Tag Archives: New World wines

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 6 November

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Angola and Nigeria will be the two African countries on which Wines of South Africa (WOSA) will focus its attention, says new CEO Siobhan Thompson

*   Jancis Robinson chose two South African cultivars, out of a total of seven,  at a New York tasting of  ‘unusual grape varieties that typify an ongoing trend in wine to re-visit traditional grapes in their historical homes around the world‘, being Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc.

*   The price of petrol has decreased by 28 cents a liter.

*   Huffington Post Travel recommends ten wine destinations around the world, and includes ‘Cape Town’, but elaborates that the Cape Winelands is meant, and Stellenbosch, Paarl, and Franschhoek in particular. Groot Constantia is recommended for a visit.   The other destinations are the Yarra Valley in Australia, Napa and Sonoma in the USA, Okanagan in Canada, Bordeaux in France, Finger Lakes in the USA, Mendoza in Argentina, Willamette Valley in the USA, Tuscany in Italy, and Barcelona in Spain.

*   New World wines from New Zealand, Australia, Chile, Argentina and South Africa make up 30% of world wine exports, states the Morgan Stanley report.

*  A bottle made from recycled paper and weighing only 65 Continue reading →

SA wine drinkers should thank winemakers for their affordable and quality wines!

Welcoming the guests attending the Christian Eedes Cabernet Sauvignon Report 2013 at Burrata on Thursday, sponsor Sanlam Private Investments CEO Daniël Kriel said that South African wine drinkers should thank our winemakers for producing such good quality wines at affordable prices. It was the second year in which the Christian Eedes Cabernet Sauvignon Report was presented.

Kriel said he had done a Google search about Cabernet Sauvignon, and to his surprise found that Wikipedia did not mention South Africa in its first paragraph.  He learnt about the wide range of terroirs and climates in which the grape variety is grown, from Canada down to the 15° latitude in Argentina.  South Africa is only referred to in the New World wines section, and then only Stellenbosch and Constantia are mentioned.  He referred to the markets being in terrible chaos on Thursday, and he was happy to escape the office to not see what was happening on his computer screen.  Having recently been to New York, and paying $89 for a reasonable Californian, he said that we should be grateful for the affordable and good quality wines which our winemakers produce.  He justified the investment by Sanlam Private Investment in The Christian Eedes Cabernet Sauvignon Report in that their clients love wine and have a passion for them, as do the leaders of businesses!

Christian Eedes thanked the wine writers present for spreading the word about his 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Report, allowing him to renew the relationship with his sponsor.  Using the same judges Roland Peens of Wine Cellar and James Pietersen of Balducci’s, sixty Cabernet Sauvignons were evaluated.  He announced that Wade Bales has put together a special Cabernet Sauvignon Top 10 pack, based on Eedes’ Report results. Bales could not tell me how much he will charge for the special pack.

In introducing the Top 10 list, Eedes said that the 5 point scale had been used for the ratings (instead of the 100 score which he has recently moved to for his wine evaluations), and that within a star band, the estates are listed alphabetically on his Top 10 list. The panel had found the local Cabernet Sauvignons, the second most planted varietal locally, ‘on the whole, very impressive in quality…characterised by richness and weight‘.  He added that while Cabernet Sauvignon ages well mainly due to its high level of tannins, wine drinkers are placing less value on this characteristic. ‘Winemakers seem to be going to great lengths to emphasise fruit and the resulting wines are tending to be ever riper, sweeter and more alcoholic.  The best examples display fruit concentration but retain shape and form’.  The panel had found some ‘clumsy addition of tartaric acidity‘, done to add freshness, but it resulted in sourness in some instances.

The Christian Eedes Cabernet Sauvignon Report 2013 Top 10 list is as follows:

*   5 stars:   La Bri 2009 (Irene Waller was the proud recipient), and Le Riche Reserve 2010.

