Spier – two wines, so perfect for Spring, with some perfect matches from Lizet Hartley…

Spier Manor House, a majestic piece of Cape Dutch Architecture

Spier, that magnificent sprawling estate in the Stellenbosch Wine Appellation has so much to offer, even a luxury hotel where you can overnight if you haven’t finished doing all the things you want to do. Frans Smit and his winemaking team do a sterling job in the cellar with grapes from their own and from contract grown vineyards. Ranges, easy to find on your supermarket shelves and some really sublime wines only available on the Estate.

Spier 21 Gables Pinotage 2013

The Spier 21 Gables Pinotage 2013 is about the most sublime expression of Pinotage you can find. Named for the 21 Gables on the estate, the wines in this range are much sought after and this Pinotage is one of my bests. Grown on vineyards made up of decomposed granite, close to the sea, between 7 and 15 km distant.  Sea breezes mean a lot to vineyards ameliorating the summer heat in the vineyards and allowing the grapes to hang for a longer time, thus creating more flavour. The grapes for the Spier 21 Gables Pinotage 2013 are hand harvested to maintain the integrity of the bunches. Once cooled, the bunches are hand sorted and then after destalking the berries are sorted to remove any unripe or raisined berries. The mash was cold soaked in stainless steel and French oak open top fermenters for a period in order to start the colour and flavour extraction from the grape. Once fermentation was over, the free run juice was taken to a mix of first and second fill French, American and Hungarian oak for 18 months maturation. Barrel selections were made by award winning winemaker Johan Jordaan to blend this harmonious, complex Pinotage, already 5 years old and ageing well.

Spier Winemaker, Johan Jordaan

It looks like
Bottled under natural cork in a Burgundy shaped bottle with a classic minimalist label with beautifully executed calligraphy. In the glass, a deep blood plum at the core which pales out to ruby at the edges.

It smells like
Dark berries and cherries. Oak and its concomitant spices.

It tastes like
A mouthful of serious wine from entry through to the long and gently waning aftertaste. Filling the mid palate with flambéed Morello cherries, sweet pudding spices and dark snappy Belgian chocolate. Very satisfying glass.

Lizet Hartley’s Whole Roast Lamb Neck

It’s good with
As a glass on its own as a sipper watching the sun go down. Lizet Hartley’s Whole Roast Lamb Neck, one of those forgotten old Cape dishes, is a great match to the Spier 21 Gables Pinotage 2013. Click here for her recipe.


Spier Chardonnay Pinot Noir 2017

Spier has a group of award winning winemakers, Jacques Erasmus amongst them. He was responsible for the Spier Chardonnay Pinot Noir 2017,  a delicious blend of the two great grapes of Burgundy and Champagne. Grown on Kroonstad soils in, on average, 16 year old south facing vineyards in Stellenbosch and Durbanville, 14 to 20 km from the sea.

Chardonnay & Pint Noir grapes

The grapes for the Spier Chardonnay Pinot Noir 2017 were hand harvested in the early hours of the day into 10kg lug boxes to protect the integrity of the grapes.  After cooling, the bunches were sorted and the whole bunch pressed, a gentler way of doing things. After cool fermentation the wine was allowed to mature on its lee for three months before being prepared for bottling.

It looks like
Bottled under screw cap in a clear glass or flint Burgundy shaped bottle. In the glass, a beautiful cherry blossom pink.

Spier Winemaker Jacques Erasmus

It smells like
The aroma of Golden Delicious apple and strawberries start off here and continue through the palate.

It tastes like
From entry, it fills the mouth with its crisp freshness, right through to the refreshing aftertaste. Golden Delicious apples crisp from the tree and red berries intermingle in this beautiful and beautifully balanced wine.

Lizet Hartley’s Southern Fried Chicken

It’s good with
As a midmorning refresher, a lunch time or sundowner wine Spier Chardonnay Pinot Noir 2017 is perfect. This is a wine which can go through from the lightest most delicately flavoured salads to Roast Belly Pork with crisp crackling, or Vitello Tonnato. So seldom do we make deep fried chicken at home. It is so easy and such fun as a midweek supper dish. Lizet Hartley’s Southern Fried Chicken is the answer, the crunchy outsides being the perfect foil to the wine. Click here for her recipe.

Lizet Hartley at Spier Wine Estate

Read more about the Spier Estate – CLICK HERE


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