If you try different wines, you are bound to figure out which wine you like! We are in the throes of winter in South Africa. The Western Cape is not getting enough rains, when this is the rainy season. A cold front has just gone through Joburg, and not too long ago, the clouds sneezed and sprayed us with rains that the Western Cape would have happily taken. Strange times, and strange weather, but the cold is not a shy participant in our theatre. So you might find it odd that in and amongst all this, I bring you a chilled white wine today. The Foundry Viognier 2013 is the wine we tasted late in April 2017, and if like me you pair it with a curry dish, you may want to give it a try now anyway. I picked up this bottle at Caroline’s Fine Wine Cellar, in the very month that we drank it. Some wines seem to linger in the shadows, waiting for you to discover them.
Ironically, the day I bought the wine, it was raining in Cape Town. On the night we had the wine though, there was a chill in the air, perfect setting for a fish curry to pair with the The Foundry Viognier. Unlike the Ken Forrester Viognier, that I shared with you on the Wine With Friends Blog, this Viognier was matured in French Oak barrels for seven months. I knew nothing about the wine when I picked it up, and the only reference point I had was being told that it was made by the same winemaker from Meerlust. I have not verified that.
The website is under construction, with a black and white image of a workshop scene on a farm somewhere, being the first thing I noticed. I did not know that a foundry is a factory or workshop for casting steel, so the image and name now make sense to me. By contrast the image of two bottles of wine on the website is in colour, one a bottle of the Foundry Granache and the other the Foundry Roussanne. “Award Winning South African Wines”, but no sight of the Foundry Viognier.
As per custom, I had poured our wine, and I was waiting for my wine club member so we officially had a quorum to taste for our tasting notes. Chomba was busy debating with Jordan whether Jordan should be using little oil or lots of oil to pan fry the poppadom to go with the fish curry I had already made. I was charmed by the golden colour of the wine in the glass, and I figured the debate might take a little bit longer than I had the discipline to wait for. I thought if I sneak in a taste nobody would notice.
“Oooooohh,” I exclaimed, and that caught Chomba’s attention. That gave my ‘sneak in’ drink away. Her facial expression seemed to disapprove of me starting without her, but she chose to rather engage the wine than me. “Looks like a Chardonnay,” she said, as she eyed and raised her glass towards me. Cheers… It really did look like a Chardonnay, with the rich gold colour in the glass.
What’s interesting is, today, as I was writing this blog post, I did a Google search on the wine, and a couple of tasting notes from people who drank this vintage in 2015, claimed the colour was pale. Do not underestimate how wine changes over time, not just in aromas, taste and flavours but in colour. White wine with age, has a colour shade that becomes more intense. It was an aromatic wine in every sense. Not at all a simple one dimensional scent for the nose. Floral, fruity, peachy in fact, all in concert like notes in harmony.
My second sip, officially the first one for the tasting, this time was not flowing with the floral and fruity nose. It was a little subtle, with more minerality than the nose had hinted. I had experiences of citrus flavours in my mouth dominating the first glass without dinner. I’ll tell you one thing, this was a surprisingly complex wine. Full body, but not heavy. It was well rounded on its own and a mighty star when paired with the fish curry. It was almost as if the wine would change by the glass, starting with citrus flavours, then being more tropical fruit when I was having the wine with dinner.
The wine was a definite HIT for me. As for dinner, the poppadoms were pan fried in not so little oil. I had used Kingklip cutlets for the fish curry, and we had some rice to go with it. I am intimidated cooking fish, but this curry is one of those where I follow the recipe and I get it spot on. It’s a Jamie Oliver recipe I found in his magazine. I learnt the idea of pairing curry with Viognier from the Swirling Dervish and I have enjoyed it as a party trick since. I on the other hand, need to know the people at The Foundry better and taste more of their wine! This wine is not a work in progress, it sure is a good finish.