Background: It was long overdue but having had a kind invitation from Michael Olivier to visit the Asara Wine Estate and Hotel was what was needed to refresh myself of what this beautiful estate has to offer. Asara is located on the outskirts of Stellenbosch and besides producing a magnificent range of wines they have a five star hotel, a couple of eateries, including their premium restaurant “mise en place”, as well as Sansibar Bistro and Bar which stocks over 250 gins from all over the world.
We started off with a wine tasting in the cellar with Danielle who joined Asara at the end of 2015. She has inherited a formidable task as the range is fairly extensive with over 25 wines in their portfolio. A favourite of mine has been the Shiraz from their Vineyard Collection and we tasted the 2012 made by previous wine maker Francois Joubert. Produced from 16 year old vineyards the grapes were hand sorted and whole bunch soaked for three days prior to fermentation. During fermentation 10% of the grapes remained in bunches, which minimised the extraction of tannin from the skin and pips. After which malolactic fermentation took place in the tank and once complete the wine was transferred to barrel (15% in 1st fill barrels with the remaining in 2nd and 3rd fill French and American) where it rested for 20 months prior to blending (87% Shiraz with 9% Mouvedre and 4% Petit Verdot) and bottling.
Result: This wine offers savoury, leather aromas and a dash of spice from the Mourvèdre. Full yet elegant with a long finish.
When to drink: Now till 2018
Drink with what: Barbecued pepper crusted ostrich fillet
Expect to pay: R135.00