Asara Wine Estate and Luxury Hotel is situated in the rolling Polkadraai Hills in the Western part of the Stellenbosch Wine Appellation. And it is in fact do these rolling hills that the wines made on the estate are such a success. Different vineyard facings, variety of soils, use of sunlight all make for wines generous in their fruit offerings, intensity of aromas, colours and flavours. The Asara Vineyard Collection Shiraz 2015 certainly is a fine expression of the two vineyard blocks used for this wine – where aspect, varying altitudes and Tukulu soils in the higher vineyard, and Oakleaf in the lower, together with the age of the vineyards – 15 years, and an even-handed tonnage of 8 per hectare is harvested.
Usual high standards of choice of picking time, of elevation in the cellar where fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks with regular pump overs. Malolactic Fermentation takes place in the tank before the wine is taken to 225 litre 80% French oak and 20% American oak barrels of which 15% were first fill, the balance previous fill. 15 months in the barrel take place and then the wine is prepared for bottling.
For the month of June, The Sansibar Gin Bar and Bistro have a special offering on the menu of a chef Arek Witaszek’s Slow Roasted Springbok Shank [which I found really delicious]. Served with a Colcannon Mash, it is a perfect partner for the Asara Vineyard Collection Shiraz 2015. The Gin Bar now boasts a selection over 450 gins and about 20 different tonics.
It looks like
Bottled under natural cork with the classical Asara livery showing the famous Bell Tower. In the glass, it is a deep dark bloodplum at the core which pales out to ruby garnet at the edges.
It smells like
Generous whiffs of black cherries in chocolate and roadside fennel.
It tastes like
A brilliant thread of roadside brambles, prune plums, oak spice and acidity runs through from entry to the long and gently waning aftertaste. Forest strawberries, sourdough toast and snappy dark chocolate fills the mid-palate.
It’s good with
As a glass on its own, Asara Vineyard Collection Shiraz 2015 is a gem. It is a perfect food wine, as demonstrated by the Sansibar’s Springbok Shank. It is as much an excellent partner to the Family Sunday Roast Lunch, with crispy roast potatoes, real gravy and a selection of vegetables as it is for a well cooked mid-week supper dish.
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