Our pictures of Onderkloof Wine Estate
We tried going to Onderkloof Wine Estate in Somerset West once before, following the signs up from Old Sir Lowrys Road, but got to a closed gate. A few weeks later I happened to drive past, and saw a sign saying that they were open that Saturday for wine tasting. I let Bev know, because Onderkloof is a stone’s throw from my shack, and we were excited to check in on the Saturday morning.
They are now open for wine tasting every first Saturday of the month, from 11 am to 3 pm. On weekdays you can visit the tasting room from 11 am to 4 pm.
To visit Onderkloof Wine Estate’s website, click here.
It was busy and the people from the estate had their hands full, but they were friendly and welcoming and served us promptly. We started asking questions about the Onderkloof wines, but the guy helping us admitted that he was only helping out for the day and couldn’t answer all our questions. Mindful of the situation, and it being a relaxed Saturday morning, we didn’t mind. Especially since he promised to send the winemaker, Yves from Switzerland, to us as soon as he got a gap. I always love speaking to the winemakers themselves!
Yves and his wife, Luanne, came to talk to us, and it was a very informative morning, in which I learned quite a bit about the wines of the unique Schapenberg wine region. They also took us for a quick cellar tour, which was an added bonus. Yves and Luanne were married in the cellar, lending a romantic nuance to the whole Onderkloof experience.
Onderkloof Sir Lowry Classic Blend 2014
I bought some of their Sir Lowry Classic Blend 2014 to bring home, and I am enjoying it as I write this post. It is easily my favourite red from the Schapenberg. It is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, 50% of each. I have to be honest that I don’t know much about Cabernet Francs, but I am making a point of tasting them when possible, and I am liking it more and more. In fact, I have become a big fan of red blends, and although I can’t always identify a Cab Franc yet, I am noticing that whenever I love a blend, there is some Cab Franc in it, which says a lot.
This particular one is smooth, with soft tannins. It seems like a light, easy drinking wine when you take the first sip, but then you realise, it is not. When you swirl it on your tongue it starts teasing you with a subtle complexity that dares you to try and put it into words. There are chocolate and coffee that hit you first. and then, for me, just a tiny bit of caramel in the mocha. I also get a fleeting hint of lavender that disappears just before you can say, yes, there it is. Yet, it is there – or not quite there – with every sip, so I can’t ignore it. The description on the bottle promises blueberry and cranberry.
I don’t really get the blueberry. Maybe very vaguely, only because I was told it should be there, but the cranberry jumps out with great enthusiasm! I also taste other red berries like strawberry and maybe even cherry.
Now I am going to stick my neck out! I think it finishes with a hint of black pepper, that I can’t ignore. It is subtle, and maybe it is just me tasting it, but I got it in every sip.
All in all, it is a wine that you just can’t go wrong with.
It is the one I will take to a dinner party when I don’t know what is on the menu, and who will be there, because it will satisfy the wine fundi who wants to think about what they drink, as well as the casual wine drinker who just knows that it is going down well. It is independent enough not to be overwhelmed by most flavourful foods, but also versatile enough to complement many dishes. By that, I mean even dishes that have a unique flavour, and would normally be paired with a specific type of wine.
Paring the Onderkloof Sir Lowry Classic Blend 2014
I would pair the Sir Lowry Classic Blend with any beef dish, but tonight I had it with a rather plain, home-cooked vegetarian meal. It worked, and it was more than just enjoyable! We had crispy fried tofu, savoury rice, a tomato and pesto based stew with onions and green beans, and a green salad with black pepper feta cheese, and it paired perfectly. I would also not hesitate to pair this wine with something like a Chinese or Asian chicken or pork dish; perhaps something in a sweet and sour sauce, or a soya based basting.
I think I need to get back to Onderkloof very soon, and stock up on this wine. I really could have it every day!
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