Moderation in consumption is one matter while the elements of discipline and self restraint yet another. Example in point: two recently released reds, both from the winery’s South Bay Vineyard, 2017 Merlot and 2017 Cabernet Franc. 2017 was subject to an unquestionably wet start. Unrelenting rain in May through mid- June to reveal a sunny dry August and September. Both the Merlot and Cabernet Franc were aged 18 months in French oak, 15 percent new oak for the Merlot and 30 percent new oak for the Cabernet Franc. Both are evocative of the beguiling laissez-faire approach applied by winemaker Frederic Picard. The Merlot reveals a bouquet garni for the senses; a savoury herbal undercurrent behind which a core of black berry fruit will insinuate itself in time. A wallop of tannin pervades now. Time, that element of discipline. Give it 6-8 months. You will be rewarded. On the heels of the splendid 2016 vintage, the 2017 Cabernet Franc presents its credentials: a panoply of plum, cherry, red currant peaking behind raspberry. It will offer added refinement and mellow richness. Lay down for minimum 6 months. For those impatient souls, a two- hour aeration, please.
Now, regarding food pairing suggestions. Let’s start with the Merlot. Merlot does well with mushrooms and fresh herbs, with grilled and smoked items, with rosemary, sage, thyme into the heat source to mirror the similar aspects of the wine. Merlot has a strong affinity with berry fruits, recipes with fresh or reconstituted dried cherries, cranberries, plums. These resonate with the core aromas/ flavours in the wine.
May I offer the following for the Merlot
** crispy pork belly with blueberry chutney
** beef filet with porcini and roasted shallot sauce.
** Parmesan crusted lamb cutlets with rosemary mint sauce.
Turning to the Cabernet Franc
** Greek style stuffed peppers incorporating oregano and feta
** veggies on the grill (eggplant, peppers, courgette, onions)
** sweet pepper and sausage pasta salad
** duck breast with grilled plums
Both wines are available at the winery and can be ordered online.
Cheers, you won’t be disappointed.