If you have a treaty to ratify, go out and land a bottle of this sublime wine. If you do not have a treaty at hand you should at least have one [perhaps two] in the fridge. The Pierre Jourdan Ratafia is a unique and special wine and the only one of its kind to be produced in South Africa. The Ratafia is a fabulous addition to the range of wines produced on the Haute Cabrière Wine Estate in the Franschhoek Wine Appellation. The farm is up on the Franschhoek Pass where the elephants used to come over at certain times of the year.
The grapes for the Ratafia are all Chardonnay. Apart from Champagne in Champagne, Ratafia is the only other wine produced there. Fortified by Chardonnay potstill brandy distilled on the estate, it stands above others in its uniqueness. Takuan von Arnim the Cellarmaster makes some truly memorable wines, this is one of them.
It looks like
Bottled under a T shaped natural cork in a squat 500 millilitre brown glass bottle with a classical elegant Pierre Jourdan label. In the glass, it is a rich golden amber with thick streams, referred to as legs [I like the more poetic cathedral windows], showing an unctuousness in the wine. I prefer using a small wine glass rather than a small sherry or port glass, we are ratifying a treaty here, so we have reason to be generous and celebratory with the Ratafia. In fact, throw the cork away.
It smells like
Honeylike, with a strong thread of fynbos and Chardonnay whiffs.
It tastes like
Wow! Rich, round, soft, unctuous, with the brandy beautifully interwoven with the honey favours. There is a lovely little undertow of the brandy in the aftertaste.
It’s good with
Do chill it. Excellent as a glass of wine with a slice of cake in the late afternoon. After all Madeira wine was invented so that ladies did not have a reason to feel guilty about a tot in the afternoon. One of the ways to serve it in summer is to pour it over crushed ice. But seriously one thinks of sweet things like koeksisters, pasteis de nata and some exquisite crystallised fruit of which the French are such excellent makers. There are places earlier in the menu where the wine is perfect. With a gently curried carrot soup, sweet potato cream or one of the finest combinations, foie gras. A lovely smooth chicken or duck liver paté or even a country style terrine would be the perfect partner. Ina Paarman’s Baked Chicken Liver Paté is by her own admission is silky smooth. Click here for her recipe.
The Haute Cabrière Restaurant is well worth a visit – CLICK HERE
Chefs Nic van Wyk & Westley Muller produce the perfect marriage of food and wine.
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Read more about Haute Cabrière & Pierre Jourdan Wines – CLICK HERE