Bernard Podlashuk, and his wife Fredagh, restored Bellingham in the late 1940s and brought it to glory in the ensuing years. Using Italian prisoners of war, they rebuilt and added to make the house a comfortable place and to get the cellar up and running. The Bernard Series is named for him. The Bellingham The Bernard Series Small Barrel SMV 2015 is worthy of its name, a co-fermentation of Shiraz 87%, Mourvèdre 10% and 3% Viognier.
Handpicked, selected bunches came from the Agter Paarl region. The minor components came from pioneer planters of the varieties. The grapes were sourced for their soft juicy tannins and fruit purity. Further berry selection took place in the cellar after destemming. Fermentation followed and the young wine underwent malolactic fermentation in French oak barrels, before further maturation for 14 months. The wine was then prepared for bottling.
From a Burgundy shaped bottle, closed with natural cork. The label is part of the Series, serious and descriptive. In the glass, the wine is a an opaque bloodplum at the heart which pales out to ruby at the edges. All the nose reveals is repeated on the palate. It’s all about red and black berries and cherries, oak and its concomitant spice and vanilla, floral notes leading to a long and gently waning aftertaste. Borne by a refreshing thread of acidity from entry into the tail. Cashmere clad tannins. This wine is a laster and with a couple of years of cool cellaring will reward you later.
The Bellingham The Bernard Series Small Barrel SMV 2015 is superb food wine. Serve slightly chilled for greater enjoyment. Almost any form of beef, pork, game bird or lamb is a perfect match. As would a full flavoured vegetarian dish with mushrooms, sundried tomatoes and Aubergines with a strong cheese, not set by an animal rennet. Get out the Guinness and make Alida Ryder’s Irish Lamb Stew as a perfect match, just perfect. Thick and unctuous, and such a great traditional old school dish. Click HERE for Alida’s recipe and to have a look at her website.
Queen of the Pretoria Kitchen, Alida on the cover of one of her books – to buy click HERE
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