White wine blends – in my books, the true unsung gift of our vineyards. Proudly introducing Glen Carlou‘s Collection White Blend 2020 – the bottle that pays a beautiful homage to the delicious complexity of white blends, and a pure showcase of our Cape grapes.
Nowhere as much talked about or as popular as red blends, white wine blends are truly one of my personal favourite wine styles across all seasons. It gives winemakers the chance to select the best attributes of each varietal and marry them harmoniously into a matrimony of golden liquid.
I was incredibly fortunate to receive and taste Glen Carlou‘s newest addition to their already shiny line up: the Collection White Blend 2020. Following in the footsteps of the highly regarded and internationally awarded Red Blend, the Collection White Blend 2020 has just been released by Glen Carlou in time for White Blend Day on the 22nd of September.
In The Little House, of course, we celebrate White Blend Day every day.
Glen Carlou is situated in the Simonsberg-Paarl region of South Africa’s Western Cape.
Their vineyard blocks encompass a variety of slopes and aspects – each is nurtured according to its own unique potential, respecting the natural cycles of the vines.
The rich tapestries of passionate people interwoven with insightful custodians have shaped and continue to develop Glen Carlou. A splendid storyline supports their desirable international reputation of being a trusted, highly awarded and respected wine brand.
Glen Carlou Collection White Blend 2020
Tasting notes: The smooth textured core combines racy acidity and generous fruit flavours enriched by fermentation and ageing in wood. When lightly chilled the creamy oak vanillins come to the fore revealing spice and floral characteristics. The abundant layering of flavours and refined structure renders it an excellent wine to pair with food. A seamless wine where the components are in perfect balance.
In the vineyard: Sauvignon Blanc (36%), Semillon (34%) and Chardonnay (30%). The Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon grapes were sourced from dryland bush vines in the Groenekloof ward of Darling, whilst the Chardonnay grapes come from Glen Carlou’s Simonsberg vineyard block.
In the cellar: The 3 grape varieties were fermented naturally and separately in 225 litre French Oak barrels. After fermentation the wines were blended and transferred back to barrel for 9 months. The Sauvignon Blanc component (36%) enriches the blend with
aromas of gooseberry and a strong mineral core; Chardonnay (34%) adds texture and density with Semillon (30%) revealing provocative floral, white pear and citrus blossom notes.
Cellar door price: Available directly from the estate or via their online wine shop at R310 per bottle.
Grapefruit and pineapple baked cheese cake
As I sat with a glass of slightly chilled Collection White Blend, swirling it slowly against the setting sun, my mouth watered with endless ideas. Blended with three distinctly aromatic white wines, I had to carefully balance my food pairing to not only enhance the gorgeous citrus notes, but also mellow out a bit of the Chardonnay texture into a long finish. I didn’t want to dilute that signature minerality of the Sauvignon Blanc component, neither the delicate floral notes of the Semillon.
A long list of scribbles later, and I settled on a baked cheesecake, sandwiched between a ginger crumb base and a splurge of grapefruit and pineapple compote on top. Seasonal, balanced, zesty and just a tad indulgent, it seemed the perfect match for this food-loving white blend.
I opted for a version of a baked cheesecake made with a good dollop of sour cream, resulting in a creamy yet slightly tangy base for my infusions. Instead of sweet berries, I continued with the zesty approach by slow-cooking fresh grapefruit and pineapple chunks until it reduced into a glossy, voluptuous compote.
Like all good things, and the Collection White Blend 2020, it takes time and is worth the wait. This cheesecake asks for slow weekend afternoon to bake, with Glen Carlou to keep you company in the kitchen. Both are elegant conversation pieces, and the most perfect addition to your dinner table.
A feast of foods
And if you’re not much of a sweet tooth, don’t despair. The Collection White Blend 2020 is incredibly hungry for all types of cuisine, including rich, mild Thai curries, gorgeously grilled seafood dishes, hearty chicken and fruit bakes or even a cheese board filled with mature and soft goat’s cheese. Its appetite doesn’t stop there – think pork belly and baked apples, creamy pasta dishes or even seasonal summer salads.
Glen Carlou‘s the Collection White Blend 2020 is best served a few degrees warmer than chilled, allowing all the components to put forward their best wine legs on first sip. As with any aromatic white, a little bit of time in the glass before drinking can open up the myriad of blended aromas for a full-senses experience.
But, before I continue to wax lyrical about my love for white blends, and particularly this splendid new release by Glen Carlou, here is the recipe for the cheesecake.
Grapefruit and pineapple baked cheesecake
- 250gr ginger biscuits
- 125gr butter, melted
- 500gr plain cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup caster sugar
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp grapefruit zest
- 3 eggs
- 1 medium pineapple, peeled and cut in small chunks
- 4 - 6 small grapefruit, peeled and cut in small chunks
- Lemon juice, to taste
- Preheat oven to 160°C.
- Crush the biscuits in a ziplock bag with a rolling pin until it resembles fine breadcrumbs, then add melted butter and mix until well combined. You can also use a food processor to blitz the biscuits.
- Press the biscuit mix over the base and sides of a 20cm springform / loose base tin. Refrigerate for 30 minutes until firm.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, vanilla and grapefruit zest together until smooth, and then gradually beat in the eggs one by one until smooth again.
- Pour the filling into the prepared tin on top of the biscuit base, and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until just set. The centre can still be a little bit wobbly.Put off the oven and allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven for 2 hours before removing it to cool completely.
- To make the compote, add your pineapple and grapefruit chunks (with all the juice) into a small saucepan and bring to a rolling boil. Cook slowly until almost jammy and slightly thickened, but still liquid enough to spread. Add lemon juice and caster sugar to taste if necessary.
- Once the cheesecake is cooled, top it with your compote just before serving.
A joyous celebration of Glen Carlou‘s pantry, I’m reserving a few spaces in my racks for the Collection White Blend 2020. Guaranteed to excite most palates, this bottle truly showcases the layered versatility of a good white blend. But then again, you’d not expect anything less from the Glen Carlou team. A gorgeous gift for the wine-lover in your life, or a little splurge for your own indulgence.
Happy White Blend Day, my little hedonists, and make sure to find your way to the home of Glen Carlou this weekend to add this remarkable bottle to your collection. Cheers!
The Little Hedonist endorses responsible drinking.
Don’t drink and drive. Not for persons under 18.