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Wine-tasting dinner March 29, Brexit Day? Er no.

I haven`t laughed so much in a long time. What a great group (golfers), must be all that fresh air. My thanks to them all for lifting the roof at The Wine Centre last Friday. Good sales too :). My thanks to Dominic our chef for a truly inspiring menu. I LOVED every dish, and they matched the food perfectly. 10/10, Dom, well done. And finally my thanks to our speaker, Julie, who coped fantastically [I use the word coped because I know sometimes I couldn't hear myself speak]. Brilliant job, Julie. For your info, wines & menu as follows:

Guest speaker: Julie Maitland

Host: Anthony Borges – Chef: Dominic Carter

Pikes Hills & Valleys Riesling, Clare Valley, Australia 2018, £13.99

Brilliant pale green. Attractive aromas of citrus blossom, stone fruit and bath powder are all on display with a hint of wet slate. Fresh, clean and bright; the palate is full of lemon and gentle stone fruit, the crisp acidity balancing the slight residual sweetness and providing a long, clean finish. 100% Riesling.

Bouchard Finlayson Sans Barrique, Cape South Coast, S. Africa 2017 16.99

A classic lean and crisp unoaked Chardonnay. Immediate hints of apple, gooseberry, guava and sweet melon tease the palate while the lees tones add complexity and boost the aging potential. 100% Chardonnay.

Rustenberg Five Soldiers Chardonnay, Stellenbosch, South Africa 2017, £33.99

Carefully-selected Chardonnay bunches are hand harvested for this special wine and then given royal treatment in the cellar. Characters of ripe citrus, melon and peach with great minerality are rounded out by well-judged oak maturation. A very complex wine with a long and creamy finish and a good acid backbone. 100% Chardonnay.

Paul Cluver Village Pinot Noir, Elgin, S. Africa 2017, £15.99 

Aromas of red fruits intermingle with roasted spices. Poached ripe plums are evident on the silky palate – this is medium bodied wine with soft edges. 100% Pinot Noir.

Bouchard Finlayson “Hannibal”, Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, Walker Bay, South Africa 2016, £27.99

This vintage is fresh and alive with a characteristic Italian mouthfeel reflecting fruity complexity. Olive and redcurrant flavours combine with cranberry to result in a lingering finish and complex mouthfeel. Red wine blend. JamesSuckling.com: 94 pts. 45% Sangiovese, 18% Pinot noir, 15% Nebbiolo, 12% Shiraz, 7% Mourvédre and 3% Barbera

Topiary Shiraz, Franschhoek. S  outh Africa 2014, £19.99

Meaty, spicy and unfiltered, this is very much a northern Rhône style, with clove and cracked pepper notes and a core of bramble and red berry sweetness. Beautifully restrained, with cured meat and lavender notes. On the palate, it is luxurious and well defined, offering red cherry spice, Victoria plum and white pepper flavours. 100% Shiraz (Syrah)

Lemberg Spencer Pinotage, Western Cape, S. Africa 2014 £21.99

Lemberg Wine Estate lies in the heart of the scenic Tulbagh Valley surrounded by the Witzenberg and Winterhoek mountains.  Described as ‘a Pinotage for Pinot Noir lovers’ by Tim Atkin, this is an impressive cuvée with violets, cherry and bramble characters to the fore. Ripe dark berries and plums are backed by spicy oak with a hint of dark chocolate. A firm and balanced structure leads to a full-bodied and concentrated palate with a lingering finish. 100% Pinotage.

Darling Cellars Old Bush Vine Cinsaut 2016, Darling, S. Africa £16.99

A well-balanced red wine, with a bright ruby red colour and aromas of cherries, strawberries and a hint of oak. Flavours of red pepper, spice, raspberries and a hint of sweet vanilla are enhanced by succulent red berry fruits, good concentration and a nice fresh acidity on the palate, finishing long.

Escarpment Hinemoa Riesling, Martinborough, New Zealand 2015 (half-bottles), £13.99

Our sweet wine of the evening. Using the German classification this wine would be “Beerenauslese” quality. Mandarin and apricot from the botrytised grapes envelop the palate, leading to flavours of honey and lemon meringue pie. An ideal match for soft cheeses and    fruit-based desserts.

Menu

Salmon en Papillote, garlic and lemon Butter

Creamy Tuscan chicken thighs with crisp pastry disc and toasted pine nuts

Slow cooked beef short-rib, rosemary, Portobello Mushroom

Carrot & parsnip puree

Cheese Platter

Baked dark cherry and almond cheesecake cherry compote

 

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