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linton park cabernet sauvingon 2008

What I should have said was something along the lines of...

"Many thanks everyone for coming along today. As you can see from the list in front of you we are about to be spoiled by a tasting of Linton Park Wines from South Africa. It is my pleasure and delight to introduce the Cellar Master of Linton Park, Hennie Huskisson, who has been bribed royally to come along today and take us through his wines"

My mumbled introduction was more along the lines of "ummm, South African wines... ahh, cough, from Linton Park... South Africa and, um, we have Hennie Huskisson.. over to you..." or somesuch nerves-deflated nonsense. Public speaking just aint by strong point. Still the wines were the stars for this, the third outing, in the ARSE series - Andrew's Really Secret Tasting.

Overall the wines were stunning; as was fitting for the assembled tasters - the pinnicle of the wine and food blogging/writing fraternity - the wines were at the upper echelons of the estates range. As I was diverted with 'organisational issues' my notes were a little light-weight and it was only when relaxing after the highly enjoyable tasting, that I realised just how scrumptious they all were. The reds showed certain stylistic similarities - lovely balanced, weighty palate and pure flavours with a precise New World style fruit but one tempered by an Old World nod towards drinking with food.

One surprise across the tasters was just how delicious the lightly wooded Chardonnay was. I'm as guilty as the next for hunting out the obscure and neglected grape variety from some forgotton backwater but tasting the Linton Park Chardonnay 2009, with its pear, fig and melon flavours, reminds one just why Chardonnay is such a popular wine, especially with an edge of oak.

Of the reds it was the Linton Park Reserve Shiraz 2007 that really impressed. Described as a "brazen New World style Shiraz" it certainly captivated me with a chocolate edged meatiness, plenty of peppery fruit and a lovely mouthfeel. The recommended retail price is perhaps a quid or two above what I'd expect to pay, at £19.99, but heck, what's two quid?? But go to the SAWinesOnline website, the only UK retailer of this range at the moment I believe, and they have it listed at £13.99. Bargain.

While there is no legal definition of 'reserve', at Linton Park they have utilised superior quality fruit to give their 'reserve' range a boost in the quality stakes. There is a noticable step-up in terms of definition, balance and flavour profile between the non-reserve wines and their higher quality range. Which is not to say the non-reserve range is not worthy of attention; in fact I actually perferred the fruitier 'normal' Merlot over the Reserve bottling. Worth trying both.

Jez, the Wine Twit, has also compiled a post on the event. Hopefully others who came along will do the same and give these lovely wines a little publicity.

The Wines with some food suggestions from the estate:

Linton Park Sauvignon Blanc 2008, [Adegga / Snooth]
"Chicken Saltimbocca mothered in parmesan cheese and rolled with mozzarella and prosciutto and backed in white wine"

Linton Park Chardonnay 2009 [Adegga / Snooth]
"spinach salad, toasted almonfs and bits of dried cranberries are tossed together in a bowl and dressed wth a sweet and tangy vinegar and oil dressing full of sesame and poppy seeds. An absolute must is salmon with a creamy dill sauce"

Linton Park Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 [Adegga / Snooth]
"A delecatbale demi-glace of slowly simmered lamb trimmings, garlic, onions, celery, port, red wine, chicken broth, rosemary and mint"

Linton Park Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 [Adegga / Snooth]
"Roast and any red meat cuts for barbeque"

Linton Park Merlot 2007 [Adegga / Snooth]
"Elegant stuffed veal medaillions made with asparagus and provolne cheese breaded and fried, then slow cooked to a brilliant finish in a mushroom wine sauce"

Linton Park Reserve Merlot 2005 [Adegga / Snooth]
"Beef and lamb roast and game birds"

Linton Park Shiraz 2008 [Adegga / Snooth]
"Roast turkey seasoned with salt and pepper and basted with turkey stock"

Linton Park Reserve Shiraz 2007 [Adegga / Snooth]
"Springbok Carpaccio, duck, oxtail and lamb cuts"


Linton Park Wine tasting


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