Glen Carlou Wine Estate is situated on the east facing slopes of the Simonsberg in the Paarl Wine Appellation. Verdelho is one of my most favourite of the Portuguese white wine varieties. The grapes for this wine come from a single small single vineyard and were hand harvested. Once in the cellar, the bunches were whole pressed and the juice taken to ferent naturally in 2nd fill french oak barrels. he wine was aged on its gross lees for a year. Only 6 barrels were made. In the glass, it is a gem right golden straw in colour. Aromas are of white flowers, windfall oranges and tropical mango and melon. The flavours are full and complex, many layers and a great mouthfeel. Great with food, especially along the Portuguese and Madeiran coasts.
Glen Carlou has for many years been a leader in the Cape with its award-winning wines. Philip Theron, a winemaker at Glen Carlou, late last year received The Diners Club Young Winemaker of the Year for his The Glen Carlou Collection Tannat 2018. The grape originates in South West France in the Madiran AOC. Like Malbec in Argentina, Tannat has been taken under the wings of the Uruguayan wine makers and is now considered almost a national grape.
2018 was a great year for grapes grown on Glen Carlou, especially red wine grapes. Once in the cellar, the small harvest of Tannat was fermented with minimal intervention from Philip. The wine was matured on its fine lees for 2 years in second fill French Oak barrels, with no batonnage, racking or movement. The wine was then prepared for bottling
From a bespoke Burgundy shaped bottle with shoulders broader than the base. The bottle is closed with natural cork. The label is simple and written with an old typewriter. In the glass, the wine is a gem like dark bloodplum at the heart which pales out to deep ruby at the edges. Now from this moment on, I experienced a wine which was so easy to drink, I am not damning it with feint praise. The aromas are rich in dark red berry and cherry fruits and plums. The oak and its concomitant spice all in support. Soft to sniff at, very beguiling. At first entry there is a line of gentle acidity and soft tannins running through the generous mid palate into the long and harmonious ending. The palate is rich and round and soft, no corners at all. The dark fruits, the back tastes of cherry tobacco with a good grind of black pepper and dark chocolate. I could go on. It is a fabulous wine and while eminently drinkable now, it will reward you with a couple of years of cool cellaring.
The Glen Carlou Collection Tannat 2018 is a perfect glass on its own. Chilled it will only offer more. Great as a food wine. And perfect with Jan Braai’s Steak with Red Wine Sauce.
This fine piece of steak, prepared by Jan Braai, begs for a glass of The Glen Carlou Tannat.
What you’ll need (serves 4)
1 kg fillet steak (or slightly bigger)
1 tot butter
½ onion (chopped as finely as you can)
1 clove garlic (chopped very finely)
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
½ tot flour
1½ cups red wine
½ cup beef stock
1½ tots sugar
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
salt and freshly ground black pepper
What you’ll do
1. Light a relatively big fire using your favourite braai wood.
2. Remove the steak from its packaging. Cut it into four equally sized portions and then season them well with salt and pepper. Don’t be shy with the pepper.
3. Place a medium-sized flameproof pan or potjie over the fire. You want a pretty high heat but it must not be searing hot, so just use some of the burning logs under the potjie, not all of them.
4. Melt the butter and then fry the onions, garlic and thyme leaves for about 5 minutes until the onion is soft and starts to turn brown.
5. Add the flour and stir well, then immediately add the red wine, stock, sugar and vinegar. Mix well, bring to the boil and then boil over high heat to reduce the liquid by half. Stir often. Depending on the size of your pot and the heat of your fire, this should take 15 minutes, but it could be slightly longer or slightly shorter. While the liquid is reducing, it should thicken and become a rich sauce. Taste the sauce at this point and season with salt and pepper. Keep in mind that some beef stocks are already quite salty, so you might not need salt at all. When you’re happy with the texture of the sauce, remove from the fire.
6. While you’re waiting for the sauce to reduce in step 5, braai the steaks over very high heat for about 8–10 minutes. Braai them on all four or six sides. That’s right, when you slice a 1 kg fillet steak into 4 pieces the shape of the fillet steaks can have four or six sides.
7. Serve the steaks on warm plates and pour the red wine sauce over the steak.
Read more about Jan Braai – CLICK HERE
Read more about Glen Carlou Wine Estate, its wines and hospitality offerings – CLICK HERE