Delaire Graff Chenin Blanc Swartland Reserve 2015 with Virgil Kahn’s Tikka Lamb Scotch Eggs – 30.12.2017

Delaire Graff Chenin Blanc Swartland Reserve 2015

I must say, having worked in the hospitality industry for about 30 years, I have great admiration for chefs who are inventive, stretch the boundaries and, at the same time, consistent in the quality of their dishes. One such chef is Virgil Kahn, the chef at Indochine, one of the two premier restaurants on the Delaire Graff Wine Estate in the Stellenbosch Wine Appellation. Virgil’s Tikka Lamb Scotch Egg is a great match to the Delaire Graff Chenin Blanc Swartland Reserve 2015.

The vintage of 2015 is spoken of in almost hushed tones as one of the vintages of the century so far. Healthy vines with little loss. The warmer weather in the late winter of 2014 caused an early bud break and this was followed by dry weather resulting in grapes of grape quality and concentration.

The grapes for the Delaire Graff Chenin Blanc Swartland Reserve 2015 were handpicked into 18kg lug boxes in the fresh hours of the early morning from 30 to 40-year-old dry land bush vines in the Swartland Wine Appellation.

Morné Vrey, Delaire Graff Winemaker

Once received in the cellar by Morné Vrey, Delaire Graff’s Winemaker, the bunches were carefully sorted, whole bunch pressed and then fermented in French oak barrels for 14 days. This was followed by maturation in French barrels for 10 months with 60% in 400 litre barrels and 40% in 2500 litre Foudre barrels. No batonage or malolactic fermentation took place in order to retain freshness. The wine was prepared for bottling.

Chenin Blanc making use of the dawn sun

It looks like
Bottled under screw cap in a Burgundy shaped brown bottle with the traditional elegant Delaire Graff livery.  In the glass, it is a gem bright wheaten gold.

It smells like
Classical Chenin aromas, guavas, fynbos honey, white flowers and subtle oak spice.

It tastes like
Complex layers revealing themselves as you get into the glass. Golden Delicious Apples, citrus and marzipan. The harmony of the parts is supported by a flinty minerality in a long and gently waning aftertaste. The wine is made for food with flavour and Virgil’s Tikka Lamb Scotch Egg is such a dish. Virgil’s recipe follows. It is a very cheffy recipe, but I am always interested as to how chefs reach their ultimate goal in the dish.

Virgil Kahn’s Tikka Lamb Scotch Egg

Tikka Lamb Scotch Egg

Lamb meat mix
Quail egg
Tikka paste
Fermented chilli dressing
Onion raita
Dehydrated yoghurt

Lamb mix
1 Lamb shoulder
500 ml Yoghurt
6 cloves Garlic
1 thumb Ginger
100g Tikka paste
25ml Vinegar
50g Sugar

Blend the yoghurt, garlic & ginger together and season.
Put the lamb shoulder in a vacuum bag, add the yoghurt mix and seal.
Sous vide at 75 degrees for 12 hours or until very soft.
Remove from the bag and flake the meat until fine.
Mix the tikka, vinegar and sugar until combined.
Mix well with the lamb.

Tikka paste
1 tsp Tumeric
4 tsp Garam Masala
4 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Cayenne pepper
1 tsp Coriander seeds
2 tsp Cumin seeds
6 cloves Garlic
2 tbl Ginger
4 Green chilli
1 Onion
Blend everything together until a paste.
Cook in oil until the paste is dark and fragrant.
Balance the flavor with the vinegar and sugar.

Fermented chili dressing
150 ml Vinegar
100 ml Lemon juice
1 head Palm sugar
100 ml Fish sauce
3 tbl Garlic chopped fine
3 tbl Ginger chopped fine
3 tbl Basil chopped
3 tbl Coriander chopped
1 tbl Cumin seeds toasted
1 tbl Fennel seeds toasted
50 ml Fermented chilli

Mix the palm sugar, lemon juice, fish sauce and vinegar until combined.
Add the rest of the ingredients.

Onion Raita
350ml Yoghurt
1 White onion
20g Chives

First, wrap the yoghurt in a muslin cloth, put in a colander, and press down on top with something heavy. Leave in the fridge overnight to drain excess water out. Blend the onion until fine, mix with the hung yoghurt, chives and season with salt.

Dehydrated yoghurt
Spread yoghurt over grease proof paper and place in a food dehydrator overnight.

Quail egg
2 quail eggs
Bring a pot of water to a rapid boil.
Boil the quail eggs for 2min, then refresh in ice water.
Peel carefully.

To make the scotch eggs, take some of the lamb meat and flatten inside the palm of your hand.  It should be about half a centimeter thick, make sure it is wide enough to close around the quail egg.
Place the egg in the middle and close it up, roll the ball between your hands to make sure it is sealed completely.
Crumb the balls in a normal mix of flour, egg and panko breadcrumbs.
Deep fry the scotch eggs in 180-degree oil until they are brown.
Assemble the rest of the elements as per the picture.

Virgil Kahn, chef at Indochine on the Delaire Graff Wine Estate

Read more about Delaire Graff Wine Estate – CLICK HERE

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