Drew Master (read about him here), Mr Martin (one of the Bucketeers) and myself had spent the last Wednesday out in Franschhoek having what can only be referred to as a legendary time; often at the expense of each other’s self-esteem 😀 . Some wine farms we visited were more equal than others (with regards to their experience and wines), however the highlight of the day was undoubtedly lunch! Simple, rustic and very cost-effective is how I’d like to portray it; but it was more savage, old school and honest.
We strolled into a PicknPay, bought a full roast chicken, salad and a loaf of bread; following which we found a park under the shade of a tree to devour them using our bare hands. Perfection!
Enjoying it so much so, we decided to have a more civilised dinner the following week. So come Tuesday evening, we met at Master’s “place” where he’d been marinated the kudu and beef steaks since 6 am. Having them done medium rare, we accompanied them with a lettuce, tomato and feta salad, a red cabbage coleslaw and “slightly” overdone garlic rolls (my fault apparently).
With the wines, we went a little crazy… Okay I did. Having recently been given a few “huge bottles” of wine by the awesome Lisa, I decided to bring along a Jeroboam (3 litres) of Louisville Chardonnay 2000, as well as a Grenache from Franki’s Vineyards where Drew and I had visited in 2011.
We were all eager to start with the Chardonnay and see how well it had held up. Opening up the colossal bottle was a spectacle in itself; finding it still showing tonnes of fruit and balance, made it an amazing experience all together. It had a toasted, caramel and honey nose. While the palate showed pears, tangerines and orange rind, with a silky smooth texture, lengthy finish and fresh acidity. It was great.
Not intending on finishing the entire bottle by ourselves (we are smarter than that…, now), we moved on to a Greek wine Drew Master had brought from his travels. It was an Agiorgitiko… Yes, exactly, I had never heard of it before either. For a second I even thought he’d broken off into vernacular, but it turns out to be a rather popular grape variety on that side of the Mediterranean. Isn’t wine just exciting? There’s always a new variety, country, region, vintage, style or combination of them to try out.
A product of Kouros, it too proved to be an intriguing specimen. It was dusty and earthy, with forward red currant flavours. Lingering in its depth came an undestated herbaceous character that added to its complexity. The palate itself was rounded with a lengthy and concentrated tannic finish that paired particularly well with the beef. This one we finished, in an attempt to understand this exotic “new” variety, of course.
Lastly, we moved on to the Grenache that was gamey and savoury, infused with fynbos (wild herbs) and spice. The palate was still tannic and fresh, showing it could have aged further, which came as a surprise to me having not so long ago tried one of their more recent vintages that seemed a little too far gone, in my honest opinion. This wine did show good oxidative dark fruit, that made it rather pleasant to drink.
Another day well spent in the company of great wine facilitated by great friends…