Thursday, July 25, 2019

A Weekend in Stellenbosch. 2. Blaauwklippen

When we arrived at Blaauwklippen, we were welcomed with a glass of MCC… but, first, it had to be opened... 
One of the staff members demonstrated sabrage on a bottle of their Zinfandel bubbly to welcome us
And bang goes the cork with the top of the bottle!
And one of member of our media group also had a go, with explosive result
Snowdrops already in bloom
And we then enjoyed a glass or two of the Blaauwklippen MCC Brut 2017 made from Zinfandel,
less sugar than before in the dosage making this a nice crisp MCC
Then Marketing Manager Johan van Dyk took us on a lovely walk through the gardens
We saw the Jonkmanshuis, which is now good accommodation
The old cellar
and the old manor house, which has now been converted into a superb venue
which can be hired for business, weddings or any other family or group occasion
It is superbly decorated and finished. It has a long dinner or board room table
Four stunning bedrooms with the en suite in each room
Very spacious
Two of these old Armoires are built into the hall walls; they are fully functional
Another of the bedrooms with an open fireplace
A superb and very large modern kitchen has been installed
Another angle
and on the window, a pane that may not be touched or washed
Johan shows us a message written on the glass many years ago, using a diamond
A glass building that can be used for conferences, weddings, festivals, with a lovely view of the mountains behind
We went into the Jonkmanshuis to see the accommodation there
A nicely decorated and rather comfortable room with its own separate bathroom
Up close to the conservatory building
Amusingly, they have converted these old wine storage tanks into toilets, which would serve the conservatory building
We went inside for a tasting and to have some lunch
 This is the current price list which has details of the different tastings on offer and the wine prices
We were to taste three wines which were paired with their Bunny Chows (which is a takeaway food consisting of a hollowed-out half loaf of bread filled with a vegetable or meat curry, believed to have originated in Durban). Lynne, who had reservations and who does not like soggy bread Bunny Chows, was delighted at these and really enjoyed the pairing. You too can do this pairing at Blaauwklippen: Bunny Chow & Wine Tasting - R175 (Per Person)

Nonotsikelelo Fundakubi (known as Nono) took us through the wines and the pairing
The first wine was the 2018 Sauvignon Blanc which has pine and guava notes on the intense herbal nose. Round on the palate then crisp zingy acids. This paired well with the flavoursome Butter chicken Bunny chow, served, not in a hollowed out piece of bread loaf, but in a hollowed out herb roll. The next pairing was the 2017 Shiraz, which has spent 20 months in French oak. Initially lactic notes then lots of spice and sour cherry and rhubarb on the nose. Dry tannins, soft cherry and plum fruit on the palate, with long flavours and dark wood. This was paired with quite gamy Springbok curry in an olive and herb bread. Then for the dessert bunny chow which had berry fruit and dark chocolate topped with whipped cream in a roll with chocolate chips. And was such a good pairing with the Before and After aperitif, sweet zingy cherries and lots of warm alcohol. Perfect on a chilly day
We could also taste the award winning Blaauwklippen 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon (89% & Merlot 11%), which has spent 20 months in oak. This scored 93 points in the Winemag Prescient Cabernet Sauvignon Report 2019. Cherry cassis berries on the nose, with smoky bacon wood. Cassis and cherry fruit then chalk on the long well flavoured palate with a little green leaf wildness on the end
The current line up of Blaauwklippen wines with their Brandy and White Zinfandel
Judging will be taking place this week for the annual Blaauwklippen Blending Competition where wine clubs enter their blend of supplied Blaauwklippen wines. If you have a wine club you might like to enter next year. Look at the Blaauwklippen website for details of this

It is great fun to do. This year’s winners will be announced on the 18th of October

All content ©  John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus

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