What’s a Big Dog? An excellent MCC by John & Karen Loubser….

Silverthorn’s CWG Auction MCC, The Big Dog

Missing out on today’s Cape Winemaker’s Guild Annual auction of their fabulous wines and following the Twitter feed of my friends who are there, has been an interesting exercise. There are people who are prepared to pay for good wine, and good wine is what you get at the CWG Auction. One of the wines which interested me is the Silverthorn MCC produced by John and Karen Loubser. The special cuvée made for the auction is Called Big Dog, the Loubsers love Rottweilers.  Canis Major is a prominent constellation in the southern sky and translated as Big Dog. The original Big Dog was Roc, a fine fellow who is now on the Rainbow Bridge. Thena, his successor, is a joyful character, she is loved as much by the family. So the tradition of calling the CWG MCC Big Dog continues. They make in the region of 40, 6 packs each year. The first vintage was 2010, and the one sold at the CWG Auction today is Big Dog IV, the 2013 vintage which sold for over R1000.00 a bottle.

Silverthorn John & Thena, Big Dog 11

The winemaking processes are interesting. Chardonnay and the Pinot Noir were picked by hand and then gently whole bunch pressed. The Chardonnay juice was barrel fermented and aged in large old French oak barrels to enhance the creaminess and complexity of the wine and to add palate weight. The Pinot Noir was tank fermented in order to accentuate the bright berry characters. After blending the wine was bottle fermented and aged on the lees for 53 months. After disgorging the wine was aged for a further six months on the natural cork.

A Silverthorn or Karoo Acacia

It looks like
The Big Dog is bottled in a traditional Champagne bottle with a silver foil covered muzzle. The label is the traditional CWG livery. In the glass, the wine is a pale golden straw with a mass of the tiniest little bubbles swirling up to the surface where they form a crown around the edges.

It smells like
Lemon and sweet tropical lime. Oak in undertow.

It tastes like
The bubbles add such a vibrancy to the wine. Tickling your nose and your palate. The Chardonnay, aged in previous fill French oak barrels, is creamy, citrussy and chalky dry. The Pinot Noir, present as Fraises des Bois and a whisper of cherry fruit. Baked almond brioche flavours from the oak support the fruit beautifully. This is a serious wine. Great for a celebration, but no need to keep it for such an occasion. A mid-week supper, would be an excellent time for some bubbly fun  with the Big Dog.

Steenberg Ruby Rosé 2017Deconstructed Sushi I made on the Expresson Breakfast TV Show

It’s good with
As a mid-morning refresher to set you up for a good day it is the bees knees. A wine like this, particularly when a portion is matured in French oak barrels, is excellent with food. With delicately smoked snoek flaked on to a country loaf, a smooth angelfish paté or a delicious summery salad with shreds of roasted organic chicken, the wine is a great match. My deconstructed sushi works well with the Big Dog. Click here for my recipe. A triangle of buttery Scottish Shortbread would be an excellent reason to pop a bottle in the late afternoon.

Read more about Silverthorn Wines – CLICK HERE


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