This month, we decided to pair our classical Chardonnay with an equally elegant main course. But before we reveal our dish of choice, let’s first raise our glass to a wine that has spent 11 months hidden in French Oak barrels, then another 10 months resting in cellars before finally revealing itself to the waiting world…
Awarded a silver medal at the Michelangelo International Wine & Spirits Awards, its light straw colour belies a nose that seems older than its years – rich with butterscotch, vanilla and fresh pineapple notes.
Subtle and softer than some (perhaps more ‘showy’ Chardonnays), Uitsig’s Reserve hints at more than simply the French Oak wooden barrels it was forged in. The sandstone soil its grapes arose from lend a delicate, mineral quality to the wine – adding yet another layer of intriguing complexity.
Amongst our table of three at Open Door, Neil used words like ‘integrated’ and ‘full bodied’ to describe this Chardonnay, whilst Jacques noted how the fruit and oak are well-balanced. Both admired the wine for being at once elegant and yet also abounding in citrus notes and marmalade details… apparently unique to this climate and area. With a nice acidity on the palate, this Chardonnay is far from flabby… it’s vibrant acidity pulls together to create a smooth-as-silk mouthfeel.
As far as the ‘Reserve’ part of the wine is concerned, Jacques revealed that the very best bunches from the best parts of Uitsig’s Chardonnay blocks are hand-selected and harvested in the early hours of the morning to guarantee cool, pristine fruit. Whole bunch pressing then ensures only the best, cleanest juice before a 24-hour settling period that further clarifies this would-be wine.
We all agreed that this is a serious ‘food’ wine – best enjoyed with a meal, not on its own. It would pair excellently with most chicken, salmon or duck dishes. But we decided to pair it with one of Open Door’s very own specialties… quail. The hints of citrus hidden in both the dish and wine bring out the best in one another like only star-crossed lovers can.
So if you feel adventurous enough to try your hand at such a distinct dish, we managed to prize the secret recipe out of Neil. If however, you feel dizzy after simply reading it (and the ascribed amount of craft and care it requires), book a table at Open Door, order a bottle of Uitsig Chardonnay Reserve 2014, and savour the strong emotions of well-being it’s bound to illicit…