I was invited by Erica to attend a wine tasting of the Adoro wines and it was a great couple of hours where I got to meet some fellow bloggers, the wonderful wine maker, Ian Naudé and of course, another opportunity to taste the Mourvèdre. Ian was upset he had not got to taste the lamb shanks I made to be enjoyed with his wine, so I am going to have to invite him for dinner soon. Ian and I agree, wine should complement food and not the other way around.
Ian has set out to leave his thumb print on wines and blending not only in South Africa, but in the world. And, to my taste buds he is succeeding. He believes that it is pointless to use a wine for blending that is better as a stand alone. Ian is a wine blender not a grape grower. He buys his grapes from various farms in various regions – and he will come to a verbal agreement with the owner as to which block of grapes he wants, how they should be treated etc. He will do the harvesting himself when he feels the grapes are ready – usually a week earlier than would be considered the norm. This is done as the acidity to Ian is crucial, and thus under ripe grapes are needed. He takes full control of the grapes and he selects them to fit the blend profile he is looking for. Sorting is done in the vineyard and when it comes time to blending, Ian does this ‘blind’ so that he blends the best wine possible.
Our tasting begun with the Sauvignon Blanc wines – the 2007 and 2008 are a blend of grapes from 5 regions, and the 2009 is a blend of only 3 regions, as these were the best combination. My favourite was the 2008 but this was not the consensus at the table. Most preferred the 2007 which I would use for a risotto instead of using vermouth. However, as these wines are made to for keeping and not only drinking now, you can buy the 2009 which shows a lot of potential.
Our next 3 wines were the Naudé white blend. The grapes are fermented separately in oak for a maximum of 4 weeks and are made in a Chablis style. Ian’s intention is that this wine acts like a sorbet and cleanses the palate. My favourite was the 2007 which would pair well with smoky food – I am going to use this for my meal with Ian. The 2008 lasts longer on the palate and the 2009 has potential. I think we were very spoilt with awesome older wines, that the younger wine just could not stand up to them.
We then moved on to the reds. Ian leaves his grapes to ferment separately before blending and he would like to be known for his red wine, as opposed to the grape varietals in his red wine. The 2005 is heavy on the Shiraz and can be put away and left for a while – and it will go perfectly with rare roast beef. If you want something to drink now, get the 2006 which is a more balanced blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and shiraz.
We ended with the cheese and wine pairing of the Mourvèdre with the cheeses having been supplied by Bon Fromage. Bon Fromage is situated in Newlands and is a supplier of artisanal South African cheeses. The grapes for this wine are from the Swartland region and you will find that it fits in quite neatly between a port and a red wine. This is the perfect stepping stone to progress from a main course with wine, to a cheese platter or chocolate based dessert with the Mourvèdre to coffee and port. The fermentation of these grapes was halted and only 4000 litres of grapes were used for the first release – the 2009. A 2008 will soon follow as the 2009 has nearly been sold out.
This wine was created to complement cheeses as requested by the sommelier at an exclusive London club where membership will set you back £1 000 000. (Yes, you read the correctly). It has to be superb and therefore the cheeses have to match the wine in my opinion and not the other way around.
HAVARTI: NEAR MATCH
GRUYERE: LEAVE OFF THE CHEESE PLATTER
COLBY: BRINGS OUT THE SWEETNESS OF THE WINE SO WON’T MAKE IT ONTO MY PLATTER
Please note, these are my taste opinions and your palate might differ. Also, the information contained in this post is what I gleaned from Ian’s talk and if there are any errors, I offer a sincere apology.
Disclosure: even though I was invited to the wine tasting, I have not received any payment or compensation for this review