I usually see Fairview as far too over-commercialised with the tourist buses rolling in and the busy-ness of the taste room full of people bustling between the cheese tasting and the wine.
But, the masters tasting is in a private room at the back with probably about 8 or 9 different tables.
Once seated you are served a plate of 8 cheese samples which are to paired with the 8 wines you will taste, as well as some ciabatta chunks with 3 different olive oils.
Your personal sommier then takes you through the cheese and wine pairing and tasting experience.
Well worth it and a fantastic overall experience.
My wine notes below…
FAIRVIEW DARLING SAUVIGNON BLANC (paired with 100% goat milk FETA)
Very delicious! Lemongrass, peachy smell. No oak. Grown out in Darling where the climate is cooler and the fresh ocean air blows over. These grapes are part of the early harvest. The farm description mentions granadillas and passion fruit – which you can definitely pick up. The grapefruit I didn’t get as much of.
FAIRVIEW CHARDONNAY (paired with 100% goat milk CHEVIN TRADITIONAL)
Lighter in colour than your usual Chardonnay, only 30% has spent time in French Oak so that typical Chardonnay heavy caramel taste is not as strong. Smells like apricots. Very nice chardonnay, on the lighter side.
The cheese was deliciously smooth.
FAIRVIEW NUROK (paired with WHITE ROCK WITH APRICOTS)
This wine has 5* in the John Platter guide. I found it to be quite sweet and almost like a light dessert wine. A lovely flavour, more on the fruity side. Very well paired with the Apricots in the cheese, a delicious cheese the White Rock. I would serve the Nurok with a cheese board for dessert, personally.
FAIRVIEW PEGLEG CARIGNAN 2009 (paired with BRIE DE LA ROCHE, 50% cow, 50% goat)
A Spanish varietal (Carignan). These vines are bush vines which are only about knee height. I agree with the raspberries and cherries on the nose as per the farm description. I thought it smelt quite full bodied and berry-ish. Tasted of spicy berries if that is possible, with quite a tanniny dryish finish. It was quite an unusual taste. The farm description of liquorice, black tea & tobacco is quite apt.
The cheese was lovely! Well paired.
FAIRVIEW EXTRANO 2010 (paired with WHITE ROCK WITH CRANBERRIES)
Extrano meaning “strange” in Spanish, this wine is a Rioja (Spanish) blend. I thought this wine was a VERY nice blend, not too berry tasting, although smelling of berries and bright in colour. The description mentions strawberries which are not as tart and sweet as raspberries or blackberries. I agreed with the subtle smokiness and rounded tannins. A great wedding wine (something everyone will enjoy)
The cheese paired well with the wine because the wine was not too sweet. Alone, however, I found the cheese quite rich and a little too sweet and floral for my personal preference.
FAIRVIEW PRIMO PINOTAGE 2011 (paired with HANTAM, 100% goat milk)
This wine had a sweet cherry smell. It has spent time in American oak giving it the vanilla and cinnamon notes. I found it to be quite sweet almost sugary with not a very strong coffee flavour (which you usually find in a Pinotage), a light red wine. I don’t think I would have more than one glass, its nice, but not great – personal preference.
The cheese was DELICIOUS!! A hard light cheese with an oaky finish – yum!
FAIRVIEW THE BEACON SHIRAZ 2009 (paired with GRANA)
Hand picked with open fermentation and 2 years in new French oak. I found it to be a fruity shiraz, sweeter than usual, with a lovely spicy taste. A very good wine that will age well.
I found the cheese to be a bit too intense for my personal taste.
CYRIL BACK 2007 (paired with GRUYERE)
This wine is the Shiraz grape produced in a different method in an outstanding climate year with no irrigation. It has spent time in both French and American oak. This wine is only produced in an excellent climate year. I thought it smelt similar to a sherry / port, but the taste was more earthy. A very good combination of fruit and earth. This wine will definitely improve with age (or simply decant it if you can’t wait). A lovely full RED wine.