On Wednesday night, dinner at Steenberg’s Bistro 1682 as guests of the Cape Winemakers Guild. Before being seated trout beignet with Steenberg Pinot Noir MCC 2008, perhaps the best vintage of this wine to date with great fruit expression.
As a starter, a delicious Namibian crab risotto with warm bouillabaisse gelee and salmon roe – chef Brad Ball ‘s cooking seems ever more confident and composed. Paired with this, Nicky Versfeld’s Tullie Family Vineyards The Yair 2009, a blend of 51% Sauvignon Blanc and 49% Semillon, rich and full but already quite developed. Versfeld left this position at the allegedly embattled The Company of Wine People earlier in the year and is starting a joint venture with David Tullie, owner of Tullie Family Vineyards. Alongside The Yair, Ataraxia Chardonnay 2009, “more Usain Bolt than Japanese sumo wrestler” to quote winemaker Kevin Grant.
The main course was assiette of lamb with white bean puree, shimeji and Parisienne courgettes served with Abrie Beeslaar’s Kanonkop Paul Sauer 2007 and Niels Verburg’s Luddite Shiraz 2004. The Paul Sauer, a great wine from a great vintage, duly impressed but it was the Luddite Shiraz 2004 that was something of a turn up for the books, proving remarkably pure fruited and fresh for a wine that sometimes can be rather too big and weighty.
Glace ginger crème brûlée with bread & butter pudding paired with AA Badenhorst Kalmoesfontein Noble Late Harvest 2008 from Semillon. A great end to a decadent evening which proved once again that the Cape Winemakers Guild includes some pretty handy winemakers among its members. This year’s auction takes place from 09h00 to 14h00 on Saturday 1 October at Spier in Stellenbosch.