If you try different wines, you are bound to figure out which wine you like! It sounds obvious, but I choose to remind you of that every blog post, as it’s not easy getting to discover the next amazing thing, when we choose to stick with what we know. Our wine choices are not immune to this vulnerability. I made a promise many weeks ago, and it’s time I delivered on that promise. I could not wait until after Easter, so just last week I popped into Makro in search of a Cabernet Sauvignon. I scanned the shelves for a while, and the winner was the Lanzerac Cabernet Sauvignon 2014.
I have yet to visit Lanzerac. I have heard great things, and have committed to visiting the estate after Easter, when the better half of the wine club is back to savour the fruits of the South African vines with me. The wine bottle cost R142-00 at Makro, so a Category B wine by my account. The status I have associated with the establishment making wines at the foot of the Jonkershoek Valley of Stellenbosch is high, and that is what tipped my choice of bottle over the Springfield Whole Berry Cabernet Sauvignon. I have already tasted the latter, so chose to explore rather than stick with what I know.
Why do I have an elevated expectation of this estate? The name is Lanzerac for a start… I can picture a glamorous French lady, her eyes hidden behind a pair of large black sunglasses, pronouncing that name more elegantly than it comes out of my mouth. Looking at the bottle itself of the Lanzerac Cabernet Sauvignon, it is slim and tall, with the label taking minimal surface area, as it’s all about the bottle and an anticipation of what’s inside. Classy, not snobbish.
It was nightfall, and so this was the wine to accompany dinner. I chose to replay a pairing that had previously gone horribly wrong with a different wine, only this time it was a lamb Thai Curry I had made, and not pork. I poured the wine, and it was an intense and dark ruby red. “I can’t believe it took me this long to taste a Cabernet Sauvignon for the blog”, I thought to myself. I don’t want to say it was a sweet-smelling wine, as that could leave you with the wrong version of the fragrant nature of this wine.
On sipping, the taste was consistent with the nose. It was quite fruity, and dry, with gentle tannins. I like tannins that are gentle and not overbearing, and this Lanzerac Cabernet Sauvignon gave me just that. This is the texture and flavour I enjoy from a Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine was bold, had the right balance of acidity, with berries being the dominant fruit I was picking up.
As for the pairing, it went very well with my dinner. The flavour filled Lamb Thai Curry Bowl complemented by the fruitiness of the wine worked. There wasn’t any friction between the spicy curry and the textures of the wine left in my mouth. I’m glad I went off script and picked up this bottle. It was a definite HIT for me!