Landskroon Cinsaut 2016, good with Christine Capendale’s Lamb Meatball Tagine with Butternut & Feta…

Landskroon Cinsaut 2016

Landskroon Cinsaut 2016 is made from the Cinsaut grape, formerly known as Hermitage, which has been planted in the Cape for a couple of hundred years. A parent of the iconic National Grape, Pinotage, it was crossed in the late 1920s with Pinot Noir. It was to add the nobility of Pinot Noir to the heavier bearing Hermitage. Cinsaut over the last 20 plus years has been a bit like Miss Haversham, sitting around in a wedding dress, but its time has come and the Cinsaut grape is being used more and more as a varietal wine and also in blending to create more delicate reds which can be chilled and make for good spring and summer times.

Cinsaut on the vine large loosely packed bunches

The grapes for the Landskroon Cinsaut 2016 are picked off vineyards on the De Villiers Family Estate, Landskroon, situated on the south west facing slopes of the Paarl Mountain. Once in the cellar, the grapes are destalked and crushed and taken to closed fermenters. The first action is to withdraw a percentage of the juice to add greater concentration to the final wine. A higher ratio of skin to juice means more colour and flavour. After fermentation, the wine spends time on French oak staves which add support to the wonderful fruit. After this, the wine was prepared for bottling.

Landskroon GM & Celalrmaster Paul de Villiers with the next generation

From a Bordeaux shaped bottle, closed with natural cork. The label is classical Landskroon. In the glass, the wine is a gem bright beautiful translucent cherry red. The aromas are of cherries and red fruit and the oak with its spice and vanilla. The palate is medium of body, though generous of flavour from entry right through into the aftertaste. The oak is supportive of the fruit, the tannins are cashmere clad and the aftertaste is a gently waning one. While the while is very drinkable now, a year or two of cool cellaring will reward you.

Christine Capendale’s Lamb Meatball Tagine with Butternut & Feta

The Landskroon Cinsaut 2016 should be chilled for about 30 minutes in the fridge or an ice bucket. The fresh red cherry fruits make it perfect as a glass before a braai. It is good with food, very good with food. It works well with Tuna which has been seared and marinated in garlic, chili, coriander and olive oil.  Christine Capendale’s Lamb Meatball Tagine with Butternut & Feta is an excellent match for the wine.

Christine Capendale

Christine Capendale’s Lamb Meatball Tagine with Butternut & Feta

Serves 4

50ml olive oil
2 red onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
15ml Moroccan rub or spice
5ml ground cumin
5ml paprika
400ml lamb stock
1 tin chopped Italian tomatoes
500g butternut, cut into wedges
15ml lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
80g chopped dried apricots

Lamb Meatballs
500g lamb mince
1 small onion, finely chopped or grated
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Salt and black pepper to taste
15ml Moroccan rub or spice
1 egg
Zest of 1 lemon
125 ml  chopped mint and coriander

To serve
45ml chopped, preserved lemon (optional)
125ml chopped mint and coriander
100g Feta, broken into chunks
4 lightly toasted pita breads or flatbreads
200 g    baby tomatoes, halved and seasoned

Heat half of the olive oil in a casserole dish or pan on medium heat.  Sauté the onions in the oil and add the garlic and spices. Add the stock, chopped tomato, butternut, lemon juice and zest and the dried apricots.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until the butternut is almost cooked.

Combine all the ingredients for the meatballs and mix well.

Roll into about 20 small meatballs and heat the rest of the olive oil in a frying pan on medium heat.  Fry the meatballs on both sides until cooked and browned on both sides.   Remove from the frying pan.

Taste and adjust the seasoning of the butternut mixture.

Add the meatballs to the butternut and simmer for another 5 minutes on low heat. Add a bit of liquid if needed.

Combine the chopped mint, coriander and the preserved lemon and sprinkle over the dish just before serving

Top with the feta

Serve with the toasted pita breads or flatbreads and baby tomatoes.

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