A visit to Nederburg is always a pleasure, but my most recent visit was a rather special one. We were invited to experience The Wood Diaries and to learn how different types of oak interact with cabernet sauvignon.
The tasting and blending experience was hosted by Nederburg’s red wine maker, Samuel Viljoen, in the Manor House, which is home to the Red Table Restaurant..
We were divided up into groups of five and given the task of blending cabernet sauvignons, each matured in a different kind of oak.
Samuel presented us with a line-up of four glass jars – one with pieces of American oak, the next with moderately toasted French Oak, then one with intensely toasted French oak and the fourth with Eastern European oak.
We sniffed then all before deciding on our blend which was moderate French oak dominant with equal portions of French intense and American oak.
The moderate French oak we liked for its mocha and caramel flavour, the intense for its spicy, smoky notes and for the majority of our team, some American oak to add a little sweet vanilla character.
We were delighted with our resulting blend and named it Nederburg Quintet, had our blend been deemed the best, we would have to have renamed it the Famous Five……
After the blending experience we got to taste a wide range of Nederburg’s wines. I may not be blessed with the most learned palate on the planet, but it is amazing how my taste buds lock in the more expensive wines. In this case two in particular: The Nederburg Ingenuity, a red blend and the Nederburg Ingenuity white blend.
Over the last couple of years, I have developed a liking for wines made from Italian varietals, so the Ingenuity Red Italian blend was right up my street – it’s a blend of sangiovese (49%), barbera (40%) and nebbiolo (11%). It has a gorgeous nose of dark berries and some spice and strong fruity, and spicy on the palate. I like a red wine with muscles and the Ingenuity Italian blend certainly doesn’t just lie there meekly….and its bottle-shape and labelling are very classy.
The Ingenuity White blend is sauvignon blanc dominated (38%) with chardonnay, semillion, chenin blanc, rousanne, alvarinho, weisser riesling and gewurtztraminer making the rest of the blend. My first sip of it initially revealed the sauvi characteristics and then the softer floral and spicy tones. Because of its taste detail, it should pair very well with a spectrum of meat and poultry dishes.
Two thoughts came to mind on the way home:
There are many fine Nederburg wines I have yet to taste…
The Red Table restaurant beckoned the foodie in me.
Watch this space…