Advent Calendar #7 2018

Newton Johnson Southend Chardonnay 2017 on my Advent Calendar #7 2018

The grapes for the Newton Johnson Southend Chardonnay 2017 come from an eponymous single vineyard lying in the shadow of the Babylonstoring Mountains in an appellation known as upper Hemel en Aarde Valley. He vineyard is owned by the neighbours, the Pringle Family. The vineyard, growing in porphyritic granite, has less sunshine than those of the Newton Johnsons, which means slower ripening and great flavours in the resulting wines.

The grapes are hand harvested into large flat crates to maintain the integrity of the berries. Chilled overnight, they go to the press. The juice is settled and then 48% of the juice was racked into stainless steel and the balance into  228 litre and 500 litre tight grained Burgundy oak barrels. The wine is matured then for 10 months. The Newton Johnson Southend Chardonnay 2017 is fermented, at times, well into winter in these larger format French oak barrels. The difference is that the wines, differ to those from the Newton Johnson Vineyards in that they have a light and steely touch. This is a truly great glass of wine. With a light filtration, the wine is then prepared for bottling.

Gordon & Nadia Newton Johnson

From a Burgundy shaped bottle. Closed with natural cork. In the glass, a gem bright pale gold. Aromas are of sweet tropical limes, honeybrittle, white flowers. The palate is aswirl with a fabulous generosity of citrus fruits, nice leesy flavours and freshbaked shortbread. Long and very satisfying brisk aftertaste.

Christine Capendale’s Lightly Curried Chicken with Litchis

This wine is built for food by family winemakers, Gordon and Nadia Newton Johnson. I am very fond of a buttery roast organic chicken as a partner to Chardonnay. This one could happily deal with a roasted belly of pork with crunchy crackling, real gravy and rustly roast potatoes. Christine Capendale’s Lightly Curried Chicken with Litchis is a perfect partner to the Newton Johnson Southend Chardonnay 2017 in my Advent Calendar #7 2018.

Lightly Curried Chicken with Litchis

This dish is best if made the day before. 

Serves 6
1 kg chicken breast fillets
Salt and black pepper to taste
30 ml olive oil
2 small onions, chopped or sliced thinly
30 ml curry powder  OR  curry paste
5 ml ground cumin
5 ml ground cinnamon
60 ml chutney
30 ml white wine
15 ml tomato paste
juice and rind of ½ lemon
1 tin pitted litchis, drained and lightly chopped
125 ml good quality mayonnaise
125 ml  yoghurt
125 ml cream
100 ml chopped green pepper
Handful of fresh coriander for serving

What you’ll do
Place the chicken fillets in an oven pan, season and drizzle with olive oil
Roast for 25 min at 180 °C.  Cool and cut in chunks
Saute the onion in a little olive oil. Season
Combine all the ingredients, except the chicken,cooked onion,  greenpepper,  litchies and coriander and mix well to make the sauce.
Mix together the chicken, cooked onion, green pepper and half of the litchis.
Season well with salt and black pepper and any other spices of your choice.
Pour the sauce over the chicken and leave in refrigerator for the flavours to blend.  Serve on salad leaves and garnish with the rest of the litchis and fresh coriander leaves.

Read more about Newton Johnson Vineyards – CLICK HERE

Lanzerac Mrs English Chardonnay 2016 on my Advent Calendar #7 2018

Mrs English was something of a legend in the time of her ownership of Lanzerac. Indeed, she gave this lovely estate its name – always a point of discussion as she did not tell anyone why. The Chardonnay grapes for the Lanzerac Mrs English Chardonnay 2016 came from a single vineyard which was 21 years old at the time of harvest. The crop taken was 10,76 tons per hectare. The harvesting was done by hand and the healthy grapes were brought to the cellar where the bunches were whole pressed without destalking. The juice was cold and clear settled and taken to French oak barrels for fermentation two thirds using inoculated yeast and the remainder using natural yeasts from the vineyard. The barrels were half new and half second fill. The wine in the barrel was matured for 11 months with weekly lees stirring. The wines were then blended and prepared for bottling.

Wynand Lategan, Lanzerac Winemakre

From a Burgundy shaped bottle, closed with natural cork. In the glass, it has a brilliant golden straw colour. The aromas are of windfall oranges, grapefruit with an undertow of vanilla. The palate is full and generous, with the aromas repeating themselves as flavours, the lees contact, the acidity and the subtle and clever supportive oak all beautifully interwoven in the long and gently waning aftertaste. This wine will last another 8 years at least if cool cellared, the reward will be greater with the wait.

Christine Capendale’s Smoked Snoek Samoosas

Marius Lategan has made a perfect food wine. Lanzerac has a history of good food going back to 1959 when David Rawdon turned the homestead into a hotel. The first breakfast in a hotel in South Africa, the fabulous Sunday night buffet suppers and the memorable cheese lunches. Christine Capendale’s Smoked Snoek Samoosas, make the perfect start and a great match with the Lanzerac Mrs English Chardonnay 2016, in my on my Advent Calendar #7 2018.

Christine Capendale’s Smoked snoek samoosas

Makes 18 samoosas

What you’ll need
30 ml    olive oil
1 onion, chopped
Salt and black pepper
200 g flaked smoked snoek
150 g cooked mashed potato, seasoned with salt and pepper
50 ml chopped fresh coriander
2,5 ml ground coriander
30 ml chopped spring onion
2,5 ml ground cumin
5 ml cumin seeds
2,5 ml dried chilli flakes
2,5 ml turmeric
1 egg
6 sheets phyllo pastry
250 ml (250 g) melted butter

What you’ll do
Preheat the oven to 180 °C. Grease a baking sheet.
Heat the olive oil in a pan and sauté the onion until soft. Season to taste.
Mix the snoek, potato, cooked onion, coriander (fresh and ground), spring onion as well as the cumin (ground and seeds), chilli and turmeric together.
Add the egg to bind the mixture and mix well.
Brush the phyllo pastry with melted butter and make stacks of two sheets each. Cut into six strips.
Place a heaped teaspoon of filling on the bottom left corner of each strip. Fold over the pastry to make triangles.
Repeat with the remaining filling and pastry.
Brush with melted butter and place on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for about 15 minutes until golden brown and crisp.

These samoosas can be made in advance and baked just before you need them. They also freeze very well (freeze unbaked, brush them with melted butter before freezing to prevent them from drying out).
Serve with a tomato-chilli jam or sweet chilli sauce and some fresh herbs for a delicious starter.
You can make bigger ones – eg cut phyllo pastry into 3 strips (not 6) and use them for light lunches with a side salad (like a pie)

Read more about Lanzerac and its wines – CLICK HERE

Christine Capendale of


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