To some extent, most of us are sitting around and somewhat (im)patiently waiting for the restrictions on the sale of alcohol to be relaxed and lifted. Whilst we do, I’d like to introduce you to two offerings from Flagstone Wines that should be right at the top of your re-stock list.
We’ve all been nervously watching our dwindling wine collection deplete during the last couple of months as we continue to live in this lock-down state of the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of focusing on the empty spaces in my wine racks, I’m choosing to concentrate on what I’m going to be filling it with post-lockdown.
I don’t have to tell you how important it will be for us to support our local businesses (including our beloved wine estates) post-lockdown. There are many wine farms that are currently offering incredible lockdown specials, which will be delivered as soon as it’s allowed. Others will survive purely because of loyal returning customers, who will once again fill their tasting rooms and buy straight from the cellar door.
Two wines that I’m going to beg you to add to your “to-buy” list post-lockdown, are both from one of my favourite wine makers, Flagstone Wines. Before the lock-down, I was sent two of their prized bottles of wine: the Flagstone Longitude 2018 and the Flagstone Free Run 2018.
Flagstone is a winemaker-driven wine business, rather than a marketing-led business. This means they first do what is right for the grapes and the wine and only then worry about how to sell the gorgeous stuff. More than most, they are totally committed to making honest, real wine that is an authentic reflection of its provenance, even if this means taking the hard path. They believe that this is the only sustainable, honourable way. Take time to discover their wines – we are all born creative (https://www.flagstonewines.com/our-story/).
Flagstone Longitude 2018
The building depicted on the front of the label is the Time Ball Tower which still stands in the Cape Town Harbour. Longitude is Flagstone’s way-finder wine, a place where people enter the quirky world of Flagstone.
To me, Longitude 2018 is a joyful celebration of some of the amazing red cultivars we grow in South Africa, and most certainly my anthem for the pending winter months. Smooth, delectably dark and warming from the inside out, a perfect wine to share (or not!) on a cold, dark night.
Tasting notes: An explosion of plums and dark berries. Spicy undertones of coriander and cloves with a hint of fresh mint gives this wine dimension. The palate is all about silky tannins and length. Flavours of plum and berries combined with subtle tannins, makes this a smooth wine on the palate.
In the vineyard: 50% Shiraz, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Malbec
Cellar door price: approx. R65 per bottle
The Little Hedonist’s food pairing suggestion: Shiraz is great with grilled meats, especially game meats and stews. Malbec, bringing a fuller body to the blend, wants to be paired with bold flavours. It loves a lean meat, and could even lend itself to lighter meats, like roast pork or turkey. Cabernet Sauvignon is the ultimate carnivore’s wine – great with nearly all red meat cuts, especially steak and ribs.
All things considered, I’ve chosen to best pair Longitude 2018 with lamb. Simple and beautiful. Chargrilled herby lamb chops, a warming lamb curry or even a fragrant Moroccan lamb stew. Add a few handfuls of earthy vegetables and bold spices, such as mushrooms, freshly ground black pepper and if you’re daring, even blue cheese! A stunning easy meal would be home made lamb burgers with a blue cheese sauce, and chunky hand cut fries.
For the non meat eaters, what about quick-seared ahi tuna steaks, coated in crushed rainbow peppercorns. This red blend is so versatile that it would most certainly appeal to most palates and tastes.
Flagstone Free Run 2018
While Sauvignon Blanc can be grown virtually everywhere, there are very few places that can produce a Sauvignon Blanc of stunning quality. The Flagstone Free Run Sauvignon Blanc holds everything that I want in a glass of crisp white: it’s deeply complex, bold; yet zesty, filled with luscious green scents that leave your mouth watering for the next sip.
Tasting notes: a complex nose of green pepper, fig leaves, passion fruit and limey aromas is followed by a distinctive, bright flintiness.
In the vineyard: 100% Sauvignon Blanc, with grapes from Elgin and Elim
Cellar door price: approx. R120 a bottle
The Little Hedonist’s food pairing suggestion: I want to pair this exquisite white with something that will do one of two things: it must either break through the zestiness of the Sauvignon Blanc with creamy textures, or compliment it through fresh greens.
Rich, garlic butter grilled calamari would be great with this citrussy Sauvignon Blanc, or maybe a creamy pea soup, as both are rich and indulgent. A goat’s cheese pairing would also enhance the natural brightness of the wine, as it laps up the fatty goodness of the rich cheese. Risotto or a cream-based pasta dish – perfect for winter. Who said you can’t have white wine when it’s cold?
Otherwise, to keep it light and fresh, pair Free Run 2018 with lightly steamed spring vegetables, like asparagus, tenderstem broccoli or sugarsnap peas. Another great, refreshing combination would be – wait for it – with tomato! Fresh tomato dishes such as a gazpacho or salsa would be a lovely match for the mineral undertones of the wine. Fresh herbs are also great with this type of greener Sauvignon Blanc, so think soups and salads with handfuls of fresh basil, dill or coriander. Avocado’s? Best friends forever.
And let’s not forget the classic sushi and dim sum pairings. Great with such a food-loving white.
I can’t wait to fill up my empty wine racks again post-lockdown. There is so much beautiful wine out there, waiting to be explored, paired and enjoyed. The Flagstone Wines range is diverse and vast in its offerings. I’ve made it my mission to slowly experience each one in its own time. I encourage you to take on the challenge, too. These two bottles are the perfect place to start!
Thank you, Flagstone Wines, for always indulging me with your stunning wines!
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.
Don’t drink and drive. Not for persons under 18.