*   4,5 stars:   Graham Beck The Coffeestone Cabernet 2011, Guardian Peak Lapa 2010, Rickety Bridge Paulina’s Reserve 2010, Rudera 2011, Springfield Méthode Ancienne 2006, Thelema 2009, and Waterford 2009.

*   4 stars:   Rust en Vrede 2010.

Burrata served a selection of tasty canapés, including porcini and cheese sticks; sirloin and radicchio crostini; fried crumbed smoked mozzarella, short rib and red pepper risotto balls; and toasted brioche with chorizo, green olive and mint purée.  The restaurant had been cleared of all its table and chairs, to allow the top ten Cabernet Sauvignons to be set up for tasting after the announcement of the top achievers.

It was a treat to catch up with a small select group of ten winemakers, and share their news.  Erika Obermeyer was still excited about her recent trip on the Queen Mary 2 from Durban to Cape Town, spending one day giving lectures to the cruise guests. Irene Waller was excited for Franschhoek (she heads up the local Vignerons association) that two of the top 10 Cabernet Sauvignons are from the wine valley, which is receiving increasing recognition.

Disclosure: We received a bottle of Graham Beck The Coffeestone Cabernet 2011 as part of the media pack.

The Christian Eedes Cabernet Sauvignon Report, www.whatidranklastnight.co.za Twitter: @ChristianEedes  www.sanlamprivateinvestments.co.za

Burrata, The Old Biscuit Mill, 373 Albert Road, Woodstock, Cape Town. Tel (021) 447-6505. www.burrata.co.za Twitter: @BurrataSA   Monday – Saturday, Lunch and Dinner.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio:  www.whalecottage.com Twitter: WhaleCottage

Adoro Mourvedre wine and cheese Taste & Tweet a treat!

Last night Adoro Wines held a Tweet-Up at L’Aperitivo in Loop Street, with twenty-five Cape Town Bloggers and Tweeters invited to join them for a cheese and wine Taste & Tweet.

Erica Liebenberg from Meles PR organised the Taste & Tweet.  She has a number of PR clients, including Graham Beck, Belfriend, Elgin Valley Vintners, Eagles’ Nest, Freedom Hill Restaurant, Glenwood, Hidden Valley, and Paarl Vintners. 

The wine that Adoro winemaker Ian Naude used for the cheese tasting is his Mourvedre, with a port nose, and sweet taste on the palate, having acidity of 8gm per litre and 14 % alcohol, creating a good balance of sweet and sour.  Ian explained that what makes South African wines so unusual is that it makes “old world meets new world wines”.  The Old World (German, French, Spanish) style wines are created from grapes from the Elim/Hermanus area, while the New World Style wines are made from grapes sourced from the Swartland.  Ian says he makes his wines in his head first, and then he decides on the regions from which he can source the grapes to make his dream wine.   The Adoro Mourvedre bottle is an attractive and slim one, described by some as looking like an olive oil bottle.

All present were in agreement that the wine was excellent as an accompaniment to the six cheeses tasted, being the following:

*   Simonsig six-month matured Gouda, a soft cheese with sweet andfruity flavours.  This cheese won second place in matching with the Mourvedre amongst those present.

*   Fairview Roydon Camembert, made from pasteurised Jersey cow’s milk and cream, with some goat’s milk added, and aged for four weeks

*   Asiago is an imported Italian cheese from Veneto, made from pasteurised cow’s milk, and is aged for 12 – 14 months.

*   Taleggio is imported from Italy, made from pasteurised cow’s milk and aged for four weeks

*   Gruyere tasted came from Kleinrivier near Stanford, and had a surprisingly bland taste.  It is classified as a hard cheese and is aged for 4 – 6 months.

*   Gorgonzola is imported from Lombardia in Italy, made from pasteurised cow’s milk and aged for 6 – 8 months.  This cheese was voted as being best matched to the Adoro Mourvedre.

