Advent Calendar #12 2018…

Vondeling Sauvignon Blanc 2018, my Advent Calendar #12 2018 wine

Vondeling Sauvignon Blanc 2018 is made by Matthew Copeland on the estate which is on the Voor Paardeberg Wine Appellation. He has taken the grapes from two old vine Sauvignon Blanc vineyards planted in 1981 and 1984 respectively. For obvious reasons the one vineyard is simply called the Spice Block and the other the Long Block. The vineyards, deep, well-weathered granite with good clay and iron produce an even handed 7 tons per hectare. Yields are rarely above 7t/ha and therefore naturally produce wines with structure and superior concentration.

Matthew Copeland, Vondeling Winemaker with his Michelangelo Trophy for the Bowwood Pinotage

The grapes for the Vondeling Sauvignon Blanc 2018 are hand harvested from cool vineyards early in the morning. They are taken to the cellar where they are cooled and then destalked and crushed in an oxygen free atmosphere. Cool settled, the clear juice is taken to stainless steel tanks, inoculated and cold fermented, locking in freshness and ensures an intense tropical fruit bouquet. After fermentation, the wine is kept on the gross lees for 4 months. This practice adds weight to the palate. The wine is then prepared for bottling.

The Chapel on Vondeling

From a Burgundy shaped bottle under screw cap. The label is simple and elegant and says what it needs to say. In the glass, it is a gem bright pale straw with lime green flashes when held up to the light. The aromas are fresh, more sub-tropical and tropical fruits, ripe pears, granadilla and sweet limes. These are reprised on the generous palate, full, round, rich, minerally with desiccated pineapple and scrunched soft fynbos herbs. A truly superb glass.

My Braaied Yellowtail with Bo-Kaap Spices

This is an excellent refresher, at almost any time of the day. The Vondeling Sauvignon Blanc 2018 is a superb food wine with crisp and crunchy summery salads, and something as simple as a piece of butter and lemon fried SASSI friendly hake. Or, indeed my Braaied Yellowtail with Bo-Kaap Spices.

Michael’s Braaied Yellowtail with Bo-Kaap Spices

Serves 4
You’ll need
4 large slices of middle-cut yellowtail, skin on
lemon juice for sprinkling
sea salt
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 fat cloves garlic, crushed with sea salt
1 thumb sized piece of fresh ginger, grated
1 mild green or red chili, seeds and veins removed and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon garam masala or more if you want a bit more heat.

Make some thin diagonal slashes on both sides of the fish.  Sprinkle with lemon juice and sea salt and allow to marinate for about 30 minutes.  In the bowl of a small blender place all the remaining ingredients and blend until almost smooth.  Place in a dish large enough to marinate the fish.  Add the fish covering it well with the marinade.  Allow to rest for 15 minutes.

When you cook it over the coals, cook it skin side first, this will hold the fish together.  Once on the grill you will see that the yellowtail goes opaque from the bottom up.  I will take 4 – 5 minutes for the skin to crisp up.  Using a fish slice or broad spatula, carefully turn the fish over and cook it for a further 3 – 4 minutes on the other side.  Check the inside and it should be just cooked, with the flesh all turned just opaque.  It will cook further once you have taken it off the braai.  Serve the fish, skin side up and garnish with the Cucumber Raita.

Make your own Garam Masala

You’ll need
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds
2 tsp whole fenugreek
1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
1 tsp white peppercorns
1 tsp whole cloves
½ tsp cardamom seeds, open the green pods and take out the little back seeds

Toss these in a frying pan over medium heat to toast them for a few seconds and to release the aromas.  Allow to cool and grind fine in a coffee grinder or a pestle and mortar.  In a small bowl add

1 tsp hot chili powder
2 tsp turmeric
½ tsp ground cinnamon

Stir well and store in an airtight container

Read more about Vondeling Wines – CLICK HERE