Whatever the occasion, I know that when I pull a bottle of Groot Phesantekraal wine from my wine rack, something magical is about to happen. Filled with history, heritage and just a touch of whimsy, these wines will always be the tricks up my sleeve.
We all have our favourites, and these days we readily use the phrase to describe everything and anything we like. Like many others, I have plenty favourites when it comes to wine, but they are mostly linked to occasion, feeling or mood.
Groot Phesantekraal wines have been a firm favourite of mine since they crossed my path a couple of years ago. But not for this or that reason; for every reason. They are my favourite food wine, in the true sense of the word. My favourite alone-time, sipping-on-the-couch wine. My favourite family-and-friends wine. My favourite dressed-to-impress wine. My favourite dinner-by-candlelight wine. My favourite life-is-good wine. Winter or summer, rain or shine, Groot Phesantekraal’s wines continue to charm me endlessly, to the point where every bottle I open, calls for a celebration.
Just 20 minutes from Cape Town, peacefully tucked away within the Tygerberg Hills on the outskirts of Durbanville, a rural gem awaits you, where the rich heritage, dating back to 1698, is woven into the very fabric of the estate. This is Groot Phesantekraal. Once a reposing farm with rolling wheatlands, vineyards, grazing cows and sheep, this historic estate latterly saw a quiet evolution under the guidance of fourth generation owners, André and Ronelle Brink, elevating it to the top of any wine explorer’s to-do list (press release).
Groot Phesantekraal Sauvignon Blanc 2019
The newly released 2019 Sauvignon Blanc has just been awarded a Double Gold at the 2019 Michelangelo Awards, following on from a series of accolades for previous vintages including Double Gold at Veritas, four placings in the Top 20 of the FNB Sauvignon Blanc Awards as well as two placings in the Top 10.
Tasting notes: tropical fruit, with passion fruit and guava dominating. The palate is still very youthful, with mouth-watering grapefruit and lemongrass notes along with cut grass and gooseberries.
In the cellar: This Sauvignon Blanc becomes better with age, with the tropical nose tending to develop onto the palate after 6 to 12 months.
Cellar door price: approx. R85 per bottle
The Little Hedonist’s food pairing suggestion: did you know Sauvignon Blanc means “wild white?” This widely popular white wine variety is different from other white wines because of its herbaceous notes and hints of green. Because of this, this younger Sauvignon Blanc pairs beautifully with any fresh herbs, including parsley, rosemary, basil, coriander or mint. This could form a base for summer salads, light and zesty pastas or even grilled chicken dishes. If you want a quick snack, some goat’s cheese bruschettas would be a complete treat paired with this Sauvignon Blanc.
Groot Phesantekraal Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon was recently honoured with a 2019 Michelangelo Gold Medal, endorsing a fine pedigree which includes Michelangelo and Veritas Gold Medals for previous vintages.
Tasting notes: medium-bodied palate shows Cabernet’s cooler flavours including spearmint, red berries and plum, supported by a bright line of acidity.
In the cellar: well integrated elevage in French oak and fine, soft tannins makes for a rounded, seamless finish. Accessible now, but better in 3-5 years.
Cellar door price: approx. R120 a bottle
The Little Hedonist’s food pairing suggestion: one would immediately assume a Cabernet Sauvignon craves a red-meat dish, but in fact, its beautiful complexity makes it a suitable side-kick to a multitude of different dishes. Yes, it’s a winner with lamb, burgers and braised beef, but what about pairing this gorgeous red with vegetables? Moussaka, herby oven-roasted mushrooms with creamy polenta, or hard, aged cheeses such as parmesan, aged gouda or cheddar, or even a beautifully blue cheese.
Allow breathing time to open up, or decant an hour before serving.
For this shoot, I paired these two with a festive pastry wreath. Spinach and feta triangles and delicious morsels of herby pork pies, all quickly russled up with frozen puff pastry and a little bit of imagination.
Groot Phesantekraal’s wines simply burst with goodness, quality and promises of non-compromise. They are guaranteed conversation starters around the table and will always make up the front row of my wine artillery. There are some things that are just more favourite than your favourites, and in my case, it’s the beauties that Groot Phesantekraal so lovingly bottle.
Thank you, Groot Phesantekraal, for spoiling me with two of your most indulgent festive gifts. I have reserved two seats for these bottles on my Christmas eve dinner table, ready to share with family over a great meal, as they were intended.
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.