September Sweet Club

Sweet Wine ClubBenguela Cove - Noble Late HarvestBenguela Cove
Noble Late Harvest
Hermanus, South Africa

NECTAR WINE STYLE

This wine has a medium straw color with heady notes of honey blossom, orange peel, pineapple and dried peaches. The lovely sweetness of the wine is balanced with a lingering finish while still remaining fresh and crisp on the palate.

Region: Walker Bay, Hermanus, South Africa
Analysis: 9.50% alcohol / volume
Residual Sugar: 190.00 g/L
pH: 3.17
TA: 8/30 g/L
Critical Acclaim: 4.5/5 stars in 2016 Platter’s South African Wine Guide

Food Pairing Recommendations:
Enjoy this versatile liquid gold nectar of the gods on its own or with strong cheeses, figs, pâtés, pastries and desserts. This wine should always be enjoyed well chilled.

ABOUT BENGUELA COVE LOGOON WINE ESTATE:
Benguela Cove Lagoon Wine Estate is a 200 hectare lifestyle farm and exclusive luxury estate situated in Walker Bay, Hermanus. Overlooking the Bot River Lagoon and Atlantic Ocean these unusual maritime conditions ensure that this unique terroir produces outstanding quality grapes.

VINEYARDS:
Benguela Cove’s close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean results in a cooler median daytime temperature and in cool maritime winds that caress the vineyards at night. This favorable climate, use of covered crops and the direction in which the vines face aid in the slow ripening of these grapes.
The Sauvignon Blanc grapes’ exposure to the cool ocean mist helps to create conditions under which botrytis cinerea (noble rot) can flourish, producing grapes of concentrated intensity.

Photo by Benguela Cove Lagoon Wine Estate: Penny Streeter OBE (Owner) & Johann Fourie (Winemaker)


WINEMAKING:
The grapes are harvested, pressed, centrifuged, and then held as a cold juice at 28 degrees Fahrenheit. The juice is fermented at various intervals throughout the year, which allows the wine to remain fresh and delicate throughout the entire fermenting process. The Stella Rosa family uses this technique to capture the fresh flavors of natural blueberry distillates & purées for their Blueberry wine, and an off-dry Rosé, busting with fresh flavors for their Watermelon wine. Both Stella Rosa Blueberry and Watermelon contain natural carbonation. The juice is fermented in Charmat-style, pressurized tanks, and as the alcohol is created, so is the carbonation. Once the desired sweetness is achieved, the wine is centrifuged and bottled. The alcohol level stays at approximately 5% and contains 6-10% residual sugar. Its natural acidity and low pH strike the perfect balance with the wine’s natural sweetness.

Benguela Cove Vineyard

Photo by Benguela Cove Lagoon Wine Estate

VINIFICATION AND MATURATION:
The botrytis cinerea grapes were meticulously selected and harvested by hand. On arrival at the cellar, further hand selection and sorting of botrytis infected bunches was done. Destemming was followed by 24 hours of cold maceration and thereafter the fruit was pressed several times to extract the highly concentrated juice. After settling, fermentation occurred in both stainless steel tanks and 225-liter French oak barrels (20%) at 16°C. This process took three weeks until the desired sugar/acid balance was reached. Fermentation was stopped by filtration and the wine was then chilled.

VINTAGE:
A cool ripening period, and especially low night temperatures, contributed towards exceptional quality and flavor. The favorable conditions resulted in exceptionally flavorful and intense Sauvignon Blanc with good acidity. The harvest had the earliest start in decades and resulted in one of the best vintages for white wines with above average quality. Warm weather in August resulted in earlier bud break, after which a warm, dry and windy summer kept vineyard growth under control and accelerated ripening by approximately two weeks. The dry weather also led to one of the healthiest seasons in years.

WineStyles’ Wine and Cheese Pairing: Sweet wines from our ‘Nectar’ section pair well with strong cheeses, such as a blue cheese. Learn more about our wine and cheese pairings here.

Love the Sweet life?
“Wine” not try our Sweet Club! 

Click here to learn more >

Sweet Club

Cheese – A Near Perfect Food

Max

Interview with Max McCalman, Dean of Curriculum and Maitre Fromager of Artisanal Cheese

What cheeses are best during the summer months?
We are coming into a pretty good time of year for cheese. It’s unfortunate that people don’t eat as much cheese in the summer, because that is when a broader type of cheeses are really starting to show. The goat’s milk cheeses in particular are at their best in summertime because the animals have more to choose from to eat. They’re also cheeses that aren’t meant to age and keep for many months.

How are goats’ milk cheeses made?
Milk is saved from four milkings—an evening milking from day one, a morning and evening milking from day two and a morning milking from day three. Goats’ milk contains coagulants, which are then sped up with the addition of cultures and rennets. When the milk has coagulated, it turns into a spongy mass—the curds. These are then cut into little pieces, which allow the whey, or liquid part, to drain off easily. The curds are then put into perforated molds, so the whey continues to drain off. The young cheese is then gently removed from the mold and set out on shelves to dry. After a couple of weeks, the cheese is dusted with vegetable ash, which makes it a little less acidic and allows for even more beneficial mold to flourish. It also takes excess moisture out and puts flavor in.

What’s a good wine/cheese pairing for summer?
Pairing principles come down to a couple of things. A salty cheese will probably pair better with a sweeter or fruitier wine. That’s why dessert wines pair so well with cheese. They give them a balancing partner. Texture comes into play, too. The harder cheeses are more successful with a broader range of wine types.

Any tips on packing cheeses for outdoor dining?
Cheese should be kept out of sunlight, but kept cool. If you are having a picnic, put it in the cooler, but don’t put it down in the ice.  Then bring it up to room temperature before eating—it will taste better. Firmer cheeses are easier to transport. A brie-type of cheese in 90-degree weather is not going to be very pretty. That should be enjoyed indoors.