I have loved this wine for so long and written about it quite often. The thought behind what has become known as the Cape Blend is that it should contain a hefty percentage of Pinotage. Just as Bordeaux blends are led by Merlot of Cabernet and Rhone blends by southern French grapes like Syrah. The Asara The Vineyard Collection Cape Fusion 2015 is a unique wine in the it is a wine of three parts, one of them being Malbec, the other two Shiraz and Pinotage. Malbec was once very popular in Bordeaux, though in 1956, 75% of the vines were killed by a severe frost. It never regained its position there, though there are still considerable plantings in Cahors in south west France. In Argentina, the story is different, great wines being made from Malbec and it is almost regarded as the Red Wine of the country. Malbec is flourishing in South Africa as is shown by the Asara The Vineyard Collection Cape Fusion 2015.
The grapes are all hand harvested from the estate which is situated in the rolling Polkadraai Hills in the Stellenbosch Wine Appellation. The three different varieties are separately vinified. After malolactic fermentation, the Pinotage interacts with French oak staves for 4 to 5 months, adding a creaminess to the wine. The wines then mature in 225 litre French oak barrels before a selection of the best barrels is made before blending and bottling.
From a Bordeaux shaped bottle. Closed with natural cork. The label is minimalist, elegant and matches the other wines in this range. In the glass, the wine is a deep bloodplum at the heart which pales out to ruby at the edges. The aromas are all of red and black berries and fruits. The is a supportive undertow of oak and its concomitant spices. The mid palate is rich and full with flavours of Parma Violets, blackberries and dark chocolate. Lovely fruit and cashmere tannins in the long dry finish. From a great vintage, it will reward well if cool cellared for a year or two.
Do chill this wine for about 30 minutes before you serve it, even in winter. The Asara The Vineyard Collection Cape Fusion 2015 is very much a food wine and Lizet Hartley’s Pork Chops with Mushrooms & Cider Cream Sauce is just the greatest partner. Click HERE for her recipe.
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