Iconic wine comes of age and gets a new look

Wine being poured into a glass Picture Credit: Think Stock
Wine being poured into a glass Picture Credit: Think Stock

Wine has no doubt become the drink of choice for many people who regard it as an embodiment of taste and style.

With the growing appreciation of the ancient drink has come a proliferation of wine labels of various splendour to tantalise both the eye and palate. To stand out from the crowd, different cellars have had to tweak their labels to entice the ever-discerning wine lover over the years.

One of South Africa's iconic wines, Nederburg, is introducing a revamped face for all its wines to keep up with the changing trends this year. The new labelling shows the brand crest more prominently in wines like Baronne, Ingenuity and Winemasters ranges - all to convey the estate's heritage, pedigree and sophistication, according to Dè-Mari Kellerman, global marketing spokeswoman for the brand.

The winery is situated in a picturesque landscape facing the Drakenstein Mountains in Paarl. It also boasts the flagship ranges - II Centuries. For gourmet palates, the cellar offers a Heritage Heroes of wooded whites and reds with colourful names like The Motorcycle Marvel or The Young Airhawk or The Beautiful Lady.

The winery also produces wines with no frills or classical subtleties in the funky 56HUNDRED label, which is suitable as a fun drink.

"Nederburg's reputation as South Africa's most-awarded name in wine is no cause for complacency," says new cellar master Andrea Freeborough

Last week, Nederburg kicked off the new year with an illuminating food-and-pairing at Momo Gallery in Cape Town - essentially to demonstrate the peculiar versatility and complexity of its wines. Wines paired with food and tasted included the 2015 56Hundred Chenin Blanc: It was paired with bruleed goat cheese, apricot and almond. Nosing the wine, it typically imparts aromas reminiscent of white peach, guava and apricots. On the palate, the wine displays ripe fruit and a delicious finish.

Semi-sweet chenin happily embraces savoury dishes with a touch of sweetness like gammon glazed with honey, duck in fruit sauces and Peking duck. And it strikes a good chord just as much with hot and sour Indian curries or with Cape Malay curries with lemon juice or zest. However, late-harvest chenin blanc is a good meal-ender with desserts.

There was also a pairing to the 2015 Nederburg Rosé: This South African old-time favourite was matched with beetroot tarte fine, raspberry and orange vinaigrette and fennel. With the wine bringing to the party a whiff of aromas of cherries and strawberries, the dish just had to display similar hints of sweetness - as happened with the crispy puff pastry and sweet, earthy beetroot. The wine itself is fruity with an acid that combines with fruit to bring out a well-balanced palate.

This wine has impressively evolved into a delicate and smooth offering in recent years - compared with its earlier version of the 1980s and 1990, whose fruit was sometimes overwhelmed by an astringent finish.

The Baronne red blend consists of cabernet sauvignon and shiraz, and teems with ripe, succulent berry and cherry flavours and soft tannins. It blended pretty well with a serving of wild mushroom and truffle risotto balls dusted with biltong. Its palate is rich with velvety flavours of blackcurrant and prune. Thankfully, it is now in a different league after Macici repositioned it from being an easy drinking, entry-level red to a premium brand in the mid-2000s.

EVENTS OF THE WEEK

More than 15 of South Africa's finest Methodé Cap Classiques sparkling wines will be up for public tasting at this year's Brooklyn Bubbles to be held in Pretoria next Saturday at Brooklyn Mall.

lIt will be a pink affair when the Cape's premium rosé wine producers gather at Rickety Bridge Estate in Franschhoek this Saturday for the annual Revving Up Rosé Festival.

Johannesburg's eco-chic Peech Hotel will host its annual wine festival featuring fine wines next Saturday.

SPEAK LIKE A PRO

GAMEY is a wine that is overripe, which may not be complimentary

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