Advent Calendar #21 2018…

Holden Manz Syrah 2014, my Advent Calendar #21 2018 red wine

 Holden Manz Winery is right up at the top end of the Franschhoek Valley under the brooding benign mountains. After a mildish summer in 2014, early heat in February and the rest of summer yielded moderate temperatures. The conventional late ripening of the Syrah grapes provided elegant tannins and great structure to the Holden Manz Syrah 2014.

Syrah grapes ripening on the vine

The grapes for the Holden Manz Syrah 2014 were hand selected at harvest time using the ripest most concentrated Syrah grapes. Cold maceration in the juice took place for some time to get the aromas, colours and soft tannins extraction going. 30% of the grapes were whole bunch fermented using the wild vineyard yeasts. After fermentation, the wines was matured for 24 months in the same barrels with 70% in second and third fill 225 litre French oak barrels. The wine was then prepared for bottling.

Holden Manz’s Bordeaux educated Winemaker, Thierry Haberer

From a Burgundy shaped bottle under natural cork which was dipped in red wax. The label, as with most of the Holden Manz Wines is elegant and descriptive. In the glass, the wine is a rich bloodplum in colour at the core which pales out to a dense ruby at the edges. The aromas and palate are all about dark fruits, berries, mulberries and bloodplums. The palate full and great mouthfeel, almost textured. Wonderful careful extraction has resulted in massive flavours, yet the tannins are fine and elegant. There is a herbaceousness and minerality in undertow. Harmony and balance in the long and gently waning aftertaste. Built to age and with cool cellaring, the wine will reward generously in years to come.

Ina Paarman’s Standing Beef Rib Roast

This is a wine which needs some serious food, packed with flavour. It will also make a good post prandial sipper with some snappy dark chocolate. Nothing but Ina Paarman’s Standing Beef Rib Roast is going to pay sufficient homage to the Holden Manz Syrah 2014, so land a bottle for Christmas. Click here for Ina’s recipe.

Read more about Holden Manz Wine Estate – CLICK HERE

 Sijnn White 2017,my Advent Calendar #21 2018

The Sijnn Wines come from the Malgas Wine Appellation, a pioneering wine estate described as ‘in the middle of nowhere at the end of a long, dusty, bumpy road at the southern tip of Africa.” This is extreme wine-making. David and Rita Trafford bought the property there after being ‘blown away’ by the incredible soils in the Lemontuin area.

David & Rita Trafford, shareholders in Sijnn Wines

For me there are blends and then there are those blends that offer just so much, greater than the sum of its parts. The Sijnn White 2017, is one of them, a stunner of a wine made up of 84% Chenin Blanc, the most planted wine grape in the Cape, 13% Viognier and 3% Roussanne. Charla Haasbroek is David Trafford’s Assistnant winemaker on this far away wine estate.

From a Burgundy shaped bottle, closed the natural cork. The label depicts the ‘long and bumpy road’ and the shaley soils of Sijnn. In the glass, the wine is a gem bright pale golden straw in colour. The aromas veritably jump at you, zesty granadilla, desiccated pineapple, sweet tropical limes. The palate is alive, zippy, with the aromas repeated on the tongue, white flowers and fynbos honey with an undertow of marzipan. Big swirling mid palate and every aspect pf the wine beautifully interwoven in a long, pleasing, and gently waning aftertaste. This is a wine I would like to drink every day.

Charla Haasbroek, Assistant Winemaker at Sijnn, punching down a cap in a tank of fermenting red wine

Here is the perfect sundown sipper, and then as an aperitif to the meal which follows. Food wine for sure, and if perfect with ceviche, sushi and sashimi and gravadlax. It also likes chicken dishes. Ina Paarman’s Roast Lemon Chicken for a crowd is the perfect dish for the upcoming holidays and great with the Sijnn White 2017. Click here for her recipe.

Read more about Sijnn Wines – CLICK HERE

Ina Paarman, creator of the recipes in this post


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