To reflect the reaction of the Tweeters present to the cheeses tasted and their match to the six cheeses, we list the Tweets written during the Taste & Tweet (read from bottom up): 

StefanLuka 8:36pm via web

Verdict: Gorgonzola cheese is voted the best match for Adoro Mourvedre 2009! Couldn’t agree more! Connoisseurs watch out! #adorocheesewine

Final verdict: cheese really works with Adoro Mourvedre ’09 and the wine retails at R110 for 500ml #adorocheesewine

Amazed at the gorgonzola pairing, great match but the asiago wins for me #adorocheesewine

Game over. Now we can park our analysis and just enjoy the evening. Really interesting exercise. Cheers! #adorocheesewine

Best Tweeter at Adoro Taste and Tweet @StefanLuka #adorocheesewine

#Adorocheesewine Seriously guys.

Having a OMG moment with this Gorgonzola, imported from Italy. #adorocheesewine

#Adorocheesewine I really deserve to win.

#Adorocheesewine Vote for me

Last cheese great gorgonzola gastronomic heaven! #adorocheesewine

Gorgonzola wins this for me – wine shines like a superstar #adorocheesewine

#adorocheesewineAdoro Mourvedre & Gorgonzola: a match made in heaven

Find the Gorgonzola shortens the finish of the wine on the first sip. It kinda offers swell of flavours, troughs and peaks #Adorocheesewine

Gorgonzola cheese & Adoro Mourvedre, spirit is lifted & brooding above earthly things, heavenly match & made for lovers #adorocheesewine

Woohoo imported gorgonzola rocking the room! #adorocheesewine

Not my gig @laurencohenGot invite from melespr for the #adorocheesewine Will slap organiser for not inviting you.

@406 Is very excited about the Gorgonzola. apparently “the real cheese has arrived #Adorocheesewine

Ok, final round. Let’s see how it handles gorgonzola! #adorocheesewine

The wine is mouvedre with 14% alc and 60g residual sugar #adorocheesewine

Just in case we forgot to say what this amazing wonder wine is- Adoro Naturally Sweet Mouvedre… #adorocheesewine

Gruyere & 09 Adoro Mourvedre: a symphony of sweet and salty flavours resulting in seamless match, a pure dolce vita concept #adorocheesewine

#adorocheesewinecardboardy gruyere spoils the Adoro Mourvedre ’09

Ok, left field comment: the adoro mourvedre apparently goes well with choc souffle. #adorocheesewine

Gruyere, sweet and salty profile, creamy & nutty (when younger), develops earthly & complex flavour over time, hard cheese #adorocheesewine

Difference of opinion now, gruyere up for some grrr-not for others they balance out…#adorocheesewine

Combination of Gruyere (our first hard cheese) and the Sweet Mourvedre is nuts, full on mushroom flavour has been created #Adorocheesewine

Now tasting gruyere with the wine. Saltiness assertive makes wine too sweet #adorocheesewine

Adoring Adoro Mourvedre 2009, perfect to drink with cheeses, @StefanLuka writes the most beautiful wine tweets #adorocheesewine

#adorocheesewine James diligently taking notes… http://twitpic.com/353l88

@StefanLukaKak! You’re wrong. Raw garbage more like! #Adorocheesewine

#adorocheesewineAdoro Mourvedre: Taleggio cheese intensifies the flavours of the wine

The Taleggio pairing with the Sweet Mourvedre is like a slap in the face. Bam. flavour! Bam Bam! Other flavour! not fun. #Adorocheesewine

Taleggio creamy, tangy delicious! Bit nutty. Wine coping well. #adorocheesewine

Taleggio with its distinct smell & 2009 Adoro Mourvedre from Swartland – a marriage of elegance and raw power. Superb match #adorocheesewine

Italian asiago cheese and this adoro mourvedre like each other are u over it yet, I’m having fun #adorocheesewine

