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February 16, 2005
It is Wine Blogging Wednesday - how excited are you!? This month it is hosted by an ex-pat South African under the auspices of Cook Sister. Her theme is South African Reds. My choice is a superb red - bloody lovely it was.
Flagstone Wines The Berrio, 2003, Western Cape, South Africa.
Limited Parcel at Oddbins £9.99.
Superb aroma – deep stewed black fruits with hints of spice, mint and chocolate, warm. Palate is very rich with smooth generous tannins and masses of complex flavours; a medley of red fruits, blackberries and cinnamon spice. Acidity appeared a little high at the moment but this should pass with some bottle age or when enjoyed with food. A blend of 97% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc. The Berrio, incidently, was one of the first ships to sail around the Cape with de Gama in 1497.
Scribblings Rating - 96/100
Rear Label – “This is a wild, tough part of the world. The belligerent ocean batters this rough-cut limestone coastline. The soil is as unyielding as the clouds and the icy wind will blow you flat on your back if it wants to. It’s a magical, mysterious place and you know in your bones it’s where you have to be. The hand-crafted wine you are drinking is our attempt to translate the spiritual essence of this place.”
Rather than repeat the content from the company website, by empowering the wonder that is the internet howsabout a link direct to the relevant page -
I think this is a small parcel sent to the Oddbins shops only; it is not available online.
Food Match – it needs food really, the acidity stands out a tad at the moment. For a themed match I was looking at doing something ‘South African’ although my knowledge of their cuisine stops at knowing they have a Malay influence and Dutch as well I suspect. Waitrose had three different South African imported sauces on the bottom shelf from a company called Walnut Ridge something called Karoo Farmstyle Apricot, a Malay Curry and a third that I have now forgotten. (Anyone tried these? Are they any good?) Not too sure that a ready-made cooking sauce is really in the spirit of my bon-vivant lifestyle though! ;-)
A rather delicious Italian salami caught my eye at the Waitrose deli counter; which ended up in a pasta sauce. Not very South African I admit; penne pasta, porcini mushrooms, tin of tomatoes, a healthy sprinkling of SoGo Italian Herbs (which is made in South Africa so there is a connection), a little chopped onion, a splash of wine, garlic and the sausage that had been gently browned. Lovely and rather a good match to the wine.
Posted on February 16, 2005 04:25 AM
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Hi Andrew - great choice! Flagstone are one of the very much up & coming SA estates for reds and are winning some pretty high accolades. Thrilled to hear this one lives up to expectations!
As for SA cuisine, you should have asked!! I would have served this with a nice little kudu or springbok fillet - failing which, some local game from Borough Market would no doubt also have worked. Haven't tried the ready made sauces you mention, but if you find Ina Paarman's sauces (I think Selfridges & Harvey Nicks do them??) just buy as they are all excellent. But if you are going to move away from SA cuisine, I can't think of a better match than a tomato-based pasta sauce. Yum.
Posted by: Jeanne at February 16, 2005 10:34 AM
I expect that kudu and springbok might be a little too outlandish for my local butcher here in Henley :-) But thanks for the tip on the sauces; next time I nip up to London I'll slip into Selfirdges for a look.
Thanks for hosting the WBW this time around.
Posted by: Andrew at February 16, 2005 04:53 PM