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.

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Sweet Club

South Africa HPF Posmeester Merlot

Grilled Flat Iron Steak with Blue Cheese

Grilled Flat Iron Steak

© SunnyBryd

Steaks and Merlot are a sure thing, especially with blue cheese, rosemary, garlic and a hot grill. Your Merlot will be mad for this meal.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pound flat iron steak
  • 3 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
  • 1 ounce crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  • Whisk together vinegar, garlic, 1 tablespoon black pepper, rosemary, oregano, and kosher salt in a bowl along with the olive oil. Place the flat iron steak into a resealable plastic bag, and pour the marinade overtop. Squeeze the excess air from the bag and seal. Marinate in the refrigerator 30 minutes.
  • Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil grate. Remove steak from the marinade, shake off excess, and discard the remaining marinade. Allow the steak to stand at room temperature for 15 minutes as the grill warms.
  • Mash together the butter, blue cheese, chives, and 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper; set aside. Cook the steak on the preheated grill to desired degree of doneness, about 5 minutes per side for medium-rare. Allow the steak to rest in a warm place for 10 minutes before slicing thinly across the grain. Serve with a dollop of blue cheese-chive butter.
  • © Recipe courtesy from Kristin at Allrecipes.com

SEPTEMBER WINE CLUB:

HPF Posmeester MerlotBold wine Style logoHermanuspietersfountein (HPF)
Posmeester Merlot

Walker Bay, South Africa

BOLD WINE STYLE

In the early 1800’s farmers imported a teacher named Hermanus Pieters to teach their children Dutch, the forerunner of Afrikaans. He would be paid in sheep which he grazed at a fountain under the Milkwood trees near the sea. The spot soon became known as Hermanus Pieter’s Fountein (HPF).  In 1855, the village was named after him – Hermanuspietersfontein.  Fast forward 100 years later, a wine cellar baring his name is the longest Afrikaans name for a cellar in the world and using Afrikaans-only wine names.  Operationally, their 350-ton urban winery combines European mindset and gravity concept to minimize handling and intervention in the winemaking process. “Good earth makes better wine” is HPF’s winemaking philosophy, the expression and sense of place is the soul of Sondagskloof.   Sondagskloof is sheltered in a mountainous area, 50 kilometers from the southern tip of Africa and was granted “Ward Status” (ie. AVA) in February 2007.  While the ward comprises of two farms, Hermanuspietersfontein is the only wine producer marketing the Wines of Origin Sondagskloof.

Elegant red blend with an aroma of red and purple fruit such as blueberries and currants.  Milk chocolate undertone and fruit freshness. Lush and juicy palate; supple and full with good length.

Appellation: Walker Bay, South Africa
Varietal: 85% Merlot, 14% Shiraz, 1% Mourvedre
Analysis: 13.8% alcohol / volume
pH: 3.5
TA: 5.35 g/l
Residual Sugar: 2.2 g/l
Aging: 10 months French oak
Critical Acclaim: Reviewed & approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine.

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