Over the years, I’ve slowly been working my way through Flagstone Wines‘ expansive range of wines. And yet, every time I pick a new one up, I’m in awe of not only what’s inside the bottle. Also – of the story wrapped around it.
Flagstone Wines has been one of my favourite labels for as long as I can remember. Putting aside their incredibly lush wines, the storyteller in me is drawn to their branding like a moth to a flame. Each bottle beautifully illustrated, named and cottoned in a gorgeous tale, drinking a bottle of Flagstone is a full sensory experience.
I was very kindly gifted two wines in their Treaty Tree range. A White Reserve 2018 from their Luxury range and a Cab Sauv / Malbec / Merlot / Petit Verdot / Cab Franc 2017 from their Core range.
I simply couldn’t wait to settle down and submerge myself into the wine-coloured pages of the Treaty Tree and continue my journey with Flagstone Wines.
The Treaty Tree range
Cape Town has an ancient tree; a gnarled Milkwood that reaches some 500 years back into our history. This is Treaty Tree, a historical monument in the suburb of Woodstock, that leans out over the corner of Treaty and Spring streets. It has seen massacres, slavery, hangings, treaty signing and once used to peer out over the Woodstock beachfront. Besides famous and infamous events, Treaty Tree has watched everyday life over several centuries. It has stood through shifting climates and all manner of weather. Its shape is an impression of its long relationship with the Cape Doctor.
Treaty Tree’s dendrology will one day offer us snapshots of time, where each year is etched into the tree’s rings. South Africa’s 350-year-old winemaking history speaks to these moments, contained in vintages and accessed as a living memory years later.
It is through this impression that our Treaty Tree red and white blends are named. The berries that go into these wines weather elements longer than most of our grapes. We flirt with disaster and trust that the extra time on the vine will compose a wine worth pausing to enjoy, to engage the moment and to reflect on the climatic journey from seed to cellar (press release).
Treaty Tree Reserve White Reserve 2018
Not the greatest fan of Sauvignon Blanc, I instantly become weak at the knees as soon as there’s a hint of Semillon involved. This golden skinned grape is usually added to white blends in relatively small percentages. Semillon has a delicious way of breaking through the crispness of especially Sauvignon Blanc with its signature juicy fruit palate and heavenly warm and slightly warm citrus aromas. It brings a certain fullness to a blend; a robust indulgence that one can simply not leave unanswered.
Tasting notes: On the nose the wine jumps out of the glass with focused aromas of asparagus, fresh thyme, gooseberry and sweet melon. In the background, a hint of white pepper and nutmeg.
In the vineyard: 65% Sauvignon Blanc, 35% Semillon
In the cellar: 53% American & 47% French, 30% new oak for 12-18 months
Ageing potential: Enjoy now or keep for 3-5 years
Cellar door price: approx. R120, available from Norman Goodfellows and the Flagstone Cellar Door in Somerset, including the online shop.
The Little Hedonist’s food pairing suggestion: Beautifully and gently aged, the Treaty Tree White Reserve feels alluring in the mouth, with just a hint of toastiness. Incredibly complex, I needed to go back to basics with my food pairing. But more on that later.
In general, this white blend pairs well with shellfish and fish, but can hold its own just as amazingly against slivers of medium-rare steak, which will allow you to experience the full power and bold character of the wine.
Treaty Tree Cab Sauv / Malbec / Merlot / Petit Verdot / Cab Franc 2017
Tasting notes: On the nose summer fruits like strawberry, cherry and black-ripe
youngberry, cassis, fennel and the faintest hint of basil.
In the vineyard: 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Malbec, 16% Merlot, 11% Petit Verdot, 8% Cab Franc
In the cellar: 53% American & 47% French, 30% new oak for 12-18 months.
Ageing potential: 5-7 years
Cellar door price: approx. R145, available from Norman Goodfellows and the Flagstone Cellar Door in Somerset, including the online shop.
The Little Hedonist’s food pairing suggestion: An explosion of dark berries and red stone fruit, with gorgeously lingering hints of herbs and chocolate, this Bordeaux-style blend was meant for meat.
For two such complex and interesting blends, I decided to go back to absolute basics. I was worried about overwhelming or underselling the unique profiles of these two wines by pairing it with dominant flavours.
I fell back on a classic. Oven-grilled yellow-fin tuna steak (which I got from Greenfish), stripped to the bare essentials and without any of the frills.
I am easily seduced by a humble meal with few ingredients, especially when this meal is companionable to both red and white wines. The “red or white” debacle being an age-old question in The Little House, it was the perfect meal to please both our wine fancies.
Alongside a generously meaty tuna steak, I added a few handfuls of crispy roasted baby potatoes, griddled lemon rounds and a fresh, peppery rocket salad. There’s nothing quite as charming as a tray bake, especially when coupled with two spendid wines.
The Treaty Tree White Reserve loved the seafood-centred meal and the freshness of the rocket salad. The darker red blend lapped up the richness of the yellow fin tuna as if it was a red meat, and paired exquisitely with the slightly savoury soy marinade and soft, pillowy potatoes.
Two incredible wines around which you can create your own Treaty Tree snapshots of time. These wines don’t need much. Low light, maybe a few flickering candles. A table filled with your loved ones, conversations speckled with laughter and clinking glasses and a few plates of hearty food. It begs for an appreciation of the small things in life – those little things, those timeless memories, that will make us pause for an extra moment whilst sipping gratefully from the glass of life.
Thank you, Flagstone Wines, for allowing me to continue creating new memories around your beautiful bottles.
Join the Flagstone Wine Club, Annual membership is free. Your only commitment is to buy 24 bottles of wine per year, at a discounted price http://www.flagstonewines.com/wine-club/
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.