– FANTASTIC! DEFINITELY GOING BACK FOR THE PAIRING TASTING!
Deeper into the Hemel & Aarde (Heaven & Earth) Valley and 7km on a dirt road is the beautiful, and aptly named, Creation wine farm. They are busy tarring the road to get there at the moment, but for now it is worth every kilometre of dirt road getting yourself there. It is autumn at the moment and so all the vineyards are turning yellow and red, lining the drive into to the tasting room. The tasting room is warm and friendly, they even have a kids playroom with chairs and paintings made from old barrels. We had a little one with us and they were so accommodating bringing a mat and toys and juice next to our table.
It was late afternoon and yet they were full of people either lingering on from lunch or enjoying the wine pairing. The wine pairing looked absolutely delicious and had we not have just eaten lunch we would have definitely tucked in. But now its all the more reason to go back again on our next weekend in Sandbaai. If you go onto their website they actually have a really cool pairing section with recipes to do your own pairings at home – great idea!
The staff were just lovely, very knowledgeable and relaxed making you feel right at home. The view is stunning looking over the dam and up a mountain where the sunsets behind, with a quaint little church up on one of the hills. Although the decor setting appear to be smart and chic, the environment is relaxed and friendly. Glass windows on the floor allow you to see down into the cellar when you walk in. There is even a fire place in the middle for the colder winter days.
The winery makes use of Riedel wine glasses. We enjoyed a Riedel tasting when we were still in the Cayman Islands. A different shaped wine glass is made for every kind of wine. They make you smell and taste the wine in one glass and then transfer your wine to the next glass to smell and taste the difference the glass makes, it is quite remarkable. The glass really does make a different in terms of the scents you pick up on the nose and the flavours you experience on the tongue. You will see below in the tasting notes how each glass compliments the particular wine served. And so in your tasting at Creation, each wine is served in a different glass.
A lovely, lovely afternoon was had by all and we will definitely be back again!
A few wine notes below…
SAUVIGNON BLANC 2013
This wine smells like apples and lemons, even a little peachy maybe. A very nice Sav B, not as crisp and fresh as you would expect, but more on the fruity lemon and kiwi flavours. Surprisingly heavy legs too. Served in a tall glass with a narrow rim, this glass lands the wine in the middle of your tongue picking up the more acidic and bitter flavours expected in a Sav B. The smaller top also enhances the nose when smelling.
Now this wine smells more floral, like rose petals and a sea breeze, very subtle though not a strong nose at all. Our TRH noted how it has a similar affect as that of ginger with sushi, the way it is sharp and yet softly cleanses the palate. He also recommended pairing it with Thai food or a curry because of its subtlety it compliments the stronger flavoured foods. It has soft vanilla, peach and apricot flavours with a bit of spice on the finish but it goes down softly.
Its nice to know now what pairs well with a curry other than Riesling, we’ll have to try that next time.
This was served in a much wider glass than the above two wines. The wider glass puts the wine on the sides of your mouth where you will pick up more of the sweeter flavours. With the strong nose on a Chardonnay this wide glass also softens these harsh tones. This wine was a bit lighter than a rich Chard, with a caramel popcorn nose. Still buttery and quite fruity. With the wider glass you don’t get as much of the strong wood flavours but more of the fruit flavours and tartness with a smooth caramel finish and after taste when you breathe out.
Everyone agreed this is definitely one of the nicest Chardonnays we have tasted, whether it be due to the glass or the actual wine, we won’t know but my other half bought a bottle to take home (when do you buy Chardonnay to take home, not very often at all!?). Luckily we have very wide big glasses at home to make sure we have the same experience.
PINOT NOIR 2012
This is a young wine, quite a light, brighter RED colour. Our TRH noted that you could use it in place of Listerine in the mornings as it has that fresh taste when you breathe in afterwards. There is a slight spice on the nose. It is a very fruity, lovely flavoured wine. Again, it may be the effect of the glass or Pinots may be growing on me. The berry flavours were stronger than usual and I would definitely enjoy this as an easy drinking summer RED. A lovely smooth finish and definitely one of the nicer Pinot Noirs I have tasted.
Perhaps the glass shape again but this Merlot was more spicy on the nose than you would usually expect. It is quite earthy on the nose, like when it rains on a dirt road, with a hint of pepper (white powder pepper or green peppers). It could probably rest for a year or two, which the TRH confirmed, but it would also be quite enjoyable now. The flavours are very berry with an unusual hint of tobacco smokiness. It is not so dark in colour, but has quite heavy legs. It is not very tanniny, but has quite a dry almost peppery finish. We thought it would pair well with a wild game meat.
BORDEAUX BLEND 2011 (Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot)
This wine has a lovely rounded palette and as the TRH suggested it is certainly not to be wasted on vegetables… rather a nice fatty lamp chop! It is also still quite young and will get better with age (3-5yrs), but still delicious. Most of us preferred this blend to the Merlot above. With quite heavy legs and strong nose, the flavours have a hint of spice but not as peppery as the Merlot more of a sweet spice. A lovely blend of fruit and spice, very smooth and very nice – perfect for red meat.
Other than the great Chardonnay experience, this was the favourite at the Creation.
They say this is a feminine Syrah, not that it is only for the ladies, but rather it is softer than other Syrahs. While still spicy it has more of a Christmas mince pie spice nose to it with a hint of Turkish delight. To me it smelt like berry compost, with definite spice. TRH recommended pairing this wine with your richer foods like duck or oxtail. This is quite a sweet Syrah, very fruity and spicy, it is definitely a softer, smoother wine with quite a dry finish. Very enjoyable.
It really was a great tasting experience with all the pairing ideas learnt and the Riedel glass experiences as well as the stunning views and ambience.
On a side note, I tested Nigella’s zuchini cake with home made lemon curd in the middle and cream cheese icing. It came with for the weekend and went down a treat for afternoon tea before heading to Creation wines for some tastings!