While my parents were here visiting in April, we drove through to Fairview in Paarl to do a wine and cheese tasting. Our host, Liaan was amazing and injected his own opinions of the wine and the cheese while he guided us through the tasting.
We started with the Fairview Sauvignon Blanc 2014 which was paired with the 100% cow’s milk feta. The grapes are from Darling which has a cooler climate than Paarl and the smell of ripe melons was prevalent. The wine had a lovely smooth finish, and the feta is one of my favourite cheeses from the estate. This was followed by the Fairview Chardonnay 2014. 50% of the wine is placed into 3rd fill French oak for 4 months. The wine has a very fresh aroma and soft spice on the palate. This was meant to be served with the 100% cow’s milk brie but was swapped with the traditional Camembert which should have accompanied the Caldera. Our next tasting was the Nurok 2013, a southern Rhone blend of 4 grape varietals that have spent 9 months in 2nd and 3rd fill oak, separately. Nurok is a Lithuanian word meaning diver. The wine has a distinct nose of jasmine blossoms and was served with 100% goats milk chevin which was quite pleasant given that I am not a fan of goats milk cheese. We then moved onto the red wines and started with the Fairview Pegleg Carignan 2010. This Spanish grape was planted in 1972 and the resulting wine is light bodied, with cherry on the nose and licourice on the palate. Our cheese taster was Roydon, a blend of 70% cow’s milk and 30% goat’s milk. I was hoping we would get some of this to take home, but as the queues were so long at the tills when we left, we did not buy any. We then had the Fairview Caldera 2012, a GSM blend, 20% of which has spent 14 months in new fill French oak. The acidity of the wine comes through on the finish. The Fairview Petite Sirah 2012 has been listed as one of the top 1000 wines to try before you die. This hybrid grape has small berries which results in a rich finish and the wine spends 16 months in 2nd fill oak. Unfortunately, the wine was served with a cheese that was far too overpowering for the wine to showcase itself. I would not recommend you try the cream cheese with black pepper unless you really love black pepper. This was followed with the Fairview Eenzaamheid Shiraz 2012 and the grapes are grown on Durbanville shale. Blackberry and herbs come through on the palate, even though this wine has a shy nose. All the grapes come from farms owned by Cyril Back and this Shiraz comes from single vineyards on 2 different farms. The berries are hand picked and selected before going into a basket press and then open oak fermentation barrels. There is minimal punch down and the wine spends 21 months in 100% French oak. The cheese for the tasting is another favourite of mine, the cambazola, which is a blend of camembert and gorgonzola. The last wine scheduled for the tasting was the Fairview Jakkalsfontein Shiraz 2012 with the grapes coming from Riebeek Kasteel. This stunning wine has a nose of cherries and white pepper and was served with the gorgonzola style blue rock. Liaan ended our tasting with a wine that costs R400 per bottle. The 2012 Shiraz is a combination of grapes grown on bush and trellis vines and has a great smoky tobacco palate.
Contact them on +27 (0)21 863 2450 – bookings essential
What I blogged June 10: