In this world where everything begs for our attention and our hard-earned money, we all have to sometimes compromise to make things work. We give a little here and take a little there to try and reach an equilibrium somehow between soul and pocket. I do that, too. Having said that, some things I’m simply not willing to compromise on. And one of those are good wines, such as the wines from my beloved Groot Phesantekraal.
When I buy into a brand, it’s about more than just a reputation that I’m placing my complete trust and loyalties in. For me, it’s about the underpinning ethos and values; about integrity and pride. And once I’ve bought into a brand, especially a wine label, I’m loyal to a fault. One of these labels that I refuse to compromise on, regardless of the demands of daily life, is the wines of Groot Phesantekraal.
I was excited to receive a bottle of their Limited Edition Pinotage Berliet 2017 and a bottle of their Chenin Blanc 2018. As expected, I was not disappointed in the least; in fact – these two wines only reaffirmed my deep love for and appreciation of this Durbanville-based hidden gem of a vineyard.
Groot Phesantekraal Pinotage Berliet 2017
This flagship red wine was made by Etienne Louw, a regular recipient of Absa Top 10 Pinotage awards. The farm’s Pinotage is named after the 1927 French Berliet that belonged to André Brink’s late father. Having been meticulously restored, this splendidly orange classic automobile is portrayed on the wine’s label and proudly showcased at the estate.
Awards: 2018 Michelangelo Gold Medal
Tasting notes: This limited release Pinotage exudes characteristics of this uniquely South African variety – ripe red fruit, subtle toasty oak and an elegant tannin structure. This wine will develop further complexity with careful cellaring for 8 to 10 years.
Cellar door price: R135
The Little Hedonist’s food pairing suggestion: It makes a beautiful accompaniment to slow-braised pork belly or hearty game dishes. For the more adventurous, seared salmon or even a dark-chocolate based dessert is recommended. For the shoot, I paired this toasty red with savoury, cheesy palmier biscuits, black smoked garlic squares and a peppery cheese spread as part of a grazing platter.
Groot Phesantekraal chenin Blanc 2018
Awards: 2018 Michelangelo Double Gold Medal
In the vineyard: Intensely fragranced thanks to 56-year-old bush vines
Tasting notes: Clean and crisp with summery stone fruit, pineapple, quince and some spice on the nose. Unwooded and fresh, offering effortless fruit concentration and complexity. Appetising, lip-smacking, bone dry finish.
Cellar door price: R55
The Little Hedonist’s food pairing suggestion: This is an ideal al fresco sipping wine, but if you’re looking for it’s ideal companion, think anything with fruit. Grilled chicken and mango salad, pork chops with apple, even Hawaiian pizza with pineapple. Stilton cheese with fig or cranberries, or creamy fish pates with savoury biscuits. The possibilities are endless!
With a bottle of two (or four!) of Groot Phesantekraal wines in my wine rack, I know I can’t go wrong. I have beautiful sipping wines when I make a nice meal for friends, or a gorgeous indulgence when I am having a bit of me-time. I trust that Groot Phesantekraal wines can elevate a meal from mid-week to classy with the addition of pretty wine glasses and candle light. I depend on Groot Phesantekraal wines to turn a sunny after-work tipple into a sunset experience to remember, or to warm the winter-blues out of my bones at night. And that is why I’m simply not willing to compromise on my wines. It’s not even a question.
Disclaimer: I was given this product(s) as part of a press drop in exchange for my honest and truthful opinion and review thereof. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are solely those of The Little Hedonist, given in good faith and in no way influenced by the company or its affiliates. All images, unless otherwise stated/credited, are also my own.