To say I’m obsessed with this time of the year is putting it quite mildly. There’s just something about the turning of the seasons, the interlude between winter and spring, that really feeds my soul. Whilst we slowly wake after our winter slumber and turn our faces to the brightness of the pending summer, I’ll be enjoying the perfect inter-seasonal wine to help the journey along: Welgegund Heritage Wines‘ Providence 2015.
I hold a very dear place for Welgegund Heritage Wines in my heart. I’ve had the privilege of tasting a number of their stunning wines, and I’ve always been impressed and excited by their offerings and commitment to continuous quality and excellence.
Their Providence 2015 is a song that must simply be sung; so much so, that I’ve blogged on it before, along with their beautifully complex Chenin Blanc 2017.
I was delighted when a bottle of Providence 2015 crossed my desk. This time around, I decided to turn this ode into the centerpiece of an interseasonal Sunday lunch arrangement. I definitely didn’t hear any objections from The Tall Hedonist.
Nestled at the foot of the magnificent Hawequa mountains in Wellington, lies Welgegund Heritage Wines. Welgegund means ‘well-bestowed’ and you don’t have to venture far to experience the fruits of its blessings. A place of natural beauty, with heritage buildings dating back to the early 1800’s and a unique fingerprint of terroir and climate, this family-owned boutique wine farm has seen major restoration over the past four years under new ownership.
The new dawn at Welgegund includes the comprehensive rehabilitation and rejuvenation of the 35-hectare estate embracing the fynbos and dryland vineyards, including the very old chenin blanc (1974), cinsault (1974) and carignan (1979) bush vines, as well as a new winemaker. Friedrich Kühne, ex Doolhof wine and vine man, also joined the team in 2014, bringing with him a wealth of experience gained in South Africa, France and the USA, and a passion for producing high quality wines (press release).
Welgegund Providence 2015
Awards: It was honoured at the 2018 National Wine Challenge with Double Gold as well as 4 stars in the 2018 Platter’s wine guide and Silver at the Decanter World Wine Awards and Concours Mondiale.
Tasting notes: The shiraz provides tremendous body and structure, adding dark fruit and spice while the cinsaut component adds plenty of red fruit, freshness and youth. The carignan contributes to the enjoyable and lengthy end to the wine. This wine is predominantly fruit driven with undertones of subtle oak. Complex dark fruit (mulberry, blackberry and black cherry) as well as some red cranberry fruit notes are complemented by cloves, nutmeg and a hint of pepper. The tannins are soft and extremely silky. Drink now, with further ageing beneficial.
In the vineyard: Dryland bush vine, made up of 60% Shiraz, 30% Cinsault and 10% Carignan
In the cellar: All cultivars were fermented separately and spent 16 months in 95% French and 5% American oak. Only 30% new oak was utilized, respecting the fruit and the unique character of each cultivar.
Cellar door price: Welgegund Heritage Wines Providence 2015 is currently only sold at the cellar, for R320 (excl VAT) per bottle, but will soon be more readily available nationally.
The Little Hedonist’s food pairing suggestion: This elegant bottle of fruit-driven, Rhône-style red blend begs for sophistication and delicate flavours. Just a touch of spice, but lashings of bold flavours and dark layers. Something rich to soak up all those gorgeous tannins. But also something light, so that you don’t under-appreciate the delicious ripe fruit juiciness.
Of lamb and spice
I decided on a Moroccan lamb salad. Instead of lamb chops, I found beautiful lamb steaks, marbled to perfection, with a nice ratio of fat to lean meat. In keeping the base of the salad quite neutral, I combined baby spinach, cucumber twirls, chunks of silky danish feta, roasted butternut cubes and thinly sliced red onion. I flash-fried the lamb steaks in a Moroccan spice rub marinade, and left to rest for 12 minutes. I sliced them diagonally in thick, indulgent slices, perfect for layering on the bed of salad.
Earlier in the day, I roasted a can of chickpeas in the oven with a drizzle of olive oil. After 35 minutes, they are golden brown and crispy. I added a touch of spices afterwards, so not to compromise the crunch factor. Deliciously addictive, half of the roasted chickpeas disappeared from the bowl before it made it onto the platter.
One final touch with a few dollops of tzatsiki dip, and I called The Tall Hedonist to the table.
The juicy, fatty lamb did Providence 2015 all sorts of favours. The crisp freshness of the salad reminded me of long summer’s days, whilst the deep textures of the wine lured me back into comfort and warmth. The Moroccan spice married the nutmeg, pepper and clove spices in the red blend, whilst the slightly salty chickpeas elevated the dried fruit undertone.
An ode to the passing winter, and an ode to new beginnings. Providence 2015 is perfect for all seasons, but my favourite pairing will always be in those spaces in-between.
Thank you, Welgegund, for having created this beautiful ensemble, which sings a song of seasons, and all the beauty and promises they hold.
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.