{wine} It all starts with the soil: Zandvliet’s Shiraz 2017 and Chardonnay 2019

Visiting Zandvliet Wines in Robertson is always a pure, unadulterated pleasure for me. Not only are they steeped in glorious wines, but also in rich history, unique “kalkveld” soil and just a touch of magic.

Introduction

My feet always find the turn to Zandvliet Wines when I visit the Robertson Wine Valley. Eternally eager to show it off to someone new, it’s often also just a self-indulgent visit for me. I feel  whimsied and mesmerised every time I walk into their tasting room, the anticipation of an almost magical tasting about to unfold.

There’s not a single wine of theirs that I do not enjoy utterly and fully; from their moody, ruby reds to the more lighter style wines and dessert wine. I was absolutely thrilled to recently receive two Zandvliet wines: the 2017 Shiraz and the 2019 Chardonnay.

Intent of incorporating Zandvliet’s ode to the earth in my food pairing, I instinctively knew what I would offer in return for a taste of these wines.

Background

For many, Zandvliet is the home of Shiraz. The wine estate was among the first in the country to bottle the noble cultivar. But Shiraz is not the only variety that thrives on the farm. It has attained a loyal following among cognoscenti who eagerly await every new vintage of Chardonnay and other classic offerings, too.

The sprawling property straddles the Cogmans River, with the great Langeberg Mountains casting a broad arm around from the north and dwindling to the south-east. A small range of low limestone hills lies on Zandvliet’s southern half, bringing the special magic to its calcareous earth, or kalkveld, terroir.

And so it has been for centuries and continues to be with Zandvliet within the Van Loveren portfolio since October 2019. Here, time-honoured tradition meets modern-day expertise to produce pure luxury in a glass  (press release).

Recognition for history and unique terroir

Zandvliet wines remain consistently recognised for their timeless elegance, style and quality. Most recently, Zandvliet received Platinum for Hill of Enon Small Berry Pick 2018, Double Gold for Kalkveld 2016 and, Double Silver for the Zandvliet Shiraz 2016 at this year’s NWC/Top 100 SA Wines Challenge, re-affirming Zandvliet’s status as one of South Africa’s leading producers.

Zandvliet  Chardonnay 2019

Tasting notes:  Flavours of lime, nectarine, passion fruit and peach on the nose with hints of butterscotch. These flavours follow through onto a harmonious balanced palate that lingers on the aftertaste.
In the vineyard:  100% Chardonnay
In the cellar:  Fermented in French oak barrels and matured in barrel on the lees for 6 months.
Awards & Accolades:

GOLD WINE AWARDS Gold – 2019
VITIS VINIFERA Gold – 2019
MICHELANGELO Gold – 2018
Cellar door price: approx. R120 a bottle

Zandvliet Shiraz 2017

Tasting notes:  A ripe complex nose showing flavours of plums, blackcurrants and pepper with hints of mixed spice. These deep flavours follow through to a seamless, supple and complex palate with added hints of dark chocolate.
In the vineyard:  100% Shiraz
In the cellar:  Matured in seasoned French and American oak barrels for 18 – 24 months.
Awards & Accolades:
GOLD WINE AWARDS Gold – 2016
VITIS VINIFERA Gold – 2016
WINE MAGAZINE CHRISTIAN EDES 91/100 – 2016
Cellar door price:   approx. R120 a bottle

An ode to the earth

I wanted to create a dish that would compliment both the Chardonnay and Shiraz for their respective palates, highlighting the complexities of these two stunning wines.

I settled on an earthy, wholesome meal, perfect for al-fresco dining as the weather warms up into summer. Simple, yet wonderfully aromatic, it was a bold choice for these wines.

I first selected an earthy, herby boerewors, filled with warm coriander, black pepper and nutmeg notes. I carefully rolled and pin-wheeled them, ready for the braai, with just a glug of EVOO for the ultimate glossy appeal.

For the side, I decided on a pumpkin relish. Echoing the fragrant spice notes in the sausage, I roasted crown pumpkin cubes in the oven with cumin, nutmeg and ground coriander. I gently let the roasted pumpkin converse in the pan with lashings of white balsamic vinegar, dark tomato paste, fresh thyme and a handful of golden sultanas.

The end result? A gorgeously warming, aromatic and robust meal, perfectly suited for Zandvliet wines. Needless to say, the Shiraz lapped up the fatty herbiness of the sausage, whilst a glass of icy Chardonnay delighted in the warm spices of the relish, simply melting away with the roasted pumpkin.

In conclusion

An easy to prepare and easy to share meal whilst we reminisce on a year of new things; a year of changes and of adjusting sails. Cheers to the old and to the unknown. Thank goodness for those small things that you can depend on to never change, and to never disappoint. Like Zandvliet wines.

Thank you, Zandvliet, for reminding us that there is something good to come out of any terroir in life, if you  keep on going. Cheers!

Fine print

Zandvliet wines are available from its online shop and leading retailers and restaurants countrywide.

For more information, contact zandvliet@vanloveren.co.za or visit www.zandvliet.co.za. Find and share your memories of the estate with ZandvlietWine on Twitter, Instagram and, as ZandvlietWines, on Facebook and Pinterest.

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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