Kumala Wines were introduced to South Africa at Cape Wine, the bi-annual South African Wine Expo which is well attended by buyers and wine journos from all over the world. A stunner of a Chenin Blanc and this sublime Pinotage, both really traditional South African grapes. The soils at the southern tip of the continent are perfect for vineyards and these are surrounded by one of the richest floral kingdoms in the world. From Pinotage vines in the now famed Swartland wine Appellation, winemaker Juan Slabbert make The Kumala Reserve Pinotage 2018 – young and very approachable.
The grapes for The Kumala Reserve Pinotage 2018 are carefully watched by the contract growers as ideal ripeness nears to ensure that maximum benefit is derived from our wonderful South African sun. Once harvested and landed at the Cellar, Juan Slabbert and his Kumala team ensure that the grapes are watched over for each stage of the winemaking process. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks with both French and American oak staves. Maturation also takes place on French and American staves. The wine is then prepared for bottling. It is immediately accessible
It looks like
Bottled under screw cap in a Burgundy shaped bottle. The livery shows a gecko and the label is refreshingly simple and would certainly stand out on a shelf. In the glass, the wine is a rich ruby at the heart which pales out to garnet at the edges.
It smells like
Classic Pinotage. Red and black berries. Undertow of oak and its concomintant spices.
It tastes like
The Kumala Team will tell you that it is ‘Fruity, smoky and all the balance of a brazen oxpecker on a Wildebeests back.’ Wrong they are not. There is from entry a full mouth, with generous fruit, rich and round, cashmere tannins beautifully interwoven. The long and gently waning aftertaste has the sweet spices and milky coffee elements with the oak in perfect support of the oak.
It’s good with
Being a completely South African Wine, it needs a good traditional South African dish. I came across this recipe for Bobotie the other day. It is from Stewart Turner, the Head Chef of Berry Bros and Rudd, well known London Wine Merchants. What enchanted me about Stewart Turners Bobotie is the cooking method, so different to the way it is done here, and achieves a great dish of Bobotie. Great partner to the Kumala Reserve Pinotage 2018.
Stewart Turner’s Bobotie – serves 6
1 mutton shoulder
2 onions – peeled and thickly sliced
1/2 bunch of thyme
2 tbsp curry powder
1 head garlic – split
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp allspice berries
½ cinnamon stick
Preheat the oven to 220°C. Slash the lamb shoulder on the fat side and drizzle with olive oil. Rub in all the spices, season with salt and freshly ground pepper, then leave to marinate overnight.
Lay the onions in a suitably sized roasting tray with the thyme, garlic, cloves, allspice and cinnamon. Lay the lamb shoulder on top and cover tightly with a double layer of tin foil. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 160°C and cook for a further 3.5 hours, or until the meat is falling off the bone.
Once cooked, set the lamb aside but keep any of the onions and garlic that aren’t too scorched, popping the soft garlic from its skins. Discard the spices, drain any of the liquid and skim off any fat. Once the lamb has cooled sufficiently, fork the meat from the bone and strip down to small chunks, discarding the fat, gristle and bone.
Finishing the lamb
2 onions – peeled and finely chopped
2 carrots – peeled and finely chopped
1 tbsp madras curry paste
200ml lamb stock
2tbsp mango chutney
50g golden raisins
50g dried apricot – diced
50g cashew nuts – toasted and roughly chopped
Handful of coriander – chopped
I lemon – zest only
6 bay leaves
250ml full-fat milk
2 large eggs
While the lamb is cooking, sweat down the carrots and onions in a good splash of olive oil until softened. Add the curry paste and cook out, then add the lamb stock and simmer until reduced by half. Fold in the braised shoulder, onions that were cooked with the lamb and the reserved cooking liquid. Mix in the dried fruit, nuts, mango chutney and chopped coriander. Season to taste and add the lemon zest.
Place in an oven proof dish and press down, ensuring there are no gaps around the edges. Whisk together the eggs and milk. Pour the mixture over the lamb and lay the bay leaves on top. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the egg mix is set and starting to turn golden.
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Read more about Kumala Wines – CLICK HERE