If as a Capetonian, or indeed a holiday maker in the Cape, you have not been there, you really need to have Groot Constantia high on your ‘places to visit’ bucket list. The beauty of the place, its beautiful whitewashed buildings, the historic Manor House, excellent eating places and talented knowledgeable wine ambassadors and utterly sublime wines. Climatically, the Estate is perfectly situated, with cooling breezes from the Benguela Current and False Bay ameliorating summer heat in the vineyards, allowing for longer ripening and thus greater flavour. The Groot Constantia Rosé 2019 is a Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blend with a splash of Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc. The vineyards from which the grapes come are south to south east facing and the soils are Glenrosa and Hutton.
The grapes for the Groot Constantia Rosé 2019 are taken to the cellar and destalked and crushed and the juices fermented and let of their lees for 6 weeks, before the wine is prepared for bottling.
From a Bordeaux shaped bottle, closed with natural cork. The label is simple elegant Groot Constantia, with an etching of the Manor House, very like a French Chateau Wine. In the glass, the wine is a delicate cherry blossom pink, and gem bright. The aromas are a mélange of berries, strawberries, raspberries with a whiff of white tropical flowers. The palate is full and generous, beautifully fruited and from entry has a lovely line of acidity which runs through to the long and gently waning aftertaste. The wine is made for now drinking while it is fresh and young. Don’t believe anyone who tells you this is only a Summer wine.
The Groot Constantia Rosé 2019 is an anytime wine. Perfect mid-morning as a refresher. Great glass on its own, as an aperitif and excellent food accompaniment. The perfect first course for a meal is My Gin Cured Salmon, excellent with a glass or this wine.
Fresh Norwegian Salmon cured with Saffron Gin
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Curing time: 18 hours
Salmon is such a perfect starter for a meal. Gravlax is usually cured with dill, salt and sugar, here’s another way to do it. You need to start the day before you wish to eat it.
Serve it with slices of brown bread and a salad into which you have thinly sliced a head of fennel.
What you’ll need
1 kg fresh Norwegian salmon – preferably the centre of the fillet
2 Tbs fennel seeds
2 Tbs coriander seeds
1 Tbs white peppercorns
1 Tbs black peppercorns
160ml flakes of sea salt, Maldon Salt for preference
75ml [5 Tbsp] light brown sugar, use light muscovado
75ml [5 Tbsp] white sugar
125ml Gabriel Boudier Saffron Gin
What you’ll do
Prepare the salmon by slicing just through the skin in lines across the fish about 3cm apart – don’t cut to deep. Have ready a large platter with sloping sides on which to cure the fish. In a small frying pan heat the seeds until warm and then give them a good bashing in a pestle and mortar with a little of the salt to break them up. Stir in the remaining salt and the sugar. Sprinkle a little of the spice mix onto the skin side of the fish and onto the platter. Give the platter a sprinkling of grappa and place the fillet on top. Cover the fish with the remaining spice mixture and sprinkle over the grappa. Cover with clingwrap and place a board on top with weights on it [a couple of tins is fine]. Leave in the fridge for about 8 hours, then turn the fish over, cover and weight it again, and leave for another 8 – 10 hours. When ready to serve remove the clingwrap and wipe the excess spices off the fish. Slice very thinly onto a platter and serve with brown bread and the fennel infused salad.
Gabriel Boudier Saffron Gin can be bought online from Reciprocal Wines – CLICK HERE
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