Advent Calendar #2 2018…

Advent Calendar #2 2018 – Stark Condé Round Mountain Sauvignon Blanc 2018

Stark Condé hits Sauvignon Blanc in its head with this fabulous Stark Condé Round Mountain Sauvignon Blanc 2018. Interestingly, owner José Condé’s mother in law’s maiden name was Maruyama, which means Round Mountain. The grapes for Advent Calendar #2 from a block of 28-year-old vineyard called Round Mountain on the Oude Nektar Farm in the Jonkershoek Valley to the east of Stellenbosch. It is one of the highest blocks on the farm and the soil is decomposed granite. This gave José and his winemaker Rüdger van Wyk the opportunity to make a wine which reflects the site and the intensity of fruit and the superb natural acidity from these old vines.

José Condé, Stark-Condé Owner & Rüdger van Wyk, Diners Club Young Winemaker of the year

Once in the cellar, the grapes for the Stark Condé Round Mountain Sauvignon Blanc 2018 were destalked and pressed. Traditional white wine practices were used. The juice was settled out overnight and taken to mainly older barrels which were neutral containers. Malo-lactic fermentation was not encouraged, though a few barrels went through it naturally. Regular lees stirring added so much  to balance the higher acidity and to bring out good weight in the mid- palate. After 8 months on the lees, the wine was prepared for bottling.

Sauvignon Blanc Grapes in harvesters hands

From a Burgundy shaped bottle under natural cork. The label is so simple and very elegant. Very becoming of the wine. In the glass, it is a pale golden straw with lime green flashes. The aromas are broad and contain the classical tropical fruits, feeling like melon and persimmon and sweet tropical limes. The mouth feel is an intense experience, full, rich, round with fine textures. Citrus is the theme interwoven into the long and satisfying aftertaste. The different components will allow for this wine to age well and you will be rewarded after a couple of years.

Tracy Foulkes’s Grilled Nectarine & Lentil Salad with Parma Ham

This is a sipping at sundown wine or taken as an aperitif before a meal. Perfect with food, especially crisp summery salads containing smoked fish or strips of Jamon Iberico. Tracy Foulkes’s NOMU Foods, Grilled Nectarine & Lentil Salad with Parma Ham. Click here for her recipe.

Read more about Stark Condé Wines – CLICK HERE

Lievland Old Vines Chenin Blanc 2017

Lievland was a respected name in the Stellenbosch Wine Appellation and then is quietly slipped away for a couple of years. MAN Vintners have recently acquired this fine estate and once again some great wines under the name Lievland are appearing. And it is from this Estate that comes one of my Advent Calendar #2 wines for today.

It’s quiet in the pastures at Lievland

I often taste a wine, like this and think ‘if you really want to know what a fine Chenin Blanc tastes like, this is the wine for you to try.’ The grapes for the Lievland Old Vines Chenin Blanc 2017 come from the vineyards of Eenzaamheid, owned by the 7th generation Briers-Louw family.  2017 was year three into the worst drought in the Western Cape in living memory. Cool evenings allowed for slower ripening and the vines delivered a quality and disease free crop. The vines were planted, south facing, in 1976 in a basin of Shale.  They are dry land farmed. Once hand harvested, the grapes are brought to the cellar where they are destalked, crushed and then pressed. The juice was settled overnight and then racked to half stainless-steel tanks and half neutral oak barrels. Fermentation took 14 days and the wine was left on its lees for 60 days to build up a rich and multi-layered palate. The wine was then prepared for bottling.

An old dry land farmed bush vine

From a Burgundy shaped bottle under screw cap. Elegant simple label. In the glass, the Lievland Old Vines Chenin Blanc 2017 is a pale golden straw. The initial aromas are of ripe white fleshed peaches, desiccated pineapple and windfall citrus. On entry the mouthful is full and rich with a generosity of fruit, minerals and a brisk acidity all interwoven into a long, satisfying and gently waning aftertaste. Stunning wine which is built to last for a good couple of years if properly cellared and will richly reward your patience.

Anina Meyer’s Crustless Chicken, Bacon & Mushroom Quiche

I always think that Chenin and Chicken go so well together. A butter roasted organic chicken is a perfect partner. If you want to get a bit more serious, Anina Meyer’s Crustless Chicken, Bacon & Mushroom Quiche is a perfect mid-week supper partner to the when you want a glass of truly sublime wine like the Lievland Old Vines Chenin Blanc 2017, Click here for her recipe

Read more about Lievland Wines – CLICK HERE


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