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”
And you all thought i can only speak tech… an old hobby of mine caught up, and reminded me of small pleasures in life…
I decided to write about it, not only for sharing, but for myself, to remember…So if technology was the only reason you visited me…i hope this won’t be too big of a change. I can only promise there will still be more tech-oriented content
Wine…my old-new born hobby…starting today with a spanish corrida…a mix of two great grapes into one fine wine…Sabatacha Gran Cuvee Negro
The first thing i noticed after i let it breathe for a couple of minutes (and then anxiously poured myself a glass), was that amazing strong smell that the tanines give a wine…was not as strong as i was used with dry wines. This one was something special…I could dive into that glass, and take a deep, deep breath without feeling the usual spiciness, that usually requires another breath of fresh air.
This wine smells so wonderful, reminds me of blackberries, and of the jam my mother used to make from green, unripe walnuts. I can’t even decide if i feel the smell of walnuts or black cherries more… guess it’s a relative thing, cause these were my favorite ones when i was a kid…
Sabatacha Gran Cuvee is a wine made of Monastrell and Shiraz, two varieties of grapes that make out strong, full-bodied wines. Monastrell is a grape known to be used for producing wines with a higher volume of alcohol…no wonder, the Gran Cuvee is one of the strongest dry ones i had…going for an impressive 14 %.
It’s color is a dark, dusty red, resulting from a beautiful dark blue monastrell grape, and a dry, old-aged black shiraz grape, with a great effect of vignetting when looked through. I just love the black color looking from aside, and the dark red one, looking from above.
Tasting it gives you somehow the feeling that you’re drinking a dry wine, and still, now and then, you feel like at the end, you have the feeling of an old-aged quality cognac….sour, and then sweet…and then that flower-mouth feeling…
Listening to Moby’s latest album, “Destroyed”, also gave it a kick…can only recommend, other wines will work for sure
Me and my wife, we wanted to have some fish today. But i said there’s no better thing to add to this great wine than some great greek, mediterranean food, seasoned with strong greek cheese….And i was right…
Greek chicken with red and green paprika, onions, zucchini, brown champignons, garlic and light goat cheese…what a delight.
- Wine: Sabatacha – Gran Cuvee Negro
- Year: 2009
- Country and region of origin: Spain – Murcia/Jumilla
- Grapes: Monastrello and Shiraz
- Producer: Bodegas San Isidro
- Price: In german market, about 7 €
- Rating: Among all spanish wines that i have tried, this one stand out. A couple of days me and some friends tried a Tempranillo Crianza – Clos de Torribas from 2006, having won a medal in Helsinki in 2009, and having been mentioned as a best buy by the Wine Enthusiast Magazine in 2009. I have to admit this one was better…Of course it is another grape, but it is all a matter of taste. And this wine will definitely land in my collection after having it tasted now. Superb color, great aroma, i just wish that fruit smell could last longer…
- Final rating: hard to say, but i have to rate them, for myself:) For a spanish dry wine, i’d say 8.5 out of 10 ( this is only cause i had some better red dry ones…)
What a great evening…