HMS Sphynx was a British Battleship which took part in the Battle of Muizenberg in the late 1700s, along with HMS Rattlesnake and some others. Appropriate that Steenberg Sphynx Chardonnay, a wine from Steenberg, within view of False Bay and Muizenberg should be given its name.
The grapes for the Steenberg Sphynx Chardonnay 2018 were sourced in Robertson, a limestone soil region, so perfect for growing Chardonnay Vines. The vines vary in age from 6 to 31 years. Once in the cellar, the grapes were whole bunch pressed and the juice settled cool and clear overnight. Half the wine was fermented with natural vineyard yeasts in larger previous fill French oak barrels. The other half inoculated with yeast was fermented in new 225 litre French oak barrels. Barrel fermentation and maturation lasted for four months. Partial malolactic fermentation took place, it was halted to protect the freshness in the wine. The wines were then blended and prepared for bottling.
From a Burgundy shaped bottle, closed with a screw cap. Classy minimalist label. In the glass, the wine is a pale golden straw in colour. The aromas swirling about the glass are of windfall oranges, sweet tropical limes and Golden Delicious apples. Whiffs of vanilla, caramel sauce go through to the generous palate and well into the long and gently waning aftertaste. The flavours are of brisk citrus, the apples again and fresh sliced pears. The wine is creamy and smooth, a lovely fruit acidity and a touch of chalk, which one expects from Robertson soils. Very accessible now, if cool cellared will reward you later.
This is a food wine, a serious food wine. Or a good sipper at sundown to lead you into a meal. Sophia Lindop’s Fennel & Sumac crusted Salmon Trout is the perfect partner for the Steenberg Sphynx Chardonnay 2018.
Serves 4 to 6
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp sumac
rind of 2 lemons, finely grated
30 g flat-leaf parsley, destalked and finely chopped
30 g French chives, finely chopped
sea salt and freshly milled black pepper to season
100 g butter, melted
1 tbsp olive oil
1 side (about 500 g) of salmon trout, skin on
1 tbsp creamed horseradish sauce
Preheat oven to 220° C.
Mix the breadcrumbs, garlic, fennel seeds, sumac, lemon rind, parsley, chives, salt and pepper with the butter.
Place a sheet of baking paper on an oven tray and drizzle with the olive oil. Place the salmon, skin side down, on the paper and pat the top dry with paper towel.
Spread the horseradish sauce over the top and press the spiced breadcrumb mixture over the top to coat.
Place the salmon in the oven for 15 minutes or until just cooked through.
Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving with oven-roasted potatoes and a green salad.
Read more about Steenberg Farm – CLICK HERE