I have known Altydgedacht since I was a child. The farm bordered onto my parent’s farm in the Durbanville Hills. The Parker family have been custodians of the estate since 1852, a legacy spanning six generations. George Francis Parker, then aged 19, arrived at the Cape with his family in 1819, with one of the many groups of settlers sent by the English government to the Cape and the Australian colonies. George remained at the Cape to become a merchant and later to acquire the farm, while the rest of the family settled in Australia. His perseverance laid the foundation for a new era for the farm and a 150-year-old ownership. Today, Altydgedacht has new owners and I certainly look forward to Etienne Louw’s future vintages, Etienne is Altydgedacht’s Winemaker and has worked there since 2006.
The wines fly below the radar and are not known as well as they should be. Etienne Louw is making some sensational wines. All Altydgedacht Wines fly with high star ratings in the Platter’s 2019 South African Wine Guide. Barbera, Pinotage, Sauvignon Blanc and others, varieties searching for a meal with you.
The Altydgedacht Muskarade 2017 is a blend of Muscat d’Alexandrie, Gewürztraminer and Riesling. The grapes are hand harvested in the cool morning hours. The Gewürztraminer and Riesling were cooled overnight and then sorted, destalked, crushed then pressed. The juice was cool settled over two days. The Muscat – aka Hanepoot – went into a open fermenter to lift the skins off the juice. The mash was then pressed and cool fermented. The residual sugar in this wine comes from the Muscat as the Gewürztraminer and Riesling were fermented dry. The wine was then blended with the sweetness, acidity and generosity of fruit in perfect harmony and allowed 11 months on the gross lees to develop mouthfeel and mid palate flavours. It was then prepared for bottling.
The Altydgedacht Muskarade 2017 is packed in a Bordeaux shaped bottle and closed under screw cap. The label is classic Altydgedacht with the old slave bell as the central motif. In the glass, it is a gem bright pale golden straw. The blend which is classified ‘semi sweet’ is made up of 65% Muscat, 25% Gewürztraminer and the balance Riesling – referred to sometimes as Weisser Riesling or Rhine Riesling. This is the true Riesling. What I like about this wine, is that it is delicate yet with a generosity of fruit, a touch of spice from the Gewürztraminer and the wonderful aromatic Muscat. Litchi, rose petals and Turkish delight also add their aromas and flavours.
While people who drink dry, would think that they could never drink semi sweet, I urge you to give this wine a whirl. It is so delicious, so refreshing and such a perfect food companion. Altydgedacht Muskarade 2017 is a good partner for a gentle Kerala fish curry, fish dishes like sushi and sashimi and any number of Oriental foods. Ceviche, a Peruvian National Dish, is a lovely match with this wine. Ferran Adria, the well-known Spanish said once, “Ceviche was born in Peru, and so the authentic and genuine ceviche is Peruvian.” There are so many ‘authentic’ recipes, I would suggest that you use Jamie Oliver’s Recipe – CLICK HERE.
Read more about Altydgedacht and its wines – CLICK HERE