The joy of opening a great bottle of wine is doubled when shared. The more glasses filled, the more joy there is for everyone. And that is exactly what Glen Carlou‘s wines brought to our table – a feast of togetherness, delight and tangible excitement.
My first encounter with Glen Carlou wines was at the Old Mutual Trophy Show, a few years ago, before the start of the pandemic. It was a festive evening of celebrating and sampling award-winning wines, and I was drawn to Glen Carlou’s wine stall purely because of the amount of people queueing to get a taste.
I think The Tall Hedonist and I moved away from the crowd to find a quiet spot in the room with a sip of Glen Carlou‘s Syrah in our glasses. The hugely aromatic and seductive nose alone assured me that I want to pay attention to what’s in my glass. We savoured every last drop, and I if I remember correctly, it was also the last wine we decided to taste that night.
I was absolutely ecstatic when two sleek, dark bottles from Glen Carlou arrived at my door recently. I was thrilled to be given the chance to delve a bit deeper into the complex soils of Glen Carlou, this time sampling their Gravel Quarry Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 and Quartz Stone Chardonnay 2020. One thing I knew for sure – these bottles would be enjoyed around a sharing plate of food.
Reignite your wine senses to the wonders of Glen Carlou and its award-winning wine range, in particular the new release Gravel Quarry Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 and Quartz Stone Chardonnay 2020. Situated in the Simonsberg-Paarl region, the estate’s vineyard blocks encompass a variety of slopes and aspects – each nurtured according to its own unique potential, respecting the natural cycles of the vines (press release).
Quartz Stone Chardonnay 2020
Tasting notes: A complex nose of citrus, white peach, spice and buttered toast aromatics are evident on the nose. The mid-palate evolves with tantalising lime and butterscotch notes framed by a fresh citrus character. These follow through to an extended and complex aftertaste of apricot marmalade and a delicate yet creamy almond finish.
In the vineyard: 100% single vineyard Chardonnay
Awards and accolades: 2019 vintage received 92 points by Tim Atkin (MW) in 2020
Cellar door price: Available online via the wine shop or directly from the Tasting Room at R340 per bottle.
Gravel Quarry Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
Tasting notes: The nose of this noble varietal shows layers of ripe blackcurrants, dark berries, dark chocolate and nuances of bramble and cedar. Without a doubt a balanced wine, with a full and complex palate, rounded out by subtle oak spice and firm tannin.
In the vineyard: 100% single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. Planted in a rehabilitated gravel quarry, the soils consist of weathered granite and ‘koffieklip’.
Awards and accolades: previous vintage scoring an impressive 91 points by the revered Tim Atkin (MW) in his 2020 South African Wine Report
Cellar door price: Available online via the wine shop or directly from the Tasting Room at R440 per bottle.
Saturday sipping and sharing
I wanted to prepare something delicious; something that would complement both the Chardonnay and the Cabernet Sauvignon equally harmoniously. I scaled down my ambitions and decided on a simple, sharing meal that will allow the wines to take the spotlight.
An eternal fan of Mexican comfort food, especially with the inevitable approach of winter, I put together a plate of my interpretation of nachos. Crispy, salty corn chips, a bowl of slow-cooked tomato and butterbean mince, heaps of sour-cream, freshly smashed avocado and a bright salsa made with tomato, cucumber, red onion and white wine vinegar. Layered between scatterings of melty mature white cheddar, it’s one of those meals that keep you at the table long after your plate has been scraped empty.
I lingered self-indulgently over the Chardonnay, and thankfully I’m the only one who wholeheartedly appreciates this varietal in The Little House. The next night, I had a glass on its own, without food, embellishments or accompaniments. It was truly a beautiful thing; an amalgamation of the expected Chardonnay notes, yet uniquely fresh and intensely aromatic, finishing in the most incredible full-mouth feel.
I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of our reunion with Glen Carlou. Yet, now I thirst for more and have added a visit to the estate to my list of things to do with priority.
Thank you, Glen Carlou, for sharing these two exceptional wines with me, and for the opportunity to return to the simple things in life: good food, good wine and good people.
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.