Stellenbosch Hills winery has recently celebrated the launch of rare bottlings of its Sense of Place wine collection. We arrived at The Fat Butcher restaurant on a warm summer’s day in Stellenbosch to join in the festivities. And what better way to start this special event than being greeted with a flute of Stellenbosch Hills’ Anna Christina MCC?
Named for the eldest daughter of Antone Vlotment, the first wine farmer of the Vlottenburg area in the Eikestad (“City of Oaks”), the Anna Christina MCC 2020 is completely created from Stellenbosch Chardonnay. Best enjoyed with fresh Saldanha Bay oysters, complete with compressed apple and yuzu pearls and served with mignonette sauce, the MCC is a gracious wine, offering aromas of fresh, Granny Smith apples, citrus blossoms and a sense of nuts.
As with the Anna Christina MCC, this was only the second time Stellenbosch Hills’ Suikerboschrand Cape Blend has been made available. A blend of Pinotage and Shiraz and equal measures Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, we enjoyed Stellenbosch Hills’ flagship red blend with a flavoursome lunch. A menu comprising some of the best traditional South African cuisines, for the main course, the Suikerboschrand Cape Blend 2017 paired well with skaapstertjies (“sheep tails”), chargrilled lamb rump with soya and chilli jus and oven-roasted rosa tomatoes, and flame-grilled t-bone lamb chops served with Greek yoghurt tzatziki.
The new Suikerboschrand Cape Blend vintage is elegant, with notes of ripe berries, hints of spice, and dark chocolate. It’s bold yet soft on the palate. The meat dishes exquisitely complimented it. According to Stellenbosch Hills, this vintage should age well in the bottle for up to the next decade. An award-winning wine, the Suikerboschrand Cape Blend received Double Gold status at the 2021 Veritas Awards.
However, the Anna Christina MCC and Suikerboschrand Cape Blend weren’t the only Sense of Place wines we had the opportunity to sample. The buttery Kastanjeberg Chenin Blanc was complemented by mussels cooked in Sauvignon Blanc and steak tartare. The dal Molise Burrata, a buttery textured cheese enclosed in a bag of mozzarella, complimented the texture of the Kastanjeberg Chenin Blanc with near perfection. It’s a lovely wine, best enjoyed during the summer months and with seafood dishes.
For dessert, we veered off from the Sense of Place collection to have a taste of the 2020 vintage of Stellenbosch Hills’ Muscat de Hambourg. It’s fragrant and sweet with notes of rose petals, boiled sweets, and a touch of candy floss. The Muscat was served in a glass with almond biscotti, the latter soaking up the juice like a dipped a rusk with coffee. What better way to end this special event than with this sweet wine? It was a wonderful experience tasting these wines as they are supposed to – with great company and equally great food.