Feiteiras Verdelho 2009

A "food wine".

Last night the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show sponsor’s dinner at Bosman’s, the fine-dining restaurant at Paarl hotel Grande Roche. After a 12-hour day chairing the panel that reviewed the 124 entries in the unwooded Sauvignon Blanc class, I was up for some grub.

To start, duo of beef with Feiteiras Verdelho 2009 (best niche white variety at the competition in 2010) followed by pan fried salmon trout with Paul Cluver Chardonnay 2009 (best in class 2010) then herb-poached veal with Chamonix Reserve Pinot Noir 2008 (best in class 2010) and finally a combination that would have gladdened the hearts of Distell brand managers: Amarula Tart with Nederburg Noble Late Harvest 2008 (best NLH dessert wine in 2009).

As food-and-wine combinations go, the starter with the Verdelho from Feiteiras Wine in Bot River proved a revelation. The wine on its own was exceptionally angular and acidic (it has a high TA of 7.6 g/l and an extraordinarily low pH of 2.8 to go with an alcohol by volume of 12.78% and a residual sugar of 2g/l) but once the food arrived, juicy fruit magically came to the fore; the course completed and plates carried away, and the wine instantly clammed up again.

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