experienced. This is the inside of the venue with a long table set for the event
Then it was time to get to know Marius Malan and Malanot wines. Here are the white wines on ice
We began with the Sauvignon Blanc, which has classic green pepper notes and is crisp with some tropical flavours on the palate
Chef plating up some canapés for the arriving media
Here preparing some perfect duck rillettes which came with contrasting pickles on a small toast
Could not get enough of these. Such a favourite with us and so rarely served in South Africa
The wine racks on the walls are innovative
The function was ably organised by Celia Galloway
We can supply her details should you need someone to organise an event for you, here or elsewhere
The second canapé was a fish paté topped with gherkins and thick mayonnaise
 Salmon on a crisp cracker, topped with shredded daikon radish and avocado
The last canapé was a perfect mini warm & crisp pastry tart tatin topped with pine nuts
Flavours of apple, caramel, pastry and savoury, all in one mouthful
The Malanot Chenin label is embossed on white paper, so it is difficult to photograph. This was the 2017 Asiel Chenin Blanc served with the starter. (Asiel means Created by God). Only 900 bottles are made, all numbered. Unusually it has about 5 or 10% of whole bunches (grapes, stalks, skins and pips) put into the barrel for fermentation and left while the wine ages, Marius says they are very difficult to remove afterwards, but they make a huge difference to the wine. The 2014 spent 14 months in barrel. It has a rich, complex nose, with ripe apricots and loquats. This follows through on the palate with the addition of cooked apple and some wood
The Menu
The table is one slice of a huge tree trunk from the Congo. The table setting was rather informal
In fact, we were not sure which glasses, cutlery or side plates were ours, but we sorted it out
Each guest was given a bottle of Asiel to take home
Marius Malan explained his wines and their making to the group
He says he makes "quality boutique wines, naturally crafted to perfection!"
The arm injury is due to a recent mountain bike accident; he is an aficionado, but pays for it
Marius graduated from Elsenberg and told us the wine name comes from Malan, his family name,
and Genot - meaning “pleasure” in Afrikaans
He says his winemaking philosophy is to apply minimal interference in the natural wine making process. He is an individualist. He likes to pick his soils, their aspects, varietals and clones. He uses healthy fruit that shows its terroir and uses healthy older barrels. His focus is on the fruit and he uses spontaneous fermentation; no bought yeast is used, and he uses stabilisation only in his white wines. He wants integrity in his wines
Time for the starter which was an olive oil poached salmon; tender, falling into perfect flakes with great flavour, this was served with orange and grapefruit segments which added a flash of good acidity, a mild horseradish cream and some crisp daikon and red radish slices, with fronds of dill. Delicious
A close up of the perfect starter
The next wine was the Malanot Chardonnay. The grapes come from Franschhoek and Elgin. He used 10% new oak for four months, then batonage so that the wine is not overly oaked. It has 5 stars in Platter and scored 93 points at the Prescient Chardonnay Report. It has a wax cap to the capsule. Gentle on the nose, a typical elegant Chardonnay with notes of citrus, grapefruit, minerality and light smoke. On the palate, it is smooth, crisp, then zingy with lots of lemon, grapefruit. minerality and long flavours. We like the way he thinks about wine, how he makes it and we do like the wines
The Chardonnay was served with the main course of perfectly cooked confit lamb shoulder topped with slices of pink lamb loin, a spring vegetable nage which consisted of artichoke, asparagus, courgette, new peas, broad beans and a saffron caramel jus. It was a joy to eat. The Chardonnay went perfectly with this great dish, blowing the myth that red meat needs red wine. And you don’t need a starch when the food is this satisfying
A close up!
Chef Luke slicing the dessert, which was a classic chocolate tart,
good dark ganache on crisp chocolate pastry, served with a not too sweet mascarpone ice cream
Slices awaiting the ice cream
The dessert was accompanied by the Malanot Triton Syrah
There are old world Syrahs and there are new world Syrahs. Marius tried to make one in the middle. Medium wood was used, no punch downs, Marius does not believe in them. It does go very well with rich chocolate. Spicy and peppery with rich cherry, plum and mulberry notes, it is perfumed on the palate, smooth and juicy with elegance and long life

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