Bilton’s Matt Black Duo

Bilton winery, is situated on the slopes of the Helderberg mountains, which is renowned as one of South Africa’s finest wine producing areas. The deep soils combined with the cool south-westerly breezes from the coast nearby, provide ideal conditions for perfect ripening of the grapes. Bilton’s neighbours, Alto and Rust en Vrede, are both established producers of excellent quality wines so it is with no surprise that Bilton, since their first release in 1998, has gained a well deserved reputation as a formidable producer of premium wines.

The Bilton legend has it that around the time Simon van der Stel was tilling the soil, a man of certain predisposition and a penchant for wine was inclined to relieve the local galleons around the Cape of their cargo, which consisted of fruit, vegetables and of course wine. This mysterious Matt Black was always after quality – quality wine that is, making him a fitting inspiration for Bilton’s adventurous duo of wines The Matt Black Red 2008 and the new addition, the Matt Black Sauvignon Blanc 2011.

Besides the pirate’s tale, Matt Black also has deep significance for owner Mark Bilton whose middle name is “Blalack” a family name stemming back to the early American roots of his family and Matt (Matthew) is the name of his eldest son.

Despite all the male history the Sauvignon Blanc 2011 was made with a woman’s touch by newly appointed winemaker Elizma van der Mescht who teamed up with seasoned winemaker Rudi du Toit in the Bilton cellar earlier this year. The wine is elegantly fresh with sumptuous aromas of crisp green apple and tropical fruit with the palate displaying excellent structure, earthy greenpeppers and a delicate smooth fresh finish. Perfect wine for warm spring evenings and it was an ideal partner with Thai chicken.

“We tried to create a multi-layered Sauvignon Blanc that truly represents Bilton’s terroir by sourcing grapes from various vineyards and using different yeasts. In this way we created a range of styles of Sauvignon Blanc which would eventually be blended to reveal our unique flavour profile,” says Elizma about the very first wine made under her own baton at Bilton.

Elizma first joined Bilton as a cellar assistant in 2009 after completing a degree in cellar technology at Elsenburg Agricultural College. Her experience at Bilton was interspersed with harvests in France and Italy, culminating in her appointment as fully fledged winemaker this year.

The current Bilton Matt Black Red 2008 is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot with a touch of Shiraz, Mourvèdre and Pinotage. The wine has a velvety plum colour with aromas of spicy sweet black cherries and dark chocolate. The palate offers delicious rich mouth filling flavours of mulberry and cherry with integrated tannins and delicate oak on the finish. Delicious on its own or with a well cured sirloin served with a rich mushroom and rosemary sauce!!! For the collector buy some now for further enjoyment in 3 years time.

Expect to pay:
Matt Black Sauvignon Blanc 2011 @ R63.00
Matt Black Red 2008 @ R104.00

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