Crush – 100 South African Wines to drink now, #16 Zevenwacht Z Collection Reserve 2014, perfect with Alida Ryder’s Slow Braised Lamb Shanks …

Zevenwacht Z Collection Reserve 2014

A fine blend like this, is always greater than the sum of its parts. Clever elevation in the cellar, well applied oak and then the blending, the true craft of the winemaker, Hagen Viljoen. The final blend is made up of 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 11% Merlot, 4% Malbec, 4% Petit Verdot. The grapes come from the Home Vineyards of Zevenwacht on the southern Stellenbosch Appellation border. Part of the current components are bought in from a premier Stellenbosch Wine Estate until such time as the vineyards on the Zevenrivieren Farm in the Banghoek Valley.

For the Zevenwacht Z Collection Reserve 2014, the vintage of 2014 brought moderate summer temperatures which meant a longer period of ripening, meaning softer tannins, colour and good sugar ripeness. The different varieties are separately vinified and then matured separately for 19 months in 300 litre French oak barrels, 40% of which were new, and 60% second fill. Blending then took place using as benchmarks some of South Africa’s best Bordeaux styled blends. The wine was then prepared for bottling.

Pour
From a Bordeaux shaped bottle, closed with natural cork. In the glass, the Zevenwacht Z Collection Reserve 2014 is a deep bloodplum red at the heart which pales out to ruby at the gem bright edges. The aromas are of Crème de Cassis, roadside brambles, mocha and oak with its concomitant spice and vanilla. These are all repeated at entry where flavours of tobacco leaves join the black fruit in the generous mid palate and are interwoven with the cashmere clad tannins, refreshing fruit acidity in a long and gently waning aftertaste. While eminently drinkable now, with cool cellaring, it has some years to go.

Alida Ryder’s Slow Braised Lamb Shanks

Pair
This is a grand wine which needs good food to show it off.  Do chill it for about 30 minutes before serving as this will increase the pleasure. Recently I published a piece about Charles Lourens’s Lamb Shanks [click here], a dish he actually created for the Zevenwacht Z Collection Reserve 2014. So, I will stay with Shanks and offer Alida Ryder’s Slow Braised Lamb Shanks. This celebrated Pretoria Cook, logger, photographer, videographer, cook book author has a mine of information on her website and is well worth following. Click HERE for her recipe and also to have a good look at her website.

Alida Ryder’s Cookbook – you should have one

Read more about Zevenwacht Wines – CLICK HERE

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