Andy Watts is a Master Distiller of Whisky. And an Internationally awarded one. And he does it with a formidable team in Wellington at the James Sedgwick Distillery. One would be forgiven for thinking you had reached the Scottish Highlands, the building is very reminiscent of the austere architecture one finds all over Scotland.
Back to Wellington for the first door on my Advent Calendar #20 2018 where you will find a bottle of the Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky. Distilled from 100% South African Yellow Maize or corn. The Bain’s Kloof Pass which linked Wellington the north was built in 1853 by the legendary Andrew Geddes Bain. The pass is still in use today.
The Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky is matured for three years in previous fill Bourbon Oak Casks, and then for a further 18 to 30 months in a second set of first-fill bourbon casks to add that extra flavour and softness to this much admired South African Whisky
From an elegantly shaped and labelled bottle closed with a screw cap. In the glass, the whisky is a rich golden amber, gem bright and very beguiling. The aromas are of the oak and its concomitant spices, vanilla and soft toffees. The palate is wide and rich, spicy and the perceived sweetness of the American oak barrels. It slips down into the aftertaste, cashmere clad and long. A cuddle in a glass.
Normally with whisky, apart from the sensational array of cocktails, ice and mineral water is perfect. We use filtered water at home both for drinking and for making ice. A whisky expert, Dave Hughes once told me, you really just need a splash of water to ‘open up’ the whisky. With a couple of large blocks of ice, it makes a perfect sundown sipper or a post prandial digestif. I have had whisky partnered very successfully with Jamon Iberico or thin crisps of Parmigiana Reggiano.
Read more about Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky – CLICK HERE
Peter Finlayson was one of the early pioneers of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in the Hemel en Aarde Valley in Hermanus, way back in the 1980s. This wine is named for the Mission Hospital which was established there in the early 19th century.
The grapes for the Bouchard Finlayson Missionvale Chardonnay 2016 were harvested on the Estate and were the earliest harvested ever on the Estate. In the midst of a drought, the greatest in living memory. Quality grapes, making quality wine. The gentle pressing of whole bunches over a three hour period ensured the finest juice which was fermented initially in stainless steel tanks and then transferred to French oak barrels to mature in its primary lees for eleven months. The wine was then prepared for bottling.
From a Burgundy shaped bottle, closed with natural cork. In the glass, a gem bright enticing pale gold. The aromas are a generosity of fruit – ripe white fleshed peaches and citrus. The beautifully applied oak supports the fruit on the palate. Sliced fresh pears, ripe winter melon and windfall oranges. Perfect balance, perfect harmony in the long aftertaste. This wine is built to last, and with cool cellaring will offer great reward for at least 5 years after vintage.
This is a lovely food wine. Will match you roasted buttery organic chicken perfectly. Sushi and Sashimi it will take in its stride. And while it is traditionally an Easter dish, Picked Fish is a perfect partner for a summery lunch under a pergola. Click here for my recipe.
Read more about Bouchard Finlayson Vineyards – CLICK HERE