Port, and of course Stilton, are so much part of Christmas. The old British tradition of ‘laying down the Stilton’ for Christmas require a whole Stilton, its lid removed, port poured in and allowed to soak into the cheese. On Christmas Day, the Stilton was brought up from the cellar and with a cheese scoop was put onto your plate and eaten in its creamy unctuousness with oat biscuits. So, my Advent Calendar #15 wine is Boplaas Cape Ruby Port, this year’s Best Port in the country at the 2017 Cape Port & Wine Challenge. And you can use a good local creamy blue and just work it up to a paste on your plate with a knife with a splash or two of this wine.
The Tinta Barocca and Touriga Nacional grapes are hand harvested and taken to lagars in the Boplaas Cellar where they are fermented, the wine then taken to large pre-filled oak barrel for a year.
The Nels of Boplaas are renowned as Port Style Wines producers in Calitzdorp. They have a raft of Portuguese wine grape varieties on their estate and are producing some very exciting dry wines, gin and whisky – and indeed their fine pot still brandies.
From a traditionally labelled Port shaped bottle with a natural T cork closure. Boplaas is very innovative with its labels as you will see below. In the glass, the wine is a bright royal purple red at the core which pales out to crimson at the edges. The aromas are rich, of ripe bloodplums, roadside brambles, sweet Christmas spice. From entry, the wine is in perfect balance, the rich ripe fruit, the cashmere clad tannins, the huge mid-palate, the gentle oaking all interwoven and waning gently in the aftertaste.
The French are Ports largest importers and one of the ways they drink it is with ice, lemon and tonic. You could offer this as a pre-Christmas lunch drink. Of course, as suggested above, it will go well with a creamy blue cheese, or Christmas Pudding or indeed a perfect tranche of Huguenot Cheese from Dalewood Fromage.
The Verdelho portion of free-run juice went for fermentation in old French oak barrels. The Verdelho was then blended with barrel fermented and matured Chardonnay, Viognier, Grenache Blanc and old bush vine Swartland Chenin Blanc. Each of the components of the Gamka Branca was fermented in old French oak casks, allowed nine months of barrel maturation on fine lees prior to blending and bottling unfiltered.
Owner, Carel Nel’s personal blend crafted from two low yielding old vine Portuguese varietals and rounded out with fulsome Shiraz. The third vintage continues the course set by the trailblazing maiden vintage of showcasing the very best of the Cape’s rare Portuguese wine grapes in a wine with class, elegance and longevity. Bright garnet red wine billowing from the glass with black hedgerow fruits, tart cranberry, ripe plum notes, spice, and fynbos. The fruit buttressed by fine oak tannins on the savoury palate with hints of fynbos, charcuterie and bacon fat rounding out the wine.
The silky palate is introduced by enticing sweet notes of Spring blossoms on a bed of earthy juniper juiciness, balanced balanced by a fine herbal bitterness that lingers with every sip. Botanicals and flavourants used are juniper berries, coriander seeds, angelica root, cassia bark and orange peel. Serve over ice or with a good tonic.
The twelve years in old Limousin casks and old Port casks, the Klein Karoo climate and the portion taken by the angels are conditions which have created a sublime brandy, so perfect as a glass after your Christmas lunch. It brims over with ripe stone fruits, honey, herbal and floral notes and a sublimely smooth mouth – feel and finish.
Ready more about Boplaas Family Vineyards – CLICK HERE