Alcohol Drinks Lifestyle Uncategorized Wine

{wine} Good things take time; dining with a trio of Delheim Wines

October 22, 2020

In a world where instant gratification is seemingly the norm, we often overlook the need to wait for good things to happen. A trio of Delheim Wines bottles recently reminded me of the importance of waiting patiently, rather than focusing on the immediate want.

Introduction

It’s not often that I really sit down and think about how much time and effort goes into creating an elegant bottle of wine. When Delheim Wines graciously sent me three of their finest wines, it prompted me to pour a glass and learn more about what all goes into the bottle, other than just the obvious.

What I found, between the corks of Delheim’s wines, after a myriad of carefully executed proceedings, was the quiet, meticulous process of ageing, until perfection is achieved. Many dark moons in a cellar, with patient tweaks and tests by the winemaker, brooding slowly until bottling day arrives. And even then, if saved for a special occasion, it can wait even a bit longer to be savoured. But only if you can resist a taste of Delheim for that long.

And what better way to get to know three classic wines than over a three course meal? Decadently paired to show their most gorgeous colours, I carefully selected a handful of treats to keep the wine company.


Background

High on the slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain, 50 km from Cape Town, lies the family-owned Delheim estate. Here the Sperling family has been making wines of character for many decades. Visitors to the beautiful farm will be greeted by breathtaking views and welcomed by a true sense of family hospitality!

A holistic approach to community and land, to wine making and to enduring good business practices is what sustains Delheim. The aim has always been to nurture a strong culture of sustainable development on the farm and within the community that grows up and works together on the Delheim estate (https://www.delheim.com/).

Old World Heritage

“Not all wines are meant to improve with age and most are produced to be market-ready once they’re bottled,” says winemaker Roelof Lotriet. Delheim’s Old World heritage defines our more classic approach and the reason behind our balanced portfolio of well-made easy-drinking wines and those that will only get better with age.”

Collectors may consider starting with this Delheim trio: a red, white and dessert wine – each a Stellenbosch icon in its own right. Two of the wines – the Vera Cruz Pinotage 2017 and the Edelspatz 2019 – have just scored 95/100 in UK-based Master of Wine Tim Atkin’s 2020 South Africa Special Report. The latter wine was also among the Top 10 selected in the most recent Prescient Dessert Wine Report by Winemag.co.za. The trio is completed with the no less impressive and supremely maturable Chardonnay Sur Lie 2019 (press release).

 

Chardonnay Sur Lie 2019 

The Chardonnay Sur Lie is held back in favour of additional bottle maturation before becoming available.  The wine was left on its lees for nine months, the technique from which it derives its name, before blending and bottling.

Tasting notes: aromas of crisp apples, citrus, stone fruit and quince with subtle nuances of oak. These follow through onto the structured palate.
In the vineyard: 100% Chardonnay
Ageing potential:  eminently suitable for further aging for another five years
Cellar door price: approx. R195 per bottle
 

Vera Cruz Pinotage 2017 (pre-release)

The Vera Cruz is only made in years where outstanding quality is achieved. It is a single vineyard expression intended to represent the best that Delheim can deliver. Full bodied with an opulent tannin structure, juicy palate that will reward with ageing.

Tasting notes: deep crimson colour, ripe dark fruit and floral aromas with hints of spice and mocha.
In the vineyard: 100% Pinotage
Ageing potential:  careful cellaring will allow this wine to age gracefully for at least another 10 years.
Cellar door price:        approx. R470 a bottle
*Please note that even though the images show the 2016 bottle, the tasting notes are for the 2017 vintage.

Edelspatz 2019

The Edelspatz is one of South Africa’s most beloved wines, establishing its reputation over many years. As of next year, the wine will join the Old Vine Project (OVP), the South African initiative certifying wines made from vines older than 35 years.  It will also be the first Riesling vineyard to be registered with the OVP.

Tasting notes: shows classic botrytis characteristics on the nose and is complemented by honey suckle, dried peaches and marmalade
In the vineyard: The block of Weisser Riesling used for its making was planted in 1985 and delivers one of the most exceptional noble late harvest wines in the country.
Ageing potential:  enjoy now or cellar for up to 30 years
Cellar door price: approx. R310 per 375ml bottle

Dining with a Delheim trio

Aged to perfection, these are wines you want to take your time with. I took the opportunity to slow down and sit down to a three course meal. Nothing special or fancy; simply a meal enjoyed leisurely, over several servings and glasses. I enjoy a small plate tapas-style meal, giving me a hint of all my favourite flavours. I guess that is why I enjoy a tasting flight of wines just as much; it’s a chance to explore and adventure without committing to a single one.

Paired to perfection

I started with the Sur Lie Chardonnay, paired with a duo of pulled pork pies. To draw out the gorgeous citrus flavours of the wine, I added a side of syruped clementines, which is pure magic next to the rich pulled pork and crumbly pastry.

For the Vera Cruz Pinotage, I decided to turn up the spice and go classic with a South African national treasure, much like Pinotage itself. Tiny bobotie stuffed vetkoek, perfect for hungry fingers. Bite sized little clouds, the Pinotage lapped up the slight cheekiness of the mince and mellowed it out beautifully. I lost count after my third one, but as the sun started to set on the day, I was left to my own thoughts with a glass of Vera Cruz in my hand. I took a moment or two to reflect on my life, and on how beautiful things are right now.

For dessert, and for the final hurrah, I decided to dress up the Edelspatz with delicate layers of phyllo pastry wrapped around a milktart filling and drizzled with orange syrup. This beautiful fusion of cuisines matched the Edelspatz without hesitation and in totality; the hum of citrus found me closing my eyes in delight. The sweet and crisp; the tangy and syrupy – it was the best type of applause after the show I’ve just enjoyed. Encore.

In conclusion

A lovely moment that lingered slightly longer than a lunch should, but it was a moment in sterling company. Some things are simply worth waiting for, and Delheim Wines carries a promise of excellence that makes the impatient wait worthwhile. Thank you, Delheim Wines, for reminding me to slow down every now and again, and to know that good things will come to those who wait!

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.

 

 

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