Advent Calendar #24 2018…

Copeland Rum, my Advent Calendar #24 2018

While gin is the current fashion, I believe rum will be the next one. I also think that James and Malu Copeland are on  the cutting edge of what will become a new fashion as more and more small artisanal distillers take to making rum.

I have always been fond of rum, particularly white rum and remember way back in the 1960s being taught to make Daiquiris by the Professor of The Graduate School of Business in the tiny little back room of the bar at Lanzerac in Stellenbosch.

James Copeland at his still

James uses black strap molasses, a product of sugar, which he ferments in small batches with tropical yeast strains which bring out the fruity esters and the wonderful tropical fruit flavours found in this bottle of deliciousness.

The same attention is paid to hand labeling as distilling

Pour
From a unique bottle with a T cork stopper. The label is one of botanical illustrations and an attractive font. The labels are hand applied. In the glass, it is a gem bright, crystal clear liquid. The aromas are of desiccated pineapple, ripe litchi and coconut.  The entry is a spicy one with an undertow of cacao and toasted coconut shards, and the pineapple reappears. The Copeland Rum fills the palate, and you can almost feel the tropical breezes, the rustling palms and the sun on your back.

The Copeland Daiquiri

Pair
I started by tasting the Copeland Rum neat. I soon found that a block of ice opened up the fulsome flavours. This is the way I choose to drink it. There are any number of cocktail recipes to mix up which you will find on James and Malu’s website.

The Classic Copeland Daiquiri
2 shots of Copeland Rum
1/2 a lime , squeezed
1/2 a Naartjie squeezed ( mandarine or clementine also acceptable )
half a shot of 1:1 sugar syrup

Chill a coup or martini glass
Place all ingredients in a shaker half filled with ice and shake until your hands are freezing
Strain or double strain into glass
No need to garnish , but thin zest or wheel of naartjie acceptable.

Click here to read more about Copeland Rum – CLICK HERE

Eikendal Méthode Cap Classique Brut 2016, my Advent Calendar #24 2018 MCC

Cellarmaster Nico Grobler uses their Chardonnay Clone 277 which is grown on trellis and has irrigation laid on which is supplied only when necessary. The grapes were given shade to allow for fresh acidity and lovely concentration of fruit. The grapes were hand harvested into small crates and then cooled in the cellar. The pressing of whole bunches took place and the best heart of the press juice was used for the base wine. This was kept on the lees for 6 months before being bottled for the second fermentation. The wine was then aged for two years on the lees before being degorged and prepared for closure.

Eikendal Cellarmaster Nico Grobler

Pour
From a traditional Champagne shaped bottle, closed under natural cork with a wire muzzle. The labelling an elegant blue. In the glass, a rushing of tiny bubbles through the pale gold wine. The bubbles form a little crown round the edges. Vibrant bubbles enhance the flavours of citrus, peaches and cream and a subtle minerality. An excellent glass.

Tracy Foulkes’s Dukkah Roasted Pears with Goat’s Cheese Honey

Pair
The perfect mid-morning refresher. Well suited to food, the traditional smoked salmon, oyster thoughts run through my mind. Though it will do as well with Tracy Foulkes’s Dukkah Roasted Pears with Goat’s Cheese & Honey. Click here for her recipe on the NOMU Foods website.

Read more about Eikendal Wines – CLICK HERE

De Trafford Elevation 393 2012, my Advent Calendar #24 2018 fine red

David and Rita Trafford live in paradise in one of the finest parts of Stellenbosch just south of the town. Their vineyards benefit from the cooling breezes off False Bay which ameliorate the summer heat in the vineyards, allowing for longer hang time and fuller flavour on the grapes. For the De Trafford Elevation 393 2012, their flagship wine, a selection of the best barrels from their home vineyard which is 393 metres above sea level.

De Trafford Vineyards

The heart of the De Trafford Elevation 393 2012 is Cabernet Sauvignon. Merlot and at times Cabernet Franc forms part of the blend. The grapes are hand harvested and packed in 20 kilo lug boxes to protect them from pressure above. Once in the winery the grapes are destalked, gently crushed and taken to open top fermenters. Natural vineyard yeasts do the work, the lie on the skins is 12 to 15 days with punch downs taking place anything up to four times a day. The wine is then drained into mostly new French oak barrels, with the addition of press juice from a basket press.  22 months are spent in the barrel and the cellar team do rack and returns to clarify the wine. The wine was prepared for bottling, by hand, unfined and unfiltered on the De Trafford property.

Cabernet Sauvignon in the harvesters hands

Pour
From a Bordeaux shaped bottle, under natural cork. The label is simple and elegant and contains an architectural drawing, David Trafford being a trained architect. In the glass, a deep bloodplum at the heart which pales out to ruby at the edges. The aromas are all about dark berries, crème de cassis, pencil shavings, oak and its concomitant spices. These follow through onto the fully flavoured, rich and sappy palate. The tannins interwoven with the fruit, the acidity and the oak are cashmere clad in the long and gently waning aftertaste. A fine wine, accessible now, but will last with cool cellaring for up to 20 years after vintage.

Dianne Bibby’s Red Wine Beef Stew with Potato Gratin

Pair
The De Trafford Elevation 393 2012 is the perfect dinner wine. It will also do well as an after-dinner wine when serious conversation could take place, and usually doesn’t! With food it is a gem, either a fully flavoured reduced tomato vegetarian main course, or Dianne Bibby’s Red Wine Beef Stew with Potato Gratin – a perfect match. Click here for her recipe.

Read more about De Trafford Wines – CLICK HERE

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