Asara Wine Estate lies in the folding hills of Polkadraai in the western side of the Stellenbosch Wine Appellation. These hills offer different soils, different aspects and different altitudes which make for interesting winemaking. The grapes for the Asara Vineyard Collection Shiraz 2015 come from two vineyards. The higher of which ripens slowly allowing for longer hang time, and the lower of which is planted in decomposed granite soils which create a concentration of the flavours. Both vineyards are fortunate to benefit from cooling afternoon breezes off False Bay which ameliorate the summer heat in the vineyards. Made in what many think is the finest vintage of the century, and in the midst of a drought in the Western Cape, the worst in living memory.
The grapes for the Asara Vineyard Collection Shiraz 2015 are from 15-year-old vineyards which yield about 8 tons per hectare. Hand harvested at ideal ripeness and are hand sorted in the cellar before destemming and crushing. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks with regular punch downs. Alcoholic and malolactic fermentation take place here before pressing and the wine is racked to 225 litre French oak barrels of which 15% were new. The wine was then prepared for bottling.
From a Bordeaux shaped bottle and closed with natural cork. The label is typical of the range, simple elegant lines telling the story. In the glass, the Asara Vineyard Collection Shiraz 2015 is a deep bloodplum at the heart which pales out to ruby at the edges. The aromas of black cherry, ripe plum, grinds of white pepper are repeated on the palate with mulberries and roadside brambles. The tannins are cashmere clad, and the whole delicately supported by the oak and its concomitant spice and vanilla. Happy glass. The wine will improve with a couple of years of cool cellaring.
June is Venison and Shiraz month in the Stellenbosch Winelands, with many wineries offering venison dishes in the restaurants. At Asara, Arek Witaszek, who heads up the kitchen team is serving Springbok Shanks – well worth the drive if you are close by.
If you are far away, Nina Timm’s Venison Pie made with a batter blanky is the perfect match with the Asara Vineyard Collection Shiraz 2015. Click HERE for her recipe.
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