Linton Park, the home of my two Advent Calendar #15 2018 wines, is a wine estate in the Wellington Wine Appellation, looked over by a beautifully manicured Homestead and garden. Owned, since 1995, by a London based Camellia PLC, a multinational sustainability-driven group, the Estate is producing some fine wines.
The Chardonnay blocks which are the source of the Chardonnay grapes for the Linton Park Estate Chardonnay 2017 are high on the mountain slopes and are made up Oakleaf, Tukulu and Dundee soils. The grapes are handpicked by Vineyardist Rudolf Jansen van Vuuren and his team in the early hours of the dawn to maintain the coolness until they arrive in the cellar. They were then destalked and crushed. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks before the wine was transferred to a mix of first and second fill French Oak barrels for 12 months. The wine was then prepared for bottling.
From a Burgundy shaped bottle with an elegant simple label and gold foil covering the natural cork. In the glass, it is a pale golden straw colour, gem bright and vibrant. Sweet tropical limes and ripe white fleshed peaches and yellow apples on the nose are repeated on the palate where you will find traces of ghee and oak with its concomitant sweet spices and vanilla. From entry, in perfect harmony of all the parts, a medium bodied wine goes long into a satisfying aftertaste.
Good as a sipper at sundown, or at the start of a meal with an elegant fish dish as main course. Christine Capendale’s Bacon wrapped Yellowtail Kebabs are the perfect partner to the Linton Park Estate Chardonnay 2017.
Christine Capendale’s Bacon wrapped Yellowtail Kebabs
These little beauties are a huge treat for party snacks or you can make them bigger to serve as a meal, accompanied with delicious salads over the festive season. Of course they taste best if done on the barbecue but you can also grill them in the oven. It is surprising how well the bacon compliments the flavour of the fish. It prevents the yellowtail from drying out during the grilling. Fresh yellowtail is available most of the year.
What you’ll need
600 g skinned, filleted Yellowtail
350 g streaky bacon
50 ml olive oil
50 ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
5 ml lemon zest
10 ml garlic and herb seasoning or fish rub
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Salt and black pepper
Bay leaves (optional)
Bamboo skewers, soaked in water before use
What you’ll do
Cut the fish in 4cm cubes. Make sure all skin and bones are removed. Mix together the olive oil, lemon juice, rind and crushed garlic. Season the fish cubes with the garlic and herb seasoning (or fish spice rub), salt and black pepper and marinade in the olive oil mixture for 1 hour.
Wrap a piece of streaky bacon around each fish cube and secure with the bamboo skewer.
Place 2 -3 pieces on each skewer, more if you prefer). Add a bay leaf to each skewer, this is optional.
Place the kebabs on an oven rack and place under the pre-heated grill in the oven. Cook until the bacon is crisp, and the fish is just cooked. Turn at least once and baste with the pan juices
Can be grilled on a barbecue if you prefer…
Christine Capendale, see https://christinecapendale.com/
The vines from which the grapes for the Linton Park Estate Merlot 2016 are harvested average 14 years old. They are planted in decomposed high mineral granite Oakleaf and Glenrosa and Tukulu soils on the mountain. Vineyardist Rudolf Jansen van Vuuren and his team tend the vineyards to ensure low yields of evenly ripe grapes and great flavour concentrations. The grapes are harvested by hand in the early hours of the day and taken to the cellar where they are destalked and crushed. Soaking of the skins in the juice and then fermentation over a period of 14 days with pump overs twice a day. Malolactic fermentation took place before the wine was racked off into a combination of new, 2nd and 3rd fill French oak barrels for 12 months. The wine was then prepared for bottling.
From a Bordeaux shaped bottle under natural cork with an elegant black label. In the glass, the wine is a rich bloodplum at the heart which pales out to ruby at the edges. Whiffs and tastes of the Merlot classics, plums, stewed soft dried prunes with a lively lift from roadside brambles and an undertow of raspberry and marzipan. Lovely harmony in the wine from entry, through a generous mid palate into a long and gently waning aftertaste. The oak and its concomitant spices are interwoven with tannins which with the brisk fruit and excellent balance will allow for further cool cellaring and later reward.
Chill for 30 minutes for summer drinking. This is the wine of Beef Bordelaise if you are feeling like a hearty casserole, though it will go down well with Lizet Hartley’s Beef Neck & Marrow Ragu for Pasta. Click here for her recipe.
Read more about Linton Park Wines – CLICK HERE