Cool climate producer from the Elgin Valley, Lothian Vineyards, has scooped the coveted South African Chardonnay Trophy in the 2019 International Wine Challenge (IWC). The Lothian Vineyards Chardonnay 2017 scored 95 points and won the IWC’S hallmark of excellence in Chardonnay with the Varietal Trophy in the global competition.
The grapes emanate from the 3 Lothian blocks of Chardonnay and the grapes were hand harvested at optimal ripeness. Made by Richard Kershaw, British Master of Wine and Chief Winemaker with Assistant Winemaker Dudley Wilson at Lothian. Richard has also been instrumental in elevating the Elgin Valley’s high-quality production of Chardonnay. I recently tasted through a range of Richard’s wines with him, it was a fascinating exercise the way he matches clones to soil, clones to French oak barrels.The wine expresses itself with an abundance of lemon, yellow grapefruit with sweet cream and hazelnut. Integrated toasty oak providing a rich body with a long, mineral finish.” – Proprietor Gavin Wilson.
The fruit was whole bunch pressed, with a period of skin contact. Fermentation was started in stainless steel tanks with ambient yeast. The fermenting juice was racked into a selection barrels followed by a period of batonnage to bolster the wine’s mid-palate. French oak, fine grain, long medium toast from Vicard, Berger, Pauscha, and Francois Frère was used. Ten months of barrel maturation on the fine lees fleshed out the wine and added richness. Prior to bottling the wine was lightly filtered to preserve its integrity.
From a Burgundy shaped bottle, closed with a screw cap. The label is simple and elegant with a crest and calligraphy. In the glass, the wine is gem bright and a pale butter gold. The aromas are classical Chardonnay. Proprietor Gavin Wilson says “The wine expresses itself with an abundance of lemon, yellow grapefruit with sweet cream and hazelnut. Integrated toasty oak providing a rich body with a long, mineral finish.”
I like the notes in the aromas and flavours of desiccated pineapple, ripe clingstone peaches, naartjie peel and sappy white nectarines. The oak and its concomitant spices are in perfect undertow as a support to the fabulously fruited mid-palate. From entry the golden thread of delicious acidity runs through to the long and gently waning aftertaste. With a couple of years of cool cellaring, the wine will amply reward you.
Ideal if served not too chilled. Excellent accompaniment to a Butter Roasted Organic Chicken, with Oriental dishes and on the cold winter days a great partner for lunch or supper to Christine Capendale’s Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Truffle Oil & Parmesan.
Christine Capendale’s Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Truffle Oil & Parmesan
I had a similar soup at one of my favourite restaurants in Cape Town recently and decided that this is the soup for this week! It is a very simple recipe that can be vegetarian or Vegan, just make the necessary adjustments.
This soup is very filling and certainly a meal on its own – a bit of crusty bread on the side can work well with it!
2 medium sized heads of cauliflower, florets removed
30 ml olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
250 g sliced leeks
20 g butter
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
500 ml milk
1 liter chicken stock
100 ml crème fraiche
20 g finely grated parmesan cheese
30 ml good quality truffle oil
Parmesan shavings for serving
Truffle oil for serving
Micro herbs for garnish
Pre heat the oven to 200°C
Place the cauliflower florets onto a baking tray, drizzle with half of the olive oil, sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper and roast in the oven until cooked and lightly charred.
Sauté the leeks in the rest of the olive oil and the butter for about 2 minutes, add the garlic.
Add most of the cauliflower, the milk and stock to the leeks and simmer for 10 minutes (low heat with lid on)
Cool the soup
Add the crème fraiche and blend the soup – it must be very smooth
Reheat the soup and taste to adjust the seasoning
Blend the grated parmesan cheese and truffle oil well together in a coffee grinder to make a puree.
Divide the soup between 4 bowls and swirl the parmesan and truffle oil puree into the soup. Garnish with more truffle oil (optional), parmesan shavings, micro herbs and some of the chargrilled cauliflower pieces.
Serve with crunchy Baguette.
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