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MichaelJ

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WTN: A collection from South Africa

by MichaelJ » Wed May 24, 2006 12:07 pm

Just outside of the Salzburg airport is Hangar-7, a rather egotistical whim of the maker of Red Bull. A converted airplane hanger, filled with Red Bull's corporate toys: jets, F1 racers, etc. Inside, however, is also the restaurant Ikarus.

The concept of Ikarus is to bring in chefs from around the world to guest for one month at a time. This month's chef is Frank Zomkle from Bosman's in Paarl, South Africa.

So we had the Tastings of the Cape Menu, which was paired with a series of South African wine. The result is the best meal of the vacation thus far (and one that will be hard to beat).

    Sauvignon Blanc Vergelegen 2005
    Very slight ammonia in the nose. Juicy grapefruit in the mouth, finishing nice and crisp. I'm not much of a SB fan, but I liked these two immensely.

    Pairing: Ostrich threesome (tartare, carpaccio, and ragout) with pommery mustard

    Sauvignon Blanc Grand Cuvée Boschendal, Stellenbosch 2005
    No ammonia, a slight toasty character in the nose. Much richer and creamier, not as much upfront fruit, but richness was quite good for the spicy character of the dish.

    Pairing: Roasted sea bass and bell pepper strips in coconut-lemongrass brew

    Chardonnay Hamilton Russel 2004
    24 months in barrel, and you could taste it. I'm not a fan of oaked chardonnay, and this is certainly an oaked chardonnay. For those that appreciate such things, a rather good example.

    Pairing: Sautéed crayfish on vegetable-biltong risotto and crustacean bisque

    Pinotage Kanonkoop 2003
    Now this was dynamite. A little bit of French funk in the nose, and the luscious mouthfeel of a good Rhone. A little spice also. Very good; could have kept drinking this one all night.

    Pairing: Crepinette of springbok and mushrooms with white asparagus

    White Muskadel McGregor Winery 2005
    Flowers, fruit, a fair bit of acidity. Quite good, but what I really remember is the creme brulee. One of the best that I have ever had.

    Pairing: "Rooibos Tea" Crème Brule with marinated berries
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Otto

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Re: WTN: A collection from South Africa

by Otto » Wed May 24, 2006 3:25 pm

MichaelJ wrote:Chardonnay Hamilton Russel 2004
24 months in barrel, and you could taste it. I'm not a fan of oaked chardonnay, and this is certainly an oaked chardonnay. For those that appreciate such things, a rather good example.

Pairing: Sautéed crayfish on vegetable-biltong risotto and crustacean bisque


Thanks for the notes! I'm not really a fan of very oaky Chardonnay either, but the samples I've had of Hamilton Russell have been excellent. In fact both the red and white have seemed to me to be the best "burgundy" outside of Burgundy. I've also tried this 2004 recently and though oaky, it wasn't as bad as you say, and from the past vintages I would say that the oak integrates well really soon. But congratulations, it's good to see someone even more oakaphobic than I ;)
I don't drink wine because of religious reasons ... only for other reasons.
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Ian Sutton

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Re: WTN: A collection from South Africa

by Ian Sutton » Fri May 26, 2006 5:52 pm

Otto
I agree with you on Hamilton-Russell. I'm very picky with Pinot Noir, but this maker makes Pinot that is right on the money for me.
regards
Ian
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Peter May

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Re: WTN: A collection from South Africa

by Peter May » Sat May 27, 2006 7:29 am

Vergelegen's SB is one of the best, and I've been buying a lot of it. Kanonkop's Pinotage usually needs some more age before it starts drinking well, but 2003 vintage was very good and this wine is forward and enjoyable now. Glad you enjoyed it.

I've not had the McGregor Muskadel, its a type of wine that is not stocked by any mainsteam merchant in UK because - we are are told - of EU tax laws to do with potential alcohol. This wine is part fermented juice to which alcohol has been added to stop fermentation and give it the 17% alc and fresh grapey taste. McGregor are a reliable cooperative, but Muskadels are inexpensive drinks aimed at a non wine connoisseur audience.

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