Hartenberg The Eleanor Chardonnay 2016, lovely partner to Sophia Lindops Mussel & Litchi curry…

Hartenberg The Eleanor Chardonnay 2016

Hartenberg [then known as Montagne] was owned by Maurice and Eleanor Finlayson from 1948 to 1977. All that time, and for many years after Eleanor Finlayson worked as an Ambassador for Hartenberg until late in her life. Maurice and Eleanor would be so proud of their sons and grandchildren who have made good in the wine industry.  The Hartenberg The Eleanor Chardonnay 2016 honours the matriarch of the Finlayson Family, strong and resolute in character, yet always sophisticated and poised, who better personifies the Estate’s super-premium Chardonnay? This wine is much awarded  over a number of vintages, and rightly so.

Chardonnay, a bucketful

The grapes for the Hartenberg The Eleanor Chardonnay 2016 are harvested and taken to the cellar where Cellarmaster Carl Schultz and his team elevate them in the most spectacular way and polishes the wine with 13 months in 60% new, 50% 2nd fill & 25% 3rd fill 228 litre French oak barrels.  The wines are then blended and prepared for bottling.

Carl Schultz, Hartenberg Wine Maker

From a Burgundy shaped bottle, closed with natural cork. The label is so elegantly minimalist, saying all it needs to say. In the glass, the wine is a golden straw in colour, gem bright. The aromas are of citrus and fat tropical fruits like mango, the feel of a ripe melon. The almond brioche notes honour the fine oaking. From entry the palate is full and extends through the mod palate into the long and gently waning aftertaste. A perfect golden thread of acidity runs through to the end, perfectly balanced with the fruit and oak. A serious glass.

Sophia Lindop’s Mussel & Litchi Curry

Remember that, in my opinion, Chardonnay is a white wine trying desperately to be a red wine. Do not chill it too much. It is a serious food wine which could easily partner an array of foods, some with the riches of flavours. Sophia Lindop’s Mussel & Litchi Curry is a great partner to the Hartenberg The Eleanor Chardonnay 2016. Do visit her website www.sophialindop.com.

Sophia Lindop, Cook Book Author, Teacher & expert in Lebanese Cookery

Sophia Lindops Mussel & Litchi curry
Serves 8

3 kg fresh mussels
mixture of 1 cup white wine and 2 cups water
vegetable oil for frying
1 large onion, peeled and finely sliced
6 spring onions, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
2 heaped tsp mild curry powder
1 fresh tomato, skinned and chopped
1 fresh red chilli
1 can (400 g) coconut milk
1 can (565 g) litchis in syrup, drained

Steam the mussels in the wine-and-water mixture until the shells open. Remove the beards and set aside.

Heat the oil in a pot and fry the onion until transparent. Add the spring onions and fry until they start turning brown, before adding the garlic and frying together on a low heat. Add the curry powder and fry further to release the flavours. Add the tomato and heat through.

Cut the chilli in half lengthways and scrape out the seeds – chop and add to the mixture. Add the coconut milk and allow to cook on a low heat until the sauce reduces slightly.

Add the mussels and litchis and allow the flavours to mingle for a while before serving.

Serve with a hot ciabatta.

Read more about Hartenberg Wines – CLICK HERE