It’s the beginning of a brand new year. The festive season is freshly behind us, and in its wake, Jacques, Neil and myself are sitting in Open Door reflecting on the year that’s past and the year ahead. Having freshly explored the idea of resolutions and how to make them stick, I asked each of my companions if they had any personal goals in mind. It turns out we’re all aiming to do life a little differently (and way more philosophically) this year…

Jacques’ resolution: “To observe, to adapt, to learn.”

Neil’s goal: ‘Write that book.”

And mine: “To be less busy and more present.”

Amidst such evolved, observant and present company, tasting Uitsig’s Semillon 2014 was sure to elicit some profound insights! You be the judge:

Consistently rated as one of the top white wines in South Africa, Constantia Uitsig’s Semillon 2014 has already followed in its predecessors’ footsteps. Even prior to its official release, it was awarded John Platter’s coveted 5-star rating.

“Whereas the previous vintage was perhaps more earthy and mineral, this Semillon exhibits riper citrus fruits like green limes, tangerines and candied marmalade on the nose and palate.” Jacques observes.

Neil adds, “Judges tend to love this type of white wine – it’s interesting, rich… a proper full-bodied white wine.”

We talk at length about how important it is for a Semillon to strike that fine balance between having a rich mouthfeel, and yet not getting flabby at the same time.

Jacques elaborates, “When you get this kind of texture and weight, you normally don’t have the right amount of acidity to hold it all together.”

One of the secrets behind why Uitsig’s Semillon can so effortlessly combine these two opposing qualities in one glass, lies in the age of the block. Twenty-three years old, our Semillon vines have had plenty of time to settle down, producing a low, but concentrated crop of low pH and high acidity grapes.

Neil suggests another contributing factor to its success: “Part of Uitsig’s greatness lies in the fact that the climate is cool, but not that cool – ideal for producing really interesting white wines with loads of ripe fruit on the nose and a lovely mouthfeel and texture that’s rich without being overpowering.”

Barrel fermented in big 600 litre French Oak barrels, only 15% of this wine is put in new barrels. This ensures that the vineyard and fruit come to the fore, without being overshadowed by oak. Unlike some whites, Semillon tends to age gracefully. And this year is no exception…

Jacques and Neil predict that although drinking beautifully at present, this Semillon will reach its zenith in five to ten years (if any unopened bottles even exist by then).

When it comes to pairing this wine off with its ideal dinner plate companion, we all agree that this vintage’s riper fruits will pair extremely well with creamier dishes, especially those with citrus flavours too. And so, for the first time since beginning our wine tasting sessions almost a year ago, we decided to create our own perfect food partner… Pan-fried hake with a Semillon, lime and herb butter sauce.