Wishing you all the best in the New Year!

I hope you had the most fabulous festive season and are ready for a BIG 2014!

We were up in Durbs during some of our time off, and boy were we spoilt with food, wine and beautiful weather.  I sometimes forget what an awesome city Durban is.  The boxing day test was an absolute hit!  A trip to Ushaka was always on the cards, all the slides, the dolphin show, the aquarium and a swim in the warm Indian Ocean – love it, that was definitely a highlight! Loads of family time, beach time and even a few coffees overlooking the Valley of 1000 Hills.

Before we left for Durbs, our friend JD held a Christmas dinner, with delicious slices of kudu steak snacks and potbrood, followed by perfectly braaied sirloin steaks and finished off with caramel banana springrolls and ice cream.  Of course the festive season isn’t complete without a few bubbles, so a Villiera Tradition Brut was opened for the occasion, delicious as always, slightly dry but crisp with zesty fruit.  The boys tucked into an impressive bottle of Tokara Five Year Potstilled Brandy which went down a treat, a beautiful bottle and extremely smooth (according to them).

Our first night in Durbs was scrumptious prawns and swordfish on the braai, my aunt is an amazing cook and my uncle enjoys a good wine, so together with our seafood we enjoyed some Domaine Grier French Rosé as well as Pierre Jourdan Tranquille.  The Domaine Grier is a small farm in France owned by the Grier family of Villiera wines, the French Rosé is simply delicious and perfect for a summer seafood, slightly dry yet crisp and refreshing!  The Tranquille, from Haute Cabriere, as always was lovely too, made with 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay it has a beautiful pink champagne hue and a similar moussey flavour to that of an MCC, just without the bubbles – a “Still Champagne”.  Interestingly this wine has been made in a similar method to an MCC whereby the juice has been recovered from bunches of grapes before they are crushed, taking out a lot of tannins and leaving the elegant MCC finish.  Quite delicious, and even better is the Haute Cabriere Chardonnay Pinot Noir which blends in the opposite ratios to the Tranquille – All three are fantastic wines for the Summer.
More bubbles flowed on Christmas Day, starting with a bottle of Boschendal Grand Cuvee Brut – which is now one of my personal favourites, delicately moussey with almond biscotti and green apple flavours, it is both sweet and dry, a delight! 
A case of Moreson Pink Brut Rosé was also delivered on the day, to my uncle as a present from his sons, and we were lucky enough to pop a bottle for the occasion.  Another great MCC, I always love the soft pink hues of a rosé champagne.  While the strawberry and raspberry flavours are there, it is quite a dry MCC, very enjoyable, but after the Boschendal it was a little bit dry for my liking – personal preference.

With the Durban heat and humidity we had red wine only once, a glass each and that was enough.  A bottle of Springfield Estate Whole Berry Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 given as a gift to my mom.  A great opportunity for me to use my new aerator and wine glass identifier friends (you can see the little yellow guy grappling on to my glass there – love them!).  The wine was delicious, loaded with berries, but still that distinct Cab earthiness and gravel road-like scent and finish.  Being young it could probably keep for a few more years, but it is made to be enjoyed now.  Springfield Estate is in the Roberston Valley.

There were a bunch of wine farm visits during our holiday too and other activities in and around the winelands.  I’ll post a few of those in the coming weeks.

We are certainly well rested and nicely tanned as we return to work here.  How was your festive season?  Are you ready for 2014?


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