Part of a 300-year-old wine estate in Stellebosch, South Africa, Morgenster is owned by Piedmont native Giulio Bertrand. Focused on producing world class Bordeaux-style wines, the estate brought on wine consultant Pierre Lurton, managing director of France's Château Cheval Blanc and Chateaux d’Yquem - names synonymous with highly regarded Bordeaux blends.The winemaking team's philosophy is to let every vintage determine the blend, crafting wines with an extraordinary ability to age.
Chicken Pot Pie - This heartwarming dish filled with chicken and mixed vegetables in a white gravy, works wonders with a rich, yet delicate Chenin Blanc. Look to a dryer style such as Clos du Gaimont Vouvray to provide beautiful minerality and tingling acidity that play well with this creamy classic.
Mac n' Cheese - A childhood favorite, this decadent dish deserves a bottling that will not overpowering its simplicity. An oaked Chardonnay with gentle hints of honey is a harmonious pairing. Adding bacon to the mix? Seek a bottling that offers citrus, floral and smoky notes such as Bayten Chardonnay.
Mushroom Risotto - While enjoying a dish of winter risotto, reach for a varietal that will offer complementing vegetal flavors and herbal accents like Cabernet Franc. Raats Red Jasper is a Cabernet Franc-driven Bordeaux blend combining luscious dark berries, earth and cedar with significant notes of spice.
Beef Stew - A comfort food that has stood the test of time, beef stew is a go-to for blistery evenings. Balance the earthy and stewed elements with an approachable, yet full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon. Glenelly Glass Collection Cabernet Sauvignon delivers excellent fruit structure, flaunting flavors of black currant and cherry, tinged with alluring herbs.
Q. Describe Cabernet Franc in one word.
Q. What is it about the varietal that struck your interest?
A. Cabernet Franc has three dimensions on the nose: fruit, herbaceousness and spice. Most other varietals only have two dimensions and therefore Cabernet Franc have a very complex nose. Cabernet Franc is very structured on the palate with a velvet soft finish and purity of fruit and great acidity. What more do you want from a red wine?
Q. What are people missing out on if they don’t drink Cabernet Franc?
A. Cabernet Franc offers a structure of Cab Sauv, the elegancy of Pinot Noir, and the spiciness of Shiraz, therefore you can have the character of three varietals in one wine.
Q. Pairing wise, what dishes do you enjoy with your Cab Franc?
A. It pairs well with fillet steak, roast lamb and game fish: tuna, swordfish or smoked salmon. Any herbs - rosemary, thyme, sage and chive - work very well in combination with the suggested meats.
Winemaker Bruwer Raats is focused solely on crafting world-class Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc. His boutique winery, Raats Family Wines, has quickly established itself as a New World leader in the production of these two varietals. The estate’s exquisite Cabernet Franc and Red Jasper, a Cabernet Franc blend, show the heights this under-the radar grape can achieve in the hands of a master.
Below freezing temperatures have us reaching for 'big reds' to keep us warm and cozy inside. Big Bordeaux-style blends, robust Cabernets, silky Syrahs and earthy Pinotages offer distinct aromas and flavors of the season; winter in a glass.
Rudi Schultz Syrah - Enchanting blackberry, pepper and black cherry aromas lead to a succulent mouthful of plum, earth and spice. Complex with well-integrated tannins, this seductive Syrah will impress palates across the board.
Thelema "The Mint" Cabernet Sauvignon - This stunning single vineyard Cab is bold and intense, yet remarkably pure and fresh. It boasts concentrated flavors of cassis, plum, and dark chocolate, accented by expressions of eucalyptus and mint that complement the winter wonderland outside.
De Toren Z - This sophisticated “Right Bank-styled” Bordeaux has a higher proportion of Merlot making this bottling soft and approachable. It delivers appealing aromas of dark berries and black currant with hints of spice and herbs. A lenghy finish will keep you satifsied all night long.
Kanonkop Pinotage - Crafted from the fruit of some of South Africa’s oldest Pinotage vines, this benchmark wine is a true Cape classic. Alluringly, complex and distinctive, it boasts juicy layers of cassis and plum intertwined with hints of banana, mocha and smoke. Enjoy this bottling with friends and family around the fire, a true ambiance setter.
Why was Syrah the varietal of choice for your own label?
"Early travels and working a vintage in the Rhône exposed me to some of the top Syrahs and Syrah-based blends. This and the fact that my wife worked for the grower who currently sells me my grapes all led to this versatile and very rewarding grape."
Why should more people drink Syrah?
"I personally enjoy Syrah as it can really express its origins if planted in extreme sites. Syrah is also a fantastic food wine and can be paired with food from all seasons."
Rudi Schultz's eponymous label is a fruit-driven Syrah sourced from a vineyard in the Bottelary Hills ward of Stellenbosch and vinified at the pretigious Thelema Mountain Vineyards?, where he serves as winemaker. Hailed as a small production gem, his wine has earned a 90+ Wine Spectator rave in every vintage since its 2002 debut.