Cabernet Sauvignon is thought to be the offspring Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, a fact I didn’t know until I joined Nederburg cellar-master, Andrea Freeborough and the team at Nederburg for their Curious Case of Cabernet event.
“Considered the world’s most renowned grape variety for the making of top-quality red wine, Cabernet Sauvignon has long been associated with France’s famous Bordeaux wine region, with the first major plantings dating to the 1800s”.
“The extremely high likelihood that the parentage of Cabernet Sauvignon is in fact the grape varieties Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon blanc was discovered in 1996 by a research group at the University of California at Davis, led by Carole Meredith and John Bowers. They speculated that it might have simply been a product of spontaneous crossing of the two grape varietals from adjacent vineyards via wind pollination,”
To show the difference between the parent varieties, as well as the influence of terroir on the flavour profiles of the wines, we were offered two Cabernet Franc 2016 tank samples to taste, one from the Stellenbosch region and the other from Paarl. Two distinct Sauvignon blanc 2017 samples were also included in the tasting line-up. These came from Stellenbosch and Darling vineyards.
After the tasting, we were randomly divided into teams for an interactive wine blending experience in Nederburg red wine cellar, guided by Freeborough and Nederburg assistant red-wine maker, Heinrich Kulsen. We were tasked with creating our own red blends, using three different Cabernet Sauvignons and one Cabernet Franc, all from the 2016 vintage, with each offering a unique spectrum of taste.
We were allowed to produce a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon with a 15% allowance of Cabernet Franc if we wished.
With varied pallettes at the table we decided to produce a wine that would be higher end, fuller with greater body rather than easy drinking Cabernet.
After trial and error we eventually agreed that we were onto a winner. Sadly we werent and another team walked away with a Nederburg II Centuries Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 and a gorgeous glass decanter.
After all our efforts( and “tasting”) we headed to the Red Table for a Table d’hote lunch that was paired with wines by Andrea.
Snoek-stuffed baby squid, avocado, tomato salsa and lemon garlic butter
Nederburg Ingenuity White Blend 2014
Slow-braised lamb shoulder parcel, potato rӧsti, wilted greens and red wine jus
Ingenuity Italian Red Blend 2013
Dark chocolate torte, butterscotch ice cream and parsnip crisps
Ingenuity Spanish Red Blend 2012
I was seated opposite Andrea and this lead to more talking and wine discussion than food photography, apologies. However, the wines we were offered were deliciously paired and made the gloomy weather outside just all that more bareable.
I must return for a lazy lunch on the Red Table lawns soon!