One of the great joys of a visit to Steenberg Farm in coolest Constantia is having a choice of two restaurants, Catherina’s and the Bistro 1682. The one I visit most frequently is the Bistro 1682 where Kerry Kilpin has carved a niche for herself in the world of winelands food. The recently released Steenberg Merlot 2015 has carved a niche for itself on Kerry’s wine list as a perfect partner to her Grilled sirloin drizzled with a whisky and black pepper jus and a green pea and tomato salsa. We like the whisky drizzled part.
I say coolest Constantia, Constantia is ‘cool’ as in fashionable, and cool from a climatic point of view. Cooling evening come up from False Bay to cool the vineyards, and during the day blowing gently down Constantia Mountain from the Atlantic Ocean with its cooling Benguela Current. All this leads to a longer ripening period which means greater flavour being packed into the grapes before harvesting.
“With the change of seasons from summer into autumn, our food preferences change in turn to warmer, flavoursome and richer dishes. Our Steenberg Merlot 2015 is rich in generosity and warmth with a rounded texture which makes it a fantastic food-friendly wine,” says winemaker JD Pretorius.
The Steenberg Merlot 2015 vintage has stood up well to critical acclaim with a 92/100 rating from British Master of Wine Tim Atkin in his South Africa 2017 Special Report.
It looks like
Bottled under a natural cork closure in the Constantia embossed bottle and the elegant yet simple Steenberg livery. In the glass, it is a deep ruby at the core which pales out to garnet at the edges.
It smells like
Scrunched fynbos herbs and some from the garden. Spiced plums. Undertow of oak.
It tastes like
Generous from entry. Packed with plums and berry fruits, roadside brambles and mulberries. Savoury desiccated black olives. Nice mocha tones. Rich and soft and round with fruit acidity and tannins all perfectly interwoven in the long satisfying aftertaste.
It’s good with
It’s just perfect with Kerry Kilpin of Steenberg’s Bistro Sixteen82’s. Her grilled sirloin drizzled with a whisky and black pepper jus and a green pea and tomato salsa. Kerry is such a pro, we love eating there as anything on the menu is always good.
Kerry Kilpin’s Grilled Sirloin, Whisky & Black Pepper Jus, Green Pea & Tomato Salsa
2 x 220g sirloin steaks
Salt and pepper
50g wild rocket
Green Pea and Tomato Salsa
80g cooked peas
10ml olive oil
Squeeze of lemon juice
½ red onion chopped
Combine all the ingredients for the salsa and season with salt and pepper.
Black Pepper Jus
½ red onion chopped
4 button mushrooms chopped
250ml beef stock
3ml crushed black pepper
Sauté the onion and mushroom with a little oil until nice and brown, deglaze with the whisky and bring to the boil. Add the black pepper and stock and reduce by half. Add the cream and reduce by half.
Blend with a stick blender and season with salt. Taste and, depending how strong you like your black pepper, add more if necessary.
Season the sirloins with salt, pepper and olive oil. Pre-heat your pan until nice and hot. Pan fry your steaks to desired cooking degree. Allow your steak to rest for 2 minutes before slicing.
Slice the sirloin in half, place on a bed of rocket, top with the green pea and tomato salsa and drizzle the black pepper jus on the plate.
Serve with a glass of delicious Steenberg Merlot 2015.
Listen to my 60 second Fine Music Radio podcast – CLICK HERE
Read more about Steenberg – www.steenbergfarm.com