Bellingham The Homestead Series Whites – 8.6.2016

The Bellingham Manor HouseThe Bellingham Homestead

Bellingham, the fine wine estate in Franschhoek, was tumbledown and needed some loving tender care after World War 2. Bernard and Fredagh Podlashuk provided it. The estate rose like a Phoenix in the ensuing years during which not only the vineyards and the homestead were restored, but also the cellar revolutionised by the amazing Bernard, known as Pod to his friends. He invented machines never heard of before, one of them known by his fellow winemakers at the time as Pods Folly. The general attitude was one of giggling behind their hands, yet secretly admiring this incredibly energetic man.

Today the Bellingham Wines are made by master winemaker Niel Groenewald, who recently released the Bellingham Homestead Series. Four wines, two red and two whites, the grapes for which are sourced from different wine appellations.

Bellingham Homestead Series Chardonnay 2015Bellingham Homestead Chardonnay 2015

The grapes for the Bellingham Homestead Chardonnay 2015 are sourced from Stellenbosch. The grapes were whole bunch pressed and then the juice cold settled. 60% of the juice was taken to barrel, new and second fill from France. Nine months maturation on the lees took place with regular batonnage. The tank component was blended in before the wine was prepared for bottling.

It looks like
Bottled under screwcap in a Burgundy shaped bottled. In the glass it is a rich bronzed yellow.

It smells like
Dried orange peel. Spun sugar and sweet brown spices and vanilla pod from the oak.

It tastes like
A layered wine, the orange lemon lime interacting with the oak and the feel of a ripe Canary melon. Nice little lime squirt at the end.

It’s good with
Great as an aperitif or a glass on its own. Perfect with a butter roasted organic chicken with creamed goats cheese under the breast skin.

Bellingham Homestead Series Sauvignon Blanc 2015The Bellingham Homestead Sauvignon Blanc 2015

For The Bellingham Homestead Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Niel used grapes from Tygerberg in the Durbanville wine region. The 2015 vintage was known as the Goldilocks vintage because, like Mother Bear’s porridge it was neither too hot nor too cold. The berries on the bunches were small with a greater concentration of flavour. Maritime influences on the grapes were cooling breezes, which ameliorated the summer heat in the vineyards, planted on decomposed granite and shale.

The grapes, once in the cellar, were gently pressed, and the juices fermented in stainless steel tanks. An extended period on the gross lees which were stirred up periodically added so much to the fullness and creaminess in the wine.

It looks like
Packed under screwcap in a Burgundy shaped bottle. In the glass a pale gold straw with green bronze flashes.

It smells like
Soft ripe slice pear, the Piel de Sabo melon and citrus fruits.

It tastes like
A generosity of citrus fruits, sweet lime, orange. Nice full creamy mouthful with the sparky finish one expects from a Sauvignon.

It’s good with
Very popular wine in South Africa, which loves Sauvignon Blanc. Nice glass on a Sunday morning or as an aperitif. Brings a bright touch of summer into winter.

Anina Meyers Spinach, Apple & Fennel Salad with Spiced YogurtAnina Meyer’s Spinach, Apple & Fennel Salad
with Spiced Yogurt

With apples in season now, here is Anina Meyer’s ‘take summer into winter’ sublime salad.  Click here for her recipe.

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