The Asara Wine Estate and Luxury Hotel is situated on the rolling Polkadraai Hills on the western side of the Stellenbosch Wine Appellation. Rolling hills offer many aspects, altitudes, different soil types and micro climatic conditions, one of which is the cooling breezes which come of False Bay ameliorating the summer heat in the vineyards. Soil too plays an important part. In the Asara The Vineyard Collection Cape Fusion 2015, the blend is roughly a third each of Pinotage [required in a so-called Cape Blend] and Malbec the vineyards for which are at altitude and both are planted in rich Tukulu soils. The Shiraz is planted lower down in Oakleaf soils. By clever usage of supplementary irrigation and leaf canopy, by the time the grapes are ready for picking, they are minorly desiccated which adds to the fruit intensity in this medium palate weight wine. Not unlike a Bordeaux red in weight.
The grapes for the Asara The Vineyard Collection Cape Fusion 2015 are taken to the cellar where they are separately vinified. The Pinotage goes on to French oak staves for up to 5 months for fermentation and maturation. The Malbec and the Shiraz undergo fermentation then all three then spend time in French Oak Barrels. The best barrels are blended, and the wine is prepared for bottling.
From a Bordeaux shaped bottle, closed with natural cork. The label is classic simple Asara with the Bell Tower as the main logo. In the glass, the wine is bloodplum at the heart which pales out to ruby garnet at the edges. The aromas and flavours are complex, layered and there is a golden thread of freshness running through to the long lingering aftertaste. From entry the wine is medium of body and packed with flavour. The Pinotage giving the red berries, the Malbec its classic fruit richness while the Shiraz adds a little gravitas to the blend with its plums, spice and fine leather whiffs. Dark chocolate and Parma Violets and oak spice in undertow in the fruity, yet dry, ending.
While the Asara The Vineyard Collection Cape Fusion 2015 is excellent as a sipper, especially as the post prandial wine while serious conversation takes place. As a food accompaniment, it is excellent with spicy Cape Foods like bobotie, boerewors, bredies and thick wintery soups and a hard cheese like the Dalewood Fromage Huguenot. Roberta Muir’s Vitello Tonnato is a perfect dish with this wine. White veal with a tuna sauce will happily tackle the medium weight of the Asara The Vineyard Collection Cape Fusion 2015. Click HERE for her recipe.
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