THE WINE LIST: the retirement project to sample a wine made from each of the main grape varieties featured in Hugh Johnson’s pocket wine book.
Wine: Paul Cluver Elgin Ferricrete 2014, South Africa.
Alc Vol: 13.5%
HJ says: “The glory of Burgundy’s Cote d’Or with scent, flavour and texture that are unmatched anywhere.” This is probably not what you want to read when you are about to open a bottle made from the same grape grown on the other side of the world. On the other hand, HJ does promise “splendid results in South Africa’s Walker Bay.” Ok, so my bottle was from the Elgin Valley, but that is next to the Atlantic Ocean, and at least it’s a lot closer to Walker Bay than Burgundy is. Fingers crossed.
What it says on the label: “Beautiful aromas of red fruits intermingle with roasted spices followed by a delicious, elegant silky palate of poached ripe plums resulting in a medium bodied wine with soft edges.” I will be honest with you; I don’t recall ever eating poached ripe plums (will prunes-and-custard do?) so I’ll have to take the label writer’s word on that.
Food combinations: “Serve it with rosemary and mustard infused lamb, Asian style fish dishes or vegetarian lentil burgers.” Oh, come on! I’m doing my best here – I mean, we drank the second half of the bottle with roast lamb; give me a break on the rosemary and mustard infusion, will you? As for a lentil burger; that’s just wrong.
Did we like it? Yes, not massively, but it was a very nice light-bodied wine. The ‘red fruits’ were quite tart on the tongue, but it went well enough with the lamb. The first half bottle coped with the pepper and garlic chicken too (see, we can do fancy food when we want to.)
One for the wine rack? Decision deferred until I’ve tried the Burgundy that HJ likes so much.
It’s not just about the wine: The Elgin Valley produces 60% of South Africa’s national apple crop.
PS: sorry about the rubbish photo again. Camera lens has now been fixed.