South meets West04-10-2022
Today we were invited by Walraven Sax for a special wine tasting lunch in Lion Noir in Amsterdam with wines from South African company Nederburg.
Nederburg’s story started in 1791 when German immigrant Philippus Wolvaart acquired 49 hectares of land in the Paarl Valley. He named his property Nederburgh, in honour of the VOC commissioner, Sebastiaan Cornelis Nederburgh. Later, the ‘h’ was dropped from the spelling of the farm’s name and it became Nederburg as it is known today. The beautiful thatched Cape Dutch manor house that Wolvaart completed in 1800 is a national monument today. The wines are distributed across more than 80 countries worldwide today.
This story was told to us by Samuel Viljoen, the cellar-master of Nederburgh since 2021. Samuel gives everything to his winemaking and is very in tune with his team. “We are like a band of brothers who spend more time with each other than with our families.”
We started the tasting with an aperitif wine which fooled me completely, on the nose it was a textbook example of a Sauvignon Blanc, but turned out to be a Pinot Grigio.
We then continued with a beautiful starter of yellow fin tuna accompanied by a Sauvignon Blanc from Drostdyhof 2022 and one of the heroes of Nederburg: Anchorman Chenin Blanc 2020. The Anchorman connotation is a referral back to their founder. Grapes are handcrafted from vines of 38 years old. The chardonnay was a better choice to accompany the food than the sauvignon blanc as you would expect (see tasting note below).
Samuel Viljoen continued telling what he loves most about his job; that he is contributing to some of the most meaningful moments in other people’s lives. “It gives me such a great feeling when wine lovers tell me about the Nederburg wine they served to announce an engagement, to toast a birthday, to honour old friends or new ones, to celebrate a new job or a rite of passage. I feel proud and humbled at the same time.”
We were served the second course: a sea bass paella with a saffran beurre blanc on a bed of pearl couscous accompanied with two whites: The manor Chardonnay 2021 and Fleur du Cap Chardonnay unfilterd 2021. The Fleur du Cap was definitely the best wine of the day! It had a beautiful warm yellow color, lovely aromas of stone fruit and yellow melon, with a touch of spiceyness, with a long finish and well integrated wood (93/100 TSW).
“I particularly love this Chardonnay because it is a beautiful example of the personality, femininity and precision embodied by Fleur du Cap. I am proud to be part of the crafting process of this exceptionally well-balanced wine,” says winemaker Kristin Basson.
Our final course was served with two red wines, the Nederburg Heroes Brew Master Bordeaux 2018 and Nederburg Two Centuries Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, both full bodied and well balanced. The two centuries Cabernet was definitely my favorite within the red wine category. It has a ruby red color, rich on black fruit on the nose, refined and elegant on the palate with a good balance of the dark fruit, oak and herbs.
All in all, a wonderful lunch during which I met interesting people and tasted some great wines!
HERITAGE HEROES THE ANCHOR MAN OLD VINE CHENIN BLANC
ORIGIN Western Cape VINTAGE 2021
Sourced from Swartland and Paarl vines, 3V and 36 years old respectively
100% Chenin Blanc
Color: brilliant with a bright golden hue
On the nose: smell of white peaches, floral and citrus notes, hints of spice and oak
Palate: full bodied, fruity, balance between sweetness and acidity
Food pairing: fresh seafood and fish, poultry, Asian dishes, veal, pasta and salads
FLEUR DU CAP UNFILTERED CHARDONNAY 2021
9 months in barrel with lees stirring every 3 to 4 weeks
Color: lovely straw color with golden tints
On the nose: aromas of winter melon, apricots, hints of citrus, and oak spice
Palate: the wine is full-bodied with some buttery notes, an abundance of fruit, and a long, very pleasant lingering finish
Food pairing: rich fish dishes especially shellfish, mussels and oysters
THE MANOR CHARDONNAY 2021
sourced from vineyards in the Paarl, Malmesbury and Philadelphia areas
French oak barrels, where the wine remains on the lees for approximately six months
Color: light straw color
On the nose: aromas of lime and melon with vanilla oak notes in the background
Palate: crisp and fresh with a creamy texture and subtle citrus and melon flavours
Food pairing: rich seafood, tasty chicken or spicy pork dishes
NEDERBURG HEROES BREW MASTER BORDEAUX 2018
Bordeaux-style blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc that commemorates Johann Graue, who took over Nederburg in 1937
Color: dark ruby hue
On the nose: black cherry fruitcake, tobacco leaf, vanilla, cocoa powder and spices
Palate: subtle tannin from oak, balances the ripe fruit beautifully
Food pairing: casseroles and stews to poultry and pasta dishes
NEDERBURG TWO CENTURIES CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2017
100% cabernet sauvignon
a selection of 100% new French oak barrels for a period of 28 months
Color: vibrant ruby red
On the nose: ripe black fruit in abundance – flavour and bouquet – framed by a floral and spicy herbs
Palate: delicate and seductive but also refined and elegant
Food pairing: served with roast lamb, beef and venison