Current wines, Dagbreek & Dragonridge – 22.01.2017

Current Red Wine on the Rack

Dagbreek Tinta Amarela 2015
Having visited Portugal on two separate occasions, once to co-author a book on Portuguese Wines, I became to really enjoy some of the amazing Portuguese indigenous wine grape varieties. One should be careful as the same grape will have different names in other wine appellations. Known as Trincadeira in the Alentejo, east of Lisbon, Tinta Amarela is an ingredient in the famous Port Wines of the Douro Valley, east of Oporto.

The vine is an excited and exuberant grower, requiring constant pruning to keep the canopy in balance with the bunches on the vine. Difficult to ripen and sensitive to vine diseases, hot and dry places, like the Breedekloof &  Goudini areas, are a good home to Tinta Amarela. I feel an emotional bond with this wine, because of the Portuguese connection, and the fact that my parents wine farm in the Durbanville Wine Appellation was called Dagbreek

[now covered by housing].

This is a big fella. A serious 15.8% alcohol by volume which, to me, is in perfect balance with the massive fruit flavours of red and black country berries like mulberries and roadside brambles.  Huge extract and a full balanced mouthfeel from entry to the long aftertaste interwoven with good tannins.

Full flavoured food. Meat and vegetarian casseroles. A good venison dish with baby onions, lardons of bacon, black mushrooms and red wine.

Try and land a bottle of this wine, also the Estate’s Dagbreek Carmenère, cherries and berries, soft tannins.

Current White Wine in the fridge

Dragonridge Cygnus 2015
Not a little wall flower of a wine, this is an oak treated Chenin Blanc.  Brilliant Swartland acidity and wet river stone minerals.

Dragonridge wine grapes are grown and the wines made on Fynbos Estate, about an hour’s drive north of Cape Town in the Paardeberg, near Malmesbury. The area is part of the Swartland, which has gained an international reputation as an unique and exciting Wine Appellation, where some of the most interesting and unusual wines are being produced.

Gem bright is a joyous gem bright golden amber yellow, with classical guava, soft dried apricot and peach whiffs.  A generous mouthful of tropical fruits, desiccated pineapple flavours with green melon and guava, all beautifully supported by well applied French oak.

I always think of chicken with Chenin Blanc and this is a food wine.  Chicken under a brick – click here for my recipe – would be a perfect partner. Oriental dishes with lemongrass, ginger and garlic would be a great match.