If you try different wines, you are bound to figure out which wine you like! It’s Women’s Day as I write this, and I am all alone, without any of the women of my life. Apt, considering I am referring back to my wine tasting notes from the last time I tasted wine without Chomba. The irony of wine pairing, on my own, without the Mrs. The Grangehurst Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 is the wine of the moment, and this bottle is available at Woolworths. Two things that I learnt today, the wine farm was bought and renamed in the year that I was born and Jeremy Walker started wine-making in the year that I finished High School. Jeremy’s parents, Eddie and Betty bought the farm.
Grangehurst is a specialist wine farm, and as you have now established has a heavy family influence. Given their size, not all their wines are from grapes on the estate. I had never heard of them, and on the day felt like a bold red wine to go with my dinner. What better grape to go for than a Cabernet Sauvignon from our Stellenbosch wine region. Cabernet Sauvignon is a tricky wine grape through which to explore into the unknown, as the tannins can be a little bit tricky. In some instances, they can be intense, resulting in a mouth drying effect where I feel like I can sense my taste buds elevated from the rest of my tongue. The other side of the intensity of tannins, is a sharp effect that feels like an assault on my nose and throat. The former tannin effect I find intriguing; the latter I don’t enjoy. I chose this bottle because of the vintage, relative to the time the wine spent in wood and it being from Stellenbosch, a region I rate for their Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Grangehurst Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 is a limited release and I am quite fascinated by this deal making Woolworths is doing with different wine farms, as they procure from the wine farmer and procure under that label exclusively. This particular Cabernet Sauvignon was matured for 17 months in French oak barrels and there were only 39 barrels of it. What I don’t know is when it hit the Retailer’s shelves and how much of it they still have left.
I used an aerator to pour the wine, as I don’t have a decanter in Joburg. I won’t say that I was not disturbed when I noticed the foam formation as the wine gushed from the bottle into the glass. I was confident that the wine glass was clean, and had been well rinsed of soap. Given that, it had to be something in the wine itself that caused that effect. “Nothing to worry about”, I convinced myself. “Let’s leave the wine to settle further in the glass”. I took some photographs of the wine for the blog, something I need to get myself used to as my resident photographer, Jordan, is about to go on sabbatical. Dinner was just about ready as well, so while ordinarily I would take my first sip of the wine then, I chose to let it rest, and dish up instead. It was an early supper, 17h00 to be exact, but I had been up since 05h00 in a different province that morning. So a funeral and a long drive back to Joburg from Limpopo is why I was inspired to cook and have my own wine pairing. Not quite wine with friends.
When I was dishing up, I did have to chuckle as I noted that I was monitoring my plating because I wanted to share images of the meal I had so proudly created! The chicken was still sizzling. It had just come out of the oven. Tomato paste, a tin of tomatoes, chopped garlic, capers, Dried Basil and onions inspired this oven bake, which I left open for the last fifteen minutes to allow the chicken to brown. The rice, peas and oven grilled butternut finished the plating, and as I headed to the table, the word dissipated came to my mind for some reason. I was relieved to see the foam was gone from the glass. The wine was a deep, dark and thick blood red colour. Not the best association, but it’s the intensity of the shade of red that best describes it for me.
I loved the nose! I didn’t pick up the oak as I sniffed, which was mentioned on the label, but I did pick up on the dark berries. It was a pleasure to sniff this wine, subtle in the aromas that came through. On sipping the wine, I definitely picked up the tannins before anything else was experienced in my mouth. The wine was a lot lighter than I expected, as I am accustomed to the full bodied bold Cabernet Sauvignon in our South African wine making style. This was a lot softer, and not at all heavy, an easy drink for a Cabernet Sauvignon. At R149-00 a bottle, and given that some people associate the age of the wine with how expensive it should be, this was a good deal. I certainly enjoyed this wine and was pleasantly surprised.
As for the meal, wine paring alone, without the Mrs, was not ideal, but it worked out! This was a classic example of wine by itself being good, and complemented with food, being fantastic. The Grangehurst Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 was a HIT for me and definitely one that I would recommend that you give a whirl.