The wines we drink: Jordan Inspector Péringuey Chenin Blanc 2014

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Jordan Wine Estate produces more than a few excellent wines and their Nine Yards Chardonnay is a firm favourite at Casa Batonage.  Their Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc always offers a reliable bang-for-your-buck option, especially on a restaurant wine list.

Jordan’s three hectare Chenin Blanc vineyard was planted 32 years ago and from this they annually produce their Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc.  The 2014 vintage, which was launched recently, sports a new identity:   Inspector Péringuey Chenin Blanc.

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The places we eat at: Bocca

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Bocca is the latest restaurant opened by restauranteur & sommelier, Neil Grant.  Sister to the successful Burrata at the Woodstock Biscuit Mill, Bocca is situated in the Cape Town CBD (corner of Wale & Bree) – convenient, as it is a few blocks from our office.  We’d resisted temptation to visit Bocca sooner; we did not think we could resist those gorgeous pizzas if we set foot in there…avoiding refined carbs can sometimes be hard work.

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Bocca can be described as a more compact version of Burrata: This is clearly a city restaurant, with minimal yet functional decor, clean lines, maximum use of space.  The lunch menu is also pared down and caters to the busy city worker drone crowd, service is attentive and your food arrives in time to still enjoy it at leisure without spending to much time away from your desk. More

The wines we drink: AA Badenhorst Family Wines Red Blend 2012

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The name is quite a mouthful; wait until you get to the blend makeup: Shiraz (75%), Cinsault (12%), Tinta Barocca, Grenache and Mourvedre. The wine itself is even bigger, yet we happily finished the bottle in a hot summer evening.

My first reaction after tasting: “Man, this wine is delicious!”. That evolved (or devolved) later on into content sighs every time I took a sip. There is spice, there is fruit, there is balance. The fruit does not outshine the structure. Expect cherries, cloves, tilled earth, white pepper and blue berries. Expect an initial flavour punch turning into velvet, showcasing fine, almost powdery tannin and lingering long after that last sip.

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The wines we drink: Delaire Graff White Reserve 2012

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This is our go-to wine this summer. The 64% old vine Semillon (from Franschhoek) is the key factor here: Delivering a backbone of immence class, deepening layers of lime and a hint of baking spice on the finish. The Semillon and Sauvignon work hand in hand to bring a proper white wine to the glass; fresh citrus with elegance.

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The places we stay: Mo & Rose in Robertson

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We visited the restaurant at Mo & Rose in March of 2013, as guests of the Robertson Wine Valley and we were so impressed that we vowed to spend more time there.  Last year after the Celebration of Chardonnay we had our excuse.  Who drives back home after all that Chardonnay?

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Mo & Rose in Robertson is described as a “country getaway” but there is nothing “country” about it.  It may be situated in the country – Robertson – but that is where all similarity ends.  I’d call it “laid back elegance” if such a term even existed; Mo & Rose is more like a small hotel than a traditional Guest House. More

The wines we drink: SA vs AUS

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The history of wine at the Vineyard Hotel started in 1658 – when Jan van Riebeeck planted a large vineyard along the Liesbeeck River.  The hotel pays tribute to this history  by building relationships with other like-minded individuals such as Roger Jones.

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The wines we drink: Julien Schaal Evidence Chardonnay 2013

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Julien Schaal has released a new Chardonnay, aptly named “Evidence”.  Having done his 1st vintage in SA with Bouchard Finlayson in 2003, he returned every year, splitting his time between his winery in Alsace and his Elgin venture in SA.

Julien is known in Alsace for his Gewurztraminer and Riesling and locally, for his elegant Syrah and classy Chardonnay.

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The last & the best December wine

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The last day of the year arrived and with it an evening spent with good friends and even better wine.  Some thought had to go into wine pairing as curry was on the menu (delicious stuff, of course).

Wine of the evening and undoubtedly the whole of December was this 2003 Carl Loewen Leiwener Laurentiuslay Riesling from Alte Reben.  Everything we’ve come to expect from a Mosel Riesling…plus bottle age.  Petroleum, pineapple sage, orange pith without a hint of bitterness and a tangerine marmelade finish.  What a wine.

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December wines (part 5)

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The arrival of friends who are quite possibly bigger fans than us of the quality to value ratio that Vondeling brings to the table  gave us an excuse for a vertical “tasting” (Can you still call it a tasting if you finish all of the bottles?) of their flagship white blend, the Babiana.

Head Of The Glass was the 2011 Babiana with a beautifully restrained floral display of lemon and honey blossom with delicate fynbos in the background. Such complexity for such a relatively young wine.

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December wines (part 4)

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Chamonix must be doing something right – all 3 of us “wino” couples had a bottle of Chamonix Reserve Chardonnay in their arsenal when we arrived in Greyton.

Current release 2013 vintage is delicious and we mentioned it before, but a clear Head Of The Glass was the 2008.  The wine is 6 years old, still fresh but now with added depth and elegance that age brings to a good wine. We sipped and savoured, throwing words like “quince” and “membrillo” around while willing the wine to last for ever.  This yet again reinforces my belief that we drink our SA Whites too young.

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