Whenever I think of Oldenburg Vineyards, I get a little of what Nancy Reagan called a ‘tummy freeze’. That little frisson of excitement you feel when you are confronted, either with a bottle of the Estate’s wine, or the fabulous views a you drive up to the buildings, or the almost Alpine mountains which surround it, that’s a ‘tummy freeze’. Oldenburg Chenin Blanc 2015 does the same for me. For all the above, plus my emotional attachment to Chenin Blanc which covered half of my father’s vineyard.
Here we have a great expression of the grape. The grapes are hand harvested and bunch sorted to ensure that only the best grape go through the winemaking process. Philip Costandius, the GM Winemaking has taken an interesting approach to the winemaking processes by fermenting 31% of the juice in French oak barrels and the balance in tank. After blending, the wine then undergoes 8 months in 600 litre French oak barrels of which half were new. The wine was then prepared for bottling.
It looks like
Bottled under silver screw cap in a Burgundy shaped bottle with the usual elegant silver label which Oldenburg Vineyards uses for its white wines. In the glass, it is a pale golden straw in colour with green amber flashes.
It smells like
Overtly tropical fruit, granadilla, poached guava and quince. Oak and its caramelised sugars play in the background.
It tastes like
A beautiful line of Granny Smith acidity from entry to tail. Nice sappy full mouthfeel, especially on the mid palate. Just packed with the lovely fruits found on the nose. Little undertow of honey. Perfect expression of Chenin Blanc.
It’s good with
Excellent for sipping and gentle conversation. With National Braai Day coming up later this month, I thought I would concentrate on foods from the braai. This one is from Sophia Lindop, a prolific writer of cookbooks who lives in Cape Town.
Cape salmon portions wrapped in vine leaves
Serves 4 to 6
For the marinade
250 ml olive oil
100 ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
Zest of one lemon
125 ml Kalamata olives, pipped and sliced
2 tbsp fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 portions of Cape salmon of about 220 g each
Preserved vine leaves (about 300 g)
To make the marinade, mix all the ingredients together and allow to infuse for two hours before using – store in the refrigerator until needed.
Wrap the individual fish portions in the vine leaves, making sure that they are secure and covered like a parcel. Place the portions in the marinate and allow the flavours to mingle for two hours, turning the portions once or twice during the process.
Remove the olives from each portion and place securely on a grid. Braai over a medium to hot fire until the leaves have browned, basting regularly. Milky droplets coming from the fish will indicate that the portions are ready.
Serve, topped with a spoonful of the lovely olive marinade, with a salad.
Chef’s note: The preserved vine leaves are salty enough, so no extra seasoning should be necessary. Any firm fleshed fish can be used if Cape salmon is unavailable.
Visit Sophia on her website and buy her books online – CLICK HERE
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Read more about Oldenburg Vineyards – CLICK HERE