Rhodium, a precious metal which was discovered by William Wollaston in 1803, is in the platinum group of metals and highly prized for use in jewellery amongst others. A noble metal after which today’s noble wine is named.
The Oldenburg Vineyards Rhodium 2013 is a blend of four noble Bordeaux grapes, 75% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot and Malbec 5%. An elegant wine which expresses not only the vintage variation one expects but also the qualities of the grapes themselves.
Picked by hand, the bunches are sorted both in the vineyard and then the berries in the cellar after destemming. After gentle crushing, fermentation takes place during the early stages of which pump overs of the fermenting wine over the cap of the skins happens three times a day. Cold soaking for three days is an integral part of the winemaking process. Maturation in 300 litre French oak barrels, half of which were new and the remainder a selection of previously filled barrels. The wine is then prepared for bottling.
It looks like
Packed under a cork closure in a Bordeaux shaped bottle with an elegant gold and red label. In the glass it is a dark Satsuma plum colour at the core which pales out to a vibrant garnet at the rim
It smells like
Rich black berry fruit, supporting oak and its concomitant spices and whiffs of savoury spreads.
It tastes like
On entry the wine is deliciously juicy and has a generosity of black fruits. The oak makes a major contribution as it is well integrated with the tannins. I really like the mineral undertow, seems to ‘anchor’ the wine. Long and lingering aftertaste.
It’s good with
A wine like this needs appropriate food, food which is well cooked and filled with flavour. In their recently released book, Mari-Louis Guy and her brother Callie Maritz offer their Pickled onion oven steaks.
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Mari Louis Guy & Callie Maritz’s Pickled Onion Oven Steaks
1 head of cauliflower
1 cup (250 ml) thick yoghurt
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp (15 ml) ground cumin
1 Tbsp (15 ml) curry powder
salt and pepper
1 large jar (780 g) brown pickled onions, halved
½ cup (125 ml) soy sauce
1 Tbsp (15 ml) Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup (50 g) brown sugar
2 Tbsp (30 ml) garlic flakes
4–6 sirloin or porterhouse steaks
Preheat the oven to 200 °C.
Cut the leaves and thick stem off the cauliflower.
Combine the yoghurt, zest and lemon juice, cumin, curry powder and seasoning. Rub this mixture all over the cauliflower.
Combine the pickled onions, soy and Worcestershire sauces, brown sugar and garlic flakes.
Season the meat. Place all the ingredients on a large baking tray and bake for 40–45 minutes, spooning the sticky sauce over the meat occasionally.
If there is still some space on the baking tray, add large brown mushrooms dotted with herb butter, or red pepper slices tossed in olive oil, for the last 20 minutes of cooking.