Adoro spam continues…..Now on to Taleggio from the North of Italy, feet smelling wine. Not a good pairing. #Adorocheesewine

Adoro Mourvedre wonderful pairing with cheeses: Asiago, Taleggio, Gruyere, Gorgonzola, Camembert, Gouda #adorocheesewine

@smokingsheddoesn’t normally drink, but loving the Adoro Mouverdre, fab cheese #adorocheesewine

Get stuffed… Not you but where you can buy the wine! #adorocheesewine

3rd cheese from Veneto Italy – Taleggio. So yum & strong – good match #adorocheesewine

#adorocheesewineAdoro Mourvedre, Asiago, creamy sweetness intensified by the wine

Heading into stronger territory, Asiago. 12 – 14 months of ageing. Remarkable that the wine is standing up to it. #adorocheesewine

Taleggio: soft, washed-rind cheese made from cow’s milk, aromatic & mild, tangy, meaty notes, a fruity finish, aged 4 weeks #adorocheesewine

Asiago, from Veneto is semi-soft cheese from cows milk. It was fated to be consumed with this wine. Coming on a bit strong? #Adorocheesewine

Wow – asagio has lovely bite that sings opera with the wine #adorocheesewine

Sweet, passionate and gentle confluence of Asiago and Adore Mourvedre 2009… a poetry in making, a hint of fiery desires #adorocheesewine

The cheese is now asiago. The pairing is killing. Adds massive complexity. I just heard it is “haunting” #Adorocheesewine

Pairing with the Camembert is like a fresh berry falling from a tree, quickly squelching into the mushroomy forest floor #Adorocheesewine

#adorocheesewineasiago up next. For those as clueless as I was asiago is imported italian semi-soft cheese…

Erica from @aussiewinechickis a supremo behind this gorgeous wine and cheese exercise at L’Aperitivo bar #adorocheesewine

I prefer nr 2 @fairviewwinecamembert roydon paired with #adorocheesewine

2nd cheese from @FairviewWine– Roydon Camembert. Creamy & delish. Gouda better with wine #adorocheesewine

@fairviewwineroydon next pairing #adorocheesewine

After the romp home there is a funky, forest floor flavour left behind. #Adorocheesewine

Asiago: cheese from Veneto, Italy, semi-soft, from pasteurized cow;s milk (aged 12 -14 months) & is DOP (Protected origin) #adorocheesewine

#adorocheesewineRoydon camembert & adoro ’09 mourvedre: strawberries & cream

Next cheese Camembert: four week aged from Fairview. I find the wine romps home, trampling the cheese in the process. #Adorocheesewine

Fairview Roydon 4-week aged Camembert paired with Adoro Mourvedre #adorocheesewine http://plixi.com/p/55761479

Cheese 2, Fairview Roydon – yum yum. Creamy but a little cool. Again great affinity withe wine. #adorocheesewine

Camembert and naturally sweet Mourvedre… awesome… like a kissing softly a young lady 🙂 #adorocheesewine

Sorry forgot #adorocheesewine! On the ball now got too carried away with fab mouvedre….

#adorocheesewineAdoro Mourvedre 09 and aged gouda. Better together than apart

“This is a semi-soft or semi-hard cheese” lol only in sa #adorocheesewine

Gouda Tasting with Adoro dessertstyle wine, specially made for pairing with cheese #adorocheesewine http://plixi.com/p/55760726

Hello everyone #Adorocheesewine

The chef says its a semi soft/hard cheese -haha! a gouda from parmalat #adorocheesewine

Adoro has done well to get everyone tweeting. Hoping everyone likes the wine. Good Launch. #Adorocheesewine

#adorocheesewine Fee Mac is loving the fruit garnish with the wine http://twitpic.com/353e5k

Parmalat gouda with adoro works well… Wine a lot lighter than nose gives away #adorocheesewine

