Oldenburg Vineyards, high up in the Banghoek Valley in the Stellenbosch Wine Appellation, is fortunate to have a cooler climate than the Stellenbosch Vineyards on the west facing side of the Simonsberg. Believing that their great wines can come only from the best quality grapes, the Oldenburg Vineyards practice is one of minimal intervention in the vineyard and indeed the cellar. The 8 natural elements which determine the unique Oldenburg Terroir are shown on the very elegant livery of the bottles. Winemaker Nic van Aarde showcases the finest expressions of each grape variety in the Oldenburg Vineyards Chardonnay 2018.
After harvesting by hand, where bunch sorting takes place, the grapes for the Oldenburg Vineyards Chardonnay 2018 are, once destalked, carefully berry sorted to ensure that the finest of grapes go through to the wine making process. Once gently crushed, the grapes go to French oak barrels for fermentation. The maturation took place in other 300 litre French oak barrels, 38% of which were new. The barrels were then blended, and the wine prepared for bottling.
From a Burgundy shaped bottle, closed with a superior screw cap. The labelling is described above. In the glass, the wine is a gem bright pale golden straw in colour. The aromas are all classical Chardonnay, windfall oranges, preserved kumquats with a gentle undertow of well applied oak with its concomitant spice and vanilla. The flavours are a creamy blend of oranges and sweet tropical limes. There is a golden thread of attractive acidity which runs through the wine from entry, through the generously fruited mid palate and onto the long crisp aftertaste with the supportive oak. Lovely glass of wine, which will reward you after a couple of years of cool cellaring.
This is no quaffer, the Oldenburg Vineyards Chardonnay 2018 is a serious sipping wine and truly sublime with food. Serve it lightly chilled, not too cold. So many possibilities with food, it is perfect with creamy seafood dishes, veal scallops with sauce à l’orange. Christine Capendale’s Mediterranean Pan-Fried Chicken is the perfect partner. I am always amused by the term Pan Fried. In the grumpy days, towards the end of her life, a famous British food writer said something like “What nonsense is this? Pan fried? What else do you fry in? A kettle?”
Christine Capendale’s Mediterranean Pan Fried Chicken
Quick, easy and utterly delicious! This recipe will not take you more than 25 minutes to make. Serve it in summer with a green salad OR in winter with pasta. Serves 4
4 chicken breast fillets, pounded to even thickness
10ml olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
50g chopped sundried tomatoes
Salt, black pepper to taste
250ml chicken stock
125ml cream or crème fraiche
125ml halved, pitted kalamata olives
60ml chopped basil
Fresh basil for serving
Optional oven-roasted vine tomatoes for serving
Melt the butter in a large frying pan and add the olive oil and half of the garlic.
Dust the chicken fillets with the flour and cook the chicken in the frying pan on each side until browned and cooked through. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm while you make the sauce.
Add the rest of the garlic, sundried tomato, olives, chicken stock and cream to the frying pan and bring to a boil. Cook until thick and creamy. Season and add the chopped basil.
Return chicken to the pan and spoon some of the sauce over the chicken. You can top it with the vine tomatoes and some more fresh basil.
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