Waverley Hills Grenache Noir 2018, good with Tony Jackman’s Spicy Lamb Shanks with Saffron Couscous…

Waverley Hills Grenache Noir 2018

Waverley Hills is an organically certified Wine Estate in the Tulbagh Wine Appellation. A unique winery which has moved away from a system based on inputs of chemicals, to a management-based system of grape-growing, establishing a “green approach” to wine making. Waverley Hills wines are organically certified by the French based ECOCERT, which conducts inspections in over 80 countries making it one of the largest organic certification organizations in the world. Ecocert stipulates that no synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides may be used, in order to protect the environment and to produce grapes and olives as environmentally friendly and healthy as possible.

Grenache Noir, ripening on the vine

The grapes for the Waverley Hills Grenache Noir 2018 were hand harvested from a bush vine vineyard on a Southerly facing slope which has supplementary irrigation when required. The vineyard delivers a very modest 4 tons per hectare. There is an additional grape involved as the wine has a 9% Mourvèdre component. After both alcoholic and malolactic fermentation, the wine was matured in second and third fill, 500LFrench oak barrels. Giving support to the oak. The wine was then prepared for bottling.

Waverley Hills Aerial View

From a Burgundy shaped bottle, closed with natural cork. The label is elegant and simple with an illustration of a Protea with a sunbird sitting on it. In the glass the wine has a cherry red translucency at the heart which pales out to ruby garnet at the edges. The aromas and flavours segue one into the other fraises des bois. Chunky watermelon and country lane berries like roadside brambles and mulberries are in harmony with the tannins sufficiently present to make it a perfect wine with food.

Tony Jackman’s Spicy Lamb Shanks with Saffron Couscous

The Waverley Hills Grenache Noir 2018 is medium bodied and without damning it with faint praise, it is very easy to drink. It is an excellent partner to Tony Jackman’s Spicy Lamb Shanks with Saffron Couscous.

Tony Jackman, writer, author, playwright, food commentator and fine cook

Tony Jackman’s Spicy Lamb Shanks with Saffron Couscous

Tony Jackman is a well-known writer, playwright, food commentator, an excellent cook himself. Tony and his wife Di Cassére, herself a writer of note, live in Cradock in the Eastern Cape.

(Serves 4)

4 lamb shanks
8 cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick
½ tsp nutmeg
1 tsp turmeric
Generous amount of saffron threads
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 x 400 g can chopped tomatoes
500 ml chicken stock
Salt and pepper
2 x 25 g Ina Paarman concentrated liquid vegetable stock sachets dissolved in 500 ml boiling water
2 Tbsp canola oil

For saffron couscous:
1 cup couscous
1 cup vegetable stock
A good pinch of saffron

First, empty a can of quality chopped tomatoes into a pot and add the diluted vegetable stock (I used Ina Paarman’s diluted as described above, but use another if you prefer). Season with salt and pepper. Add all the spices and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and leave aside until needed.

Sauté the onion and garlic in the oil in a potjie (or use a heavy pot on the stove, transferring it to a 180℃ oven). Pour in the cooking broth. Add the shanks, coat and stir. Cook over moderate coals until the shanks are fall-apart tender. This should take between two and three hours. Towards the end of the cooking time, remove the potjie lid so that the sauce can reduce and thicken.

Serve with saffron couscous. To make this, pour 1 cup of couscous into a bowl. Bring 1 cup/ 250 ml vegetable stock to a boil. Spoon 3 Tbsp of this into a small bowl (such as a ramekin) and add to it a good pinch of saffron threads. Leave to steep for a few minutes then add it to the bowl of couscous. Pour in the remaining stock, stir it, and leave it to stand for 5 minutes. Then loosen the couscous with a fork in the usual way. The couscous will have absorbed a pleasing saffron flavour and will continue to do so while you wait for the shanks to be ready.

Read more about Waverley Hills, its wine and olive oil and hospitality offerings – CLICK HERE


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