For my Advent Calendar #23 2018, I give you three quirky wines from the Old Road Wine Company in Franschhoek. The grapes for the blends come from a variety of Wine Appellations in order that the Winemaker can create broad flavours, freshness and something new and different to present to you guests this holiday season
This wine is an utterly delicious blend of grapes traditionally so far apart and seldom seen together in a wine. The blend of the Old Road Wine Company Spotted Hound 2017 consists of Sangiovese 24%, Shiraz 20%, Petite Syrah 19%, Grenache Noir 16%, Cinsaut 16% and Malbec 5%. The Sangiovese is grown on the northern the slopes of the Helderberg, The Shiraz and Malbec, Petite Syrah, Grenache and Cinsaut all originate from Agter-Paarl. The Cinsaut and Grenache are bush vine cultivated. The soils these vineyards grow in are mostly weathered granite, which imparts excellent minerality to the fruit.
Once in the winery, the different components are separately vinified. They are matured in French oak barrels, second and third previous fill. After barrel rest, the wines are then blended and prepared for bottling.
From a Burgundy shaped bottle, under screw cap. The label is quirky and fun, the spotted dog appearing in the centre. The aromas are of standing on the rocks in Hermanus and smelling the kelp and salty ozone. Soft spice from the oak. The palate is filled with dark berry, cherry and plums fruits, with an undertow of rose water and floral fynbos herbaceousness. Long gently waning aftertaste with soft tannins.
Good idea to chill this Advent Calendar #23 2018 wine for 30 minutes before serving. Either in an ice bucket or the fridge. Great as a glass on its own, or while waiting for the braai fire to die down to coals. Carey Boucher Erasmus’s Chicken Liver Parfait, Spiced Cranberry Compote & Brioche is a lovely match to the Old Road Wine Company Spotted Hound 2017. Click here for her recipe.
Pardonnez moi – pardon me was reputedly said by Marie Antoinette when she accidentally stepped on her executioner’s foot. Her manners made her apologise and these were her last words.
Old Road Wine Company Pardonnez Moi 2018 is a sappy, so drinkable, Cinsaut, with a dash of Sangiovese (15%) for structure. The Cinsaut grapes are hand harvested off fine old bushvines in Paarl, while the Sangiovese [Blood of Jove] comes off the Helderberg in Stellenbosch. These vineyards are made up of weathered granite soils. Supplementary irrigation is applied where necessary. In the cellar, gentle extraction and little oak maturation, further enhances the drinkability of this refreshing wine.
From a Bordeaux shaped bottle, under screw cap. In the glass, an almost translucent cherry red, gem bright and very inviting. The aromas and palate are quite intertwined, one leading to the other. The Cinsaut, though dry, has that sweet fruit, cherry pastilles whiffs and tastes. The Sangiovese adds a touch of gravitas to the wine, it being the only grape of Brunello di Montalcino and blended into many a fine Chianti and the Super Tuscan. It offers sour cherry, tea leaf, spice and an earthy aromatic. The palate is fine and the wine silken, the aftertaste long and gently waning.
This is a lovely Advent Calendar #23 2018 wine to drink as a glass on its own. Do chill it. As for food Carey Boucher Erasmus’s Roast Pork Belly with Plums is a great partner with plums no readily available on the supermarket shelves. Click here for her recipe.
The Old Road Wine Company Juliette Sauvignon Blanc 2018 is the ultimate ‘under the pergola wine’ on a hot summer’s afternoon relaxing to the sound of ice tinkling on glass and the gentle clatter of knife and fork on plate with gentle conversation.
A French Juliette rather than a Romeo and Juliet, the Old Road Wine Company Juliette Sauvignon Blanc 2018 draws its grapes from vineyards planted in shale soils in the cool, cool climate of Elgin. The vineyard is managed to produce tropical fruit flavours in the grapes which are harvested in the cool of dawn and then sorted in the cellar. Classical white wine elevation takes place in the cellar after which the wine is prepared for bottling.
From an appropriately Bordeaux shaped bottle, under screw cap. The label has a touch of the French Grande Époque about it. In the glass, the wine is a pale straw colour with lime green flashes. The aromas are tropical, summery, with desiccated pineapple and sliced summer fruits like ripe pear and fresh sliced white fleshed peaches. Good acidity of sweet tropical limes, and green melon are to be found in the mid palate. The ending is filled with a mélange of fruits, a lovely zesty acidity and is long and beguiling.
Great glass on its own, and also as an aperitif before a meal, taking the meal into the first course. Carey Boucher Erasmus’s Avo Ritz with Grilled Corn & Sriracha Mayo is a modernised version of the dish to be found on every restaurant menu in the 1960s and 1970s – Avocado Ritz. Perfect for my Advent Calendar #23 2018 white wine. Click here for Carey’s recipe.
Read more about Old Road Wine Company – CLICK HERE