Asara The Vineyard Collection Chenin Blanc 2014 & Ilse van der Merwe’s White anchovy, asparagus & parmesan salad – 11.11.2016

Asara The Vineyard Collection Chenin Blanc 2014Asara The Vineyard Collection Chenin Blanc 2014

Asara Wine Estate has done really well this year on the international stage winning major awards from Japan to Austria as well as locally.

I have been so fortunate to follow the Asara Chenin Blanc over the last few vintages and it has been very special watching the development of each vintage and indeed the vineyards as they age.

The Asara Vineyard Collection Chenin Blanc 2014 is the vintage currently available in the tasting room on the estate.  It took a gold medal on the China Wine and Spirits Awards 2015. The 2015 vintage which took the award in Tokyo for the best new world white wine is waiting to make it debut.  The 2016 I have followed since it went into the prefilled oak barrels  and is now in tank, having been cleaned up, an ready for bottling.  It will outshine its predecessors.

chenin-blanc-christopheA bunch of Chenin Blanc ripening on the vine

There is but one 1.9 hectare block 20 year old of Chenin Blanc at Asara which is located at 200m above sea level, and being just over 15 km from False Bay, enjoys the influence of the cooling sea breeze effect. This means slower ripening as a result of longer hanging times.  The yield is low, an even handed 8 tons which fits neatly into 22 French oak barrels.

After destemming and pressing, the juice cold settles for three days.  The clarified juice is taken to the French oak barrels for fermentation where about half the wine went through malolactic fermentation. The wine was then racked off its gross lees and lay on fine lees until bottling.

It looks like
Bottled under screw cap in a Burgundy shaped bottle with the classic elegant Asara Vineyard Collection label.  In the glass, it is a pale straw in colour with some green amber flashes.

It smell like
Tropical fruits, guava fool, desiccated pineapple and fynbos honey. The oak is in undertow.

It tastes like
Full palate from entry to long aftertaste. Lanolin oily and unctuous.  Stone fruits like ripe white fleshed peaches, sliced ripe Bon Chretien pears. Lovely oaky spice in the background.

white-anchovy-asparagus-parmesan-saladIlse van der Merwe’s White anchovy, asparagus & parmesan salad

It’s good with
Excellent as a sundowner or a glass of its own, but utterly sublime with food. If you live close by, Asara has two excellent Restaurants, The Sansibar Bistro and the dinner a la carte restaurant, mis en place. With summer upon us and white asparagus available, Ilse van der Merwe’s White anchovy, asparagus & parmesan salad is the answer. Click here for her recipe.

the demo KITCHEN - Ilse van der MerweIlse van der Merwe, The Food Fox

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