The sweet Mouvedre: like a loveable uncle with a sharp wit. #Adorocheesewine

Gouda: traditional hard cheese with sweet & fruity flavours that intensifies with & is made from pasteurized cow’s milk #adorocheesewine

Liking the Gouda with the Mourvedre. Cheese gets more creamy with added nuttiness, wines’ fruit undiminished #Adorocheesewine

First cheese a six-month matured gouda good match #adorocheesewine

Gouda Tasting with Adoro Mourvedre #adorocheesewine

Cheese 1, local gouda. Described by chef as semi-hard or semi-soft. One wag quipped: “sounds like a porno!” #adorocheesewine

#adorocheesewinechef James explaining cheeses gouda up first http://twitpic.com/353d60

At L’aperitivo about to begin tasting new Adoro Natural Sweet Mourvedre. Starting with a Parmalat gouda #adorocheesewine

Gouda is very mild, creamy and fruity cheese which blends in superbly with Adoro Mourvedre Natural Sweet 2009 #adorocheesewine

Natural sweet 2009 Adoro Mourvedre with 14% alcohol rocks… let’s se how the marriage with Gouda will work 🙂 #adorocheesewine

Smells like port but not jammy #adorocheesewine

So we are gonna taste a wine that’s not fortified but it has 60mg residual sugar. #adorocheesewine

#adorocheesewineGreg Ladman’s comments priceless!!

Its a sweeter red wine made to pair with cheese but not fortified #adorocheesewine

This is our naturally sweet Mourvedre(it is not fortified, RS is around 60g/l) #AdoroCheeseWine

One of the first south africans about to taste adoro’s new wine made specialyfor cheese #adorocheesewine

Wine maker Ian naude talking about how this project started #adorocheesewine

Mourvedre from Swartland was our first “cheese wine” (it is very much sought ‘sweetish’ red wine) #AdoroCheeseWine

The basic idea: we need wine that will complement cheese #AdoroCheeseWine


At Adoro cheese and wine Taste & Tweet at Aperitivo #adorocheesewine

#adorocheesewine http://twitpic.com/3539jo

Adoro Wines from Latin word meaning “to adore” #AdoroCheeseWine

A great evening was had by all, and new friendships were made over lovely glasses of Adoro Mourvedre, six cheeses and lovely snacks presented by L’Aperitivo. Dusan Jelic, Tweeting as @StefanLuka, was proclaimed the most creative and eloquent Twitterer of the evening.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage

Franschhoek set to twin with St Helena, Napa Valley

Following a recent visit to the USA by the Franschhoek Wine Valley Tourism Association CEO Jenny Prinsloo, a proposal for a twinning relationship between Franschhoek and St Helena in the Napa Valley is to be evaluated, reports the Franschhoek Tourism Bureau in its latest member newsletter.

According to Ms Prinsloo, the proposed twinning relationship is justifiable on the basis of both towns being members of the Great Wine Capitals, their similar demographic profile, their same high-end real estate offering, their compatible tourist target markets, their location in premier new world wine regions, their shared reputation as gourmet destination towns, their similar accommodation offerings, their similar business profiles, their shared niche speciality shops and art galleries (St Helena is one of two top shopping destinations in California), sharing being high quality lifestyle destinations, and a shared focus on wellness tourism.

The benefits in twinning are overwhelming, with a group of St Helena Chamber of Commerce members  set to visit Franschhoek next year.  Marketing information is to be exchanged, and ideas relating to festivals and events to be shared.   Wine estate and restaurant intern exchanges could result; environmentally sustainable initiatives for the wine estates can be applied in Franschhoek, from the experience gained in this regard in St Helena; school cultural exchanges could follow; social media marketing could be strengthened in Franschhoek, already advanced in St Helena but still poorly adopted in Franschhoek;  guidance in setting up a culinary school in Franschhoek, by the St Helena’s Culinary Institutes of America branch; and Franschhoek expanding its focus on wellness tourism, with the guidance of St Helena’s experience in this field.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com