Every time I lift a bottle of Lourensford Estate wine from its box, my breath catches a little. Maybe it’s the exquisite artwork on the label, maybe the heavy smoothness of the glass as I cradle it in my hands. Maybe it’s just knowing that I’m holding something pretty spectacular.
Growing up, Lourensford has always only been a destination for me. I’ve been to their markets in summer and walked in their historic gardens plenty times. I’ve had day trips with family to marvel at the ancient buildings, or simply to delight in their ice coffees at the roastery.
It’s only recently that I’ve started to uncork their wines with my first introduction with a beautiful bottle of The Dome Ethel, a red blend second to none.
This time around, I was gifted a bottle of The Dome Pinot Noir 2018. Pinot Noir is one of my favourite black varietals, but I’ve never quite found “the bottle.” I somehow instinctively knew that day, as she lay between my hands in all her dark and moody decadence, that this might be the love affair I’ve been searching for.
Lourensford Estate was once part of neighbouring Vergelegen, which was established by Willem Adriaan van der Stel in 1709.
The estate has a proud history as a world class fruit farm and the winemaking tradition was revived when Dr Christo Wiese purchased Lourensford in 1998. The scenic splendour, winery, restaurant, coffee roastery, art gallery, outdoor markets and music concerts, as well as cycling and trail-running events ensure Lourensford is a popular tourist destination (https://lourensford.co.za/).
The Pinot Noir grape
Heavily cultivated since early days in Burgundy, France, this grape is still not that widespread in South Africa. The first variety planted in South Africa dates to 1927 in the Stellenbosch area, where it seemed to grow easier than in other areas of the Cape. Having said that, there’s been a recent surge in Pinot Noir vineyards planted across the province, with the Hemel-and-Aarde Valley proving near perfect conditions for Pinot Noir. These days it’s mostly used to create premium single quality varietal still wines, as in the case of Lourensford’s The Dome Pinot Noir.
The Dome Pinot Noir 2018
Tasting notes: Bright ruby-red in colour. Fresh, ripe cherries with an undertone of leather on the nose. On the palate, the wine has a silken texture and gamey complexity.
In the vineyard: 150m above sea-level, close to the Lourens River
In the cellar: Spent 13 months in older barrels. Only the finest barrels were selected.
Cellar door price: approx. R170
The Little Hedonist’s food pairing suggestion: Best served slightly chilled, this stunning wine loves food and is suitable to pair with most fish, poultry and venison dishes. Contrary to popular belief, this is the perfect wine to sip on during those long, hot summer’s days with its refreshing berry aroma.
I selfishly didn’t want to overwhelm the wine with heavy meat-based food, so I decided to pair it with a simple, festive cheese platter. Adding some weight to the fruits and veg, I opted for a few handfuls of roasted, salty nuts and a hearty helping of matured, creamy Cheddar. This is an easy way to present light snacks pre-dinner, and a great way to showcase the depth and complexity of the Pinot Noir.
This Christmas day, I’ll also be serving it with a side of cold-smoked salmon and bowls of silky pasta salad. This fruit-driven Pinot Noir loves fatty fish like salmon, as the fats in the fish and the tannins in the wine bring out the best in each other.
For the sweet tooth, pair The Dome Pinot Noir with your Christmas treat table. Dark chocolate is a natural choice when a bold red wine is being served. And for those of you who, like me, devours fruit cake and mince pies, settle down on the couch with a slightly chilled glass of Pinot Noir to really enhance this festive experience.
A beautiful, versatile offering from Lourensford for those who would like to make the acquaintance of a good, sturdy Pinot Noir. I could almost become lyrical about this bottle, as there is so much to explore once the cork is pulled and it’s taken its first breath of air. I could almost write an ode to The Dome Pinot Noir 2018, but that would just be silly, because the wine does all the talking.
Thank you, Lourensford, for sending “the bottle” my way. This is truly the start of a spectacular relationship, and a love affair that will extend way past traditional boundaries.
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.
The Little Hedonist endorses responsible drinking.