Wine experience – Bellingham Cabernet Sauvignon & Cabernet Franc – 2009
With the risk of disappointing my technical oriented followers, i needed to share the experience i had upon trying the South African Bellingham 2009.
Having had (really) bad experiences with south african shiraz - i cannot even remember having had even one that’d make me say it was close to good – i have spot this bottle while actually looking for a bottle of argentinian Malbec. Once again – i repeated to myself -, marketing and bottle presentation has an enormous role. I still believe red, black and white to be winning colors in bottle selections. Of course this view is as subjective as it gets, but hey, i am no wine expert…i just love trying, enjoying, and finding all about it.
I guess i’d become a fan of Cabernet Sauvignon. Having tried a limited vintage of Romania’s Dealu Mare 10202 Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 edition, i couldn’t take my mind off it no more….So instead of opening another bottle of the seven left (the romanian ones i mean), i decided to try the south african one. Excellent decision.
Bellingham – as i read tonight – derives from “Bellinchamp” (pretty fields) If you search on youtube, the imagery on the scene is fantastic. It lies not far away from Cape Town, and takes advantage of the coolness provided by the Drakenstein mountains…just take a look at this great scene (photo from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Stellenbosch_WC_ZA.jpg)
These guys have a long (still young, compared to Europe) tradition in south african wines, being the first ones to produce a rose in South Africa, in 1949, and the first Shiraz to be marketed in South Africa in 1956. It looks like they specialized in producing some great Cuvees, mixing Cabernet Sauvignon with Cabernet Franc and Merlot, or mixing Malbec with Merlot, and so on. One of their white ones was selected by Jancis Robinson on her 65 great white list of December 2011. That already sends the right message! You can find the full list here:
Back to the wine…
The 2009 Bellingham Cabernet Sauvignon & Franc is subjected to slow maturation in French oak barrels for 12 months (40% new oak, 30% second fill and 30% third fill) A a mere splash of Cabernet Franc (14%) is added in the final blending.
First of all, this one is still a young one…very young one. Once opened, you will find it too acid, confusing your nose, but… winning your eyes. Don’t taste it yet…allow it to breathe…do that for about 20 minutes to half an hour, and get back to it…
Get a glimpse at its amazing deep violet color before diving in a powerful and intense mixture of currants, woods, nuts… Take a deep breath before tasting it…you will notice how smooth it is now, and will feel the Cabernet Cuvee emitting a specific strong, aromatic smell
Works well with poultry ( i myself tried it with some Shiitake Risotto and chicken), but i am sore it will be highly complimented by a well spiced steak, or some strong, raw, spicy cheese, like the ones the Swiss do ( Le Gruyere, Apenzeller, Santa Klara)
For as much as 8 to 10 €, i will definitely get another couple of bottles, “revisiting” them in a couple of years from now.
Well, time for another glass, and “The king’s speech”