I attended a launch of a new natural sweet Mourvedre from Adoro on Monday night. The launch was held at L’Aperitivo on Loop St., an Italian styled wine bar and restaurant run by the brothers Gargiulo.
The Natural Sweet Mourvedre 2009 from Swartland fruit is a bit of an odd ball. It was made specifically to be paired with cheese after a head Sommelier in London asked Ian Naudé for such a thing. He has produced a wine with a residual sugar level of 55 g/l, and a total acid of 8 g/l. It starts off with intense fruit and thickish texture, bright red mulberries, cherries and raspberries. Then comes a whack of acidity that keeps the wine drinkable. I could probably drink a bottle, but after that I think my palate would be a trifle knackered.
Thinking back on the wine I am not sure if I like it or not. It managed the cheeses well, but if I had to choose I would go for a Port. I don’t think it would be much fun to consume glass after glass of this wine without cheese, but I do think that many people will like it, and that it will be an asset to restaurants creating interesting food/wine combos. But I can’t shake the feeling that it’s a bit spoofy. I might misusing the term a tad, (as I understand spoofulated wines refers to wines that have been overly manipulated. The opposite would be artisanal, or natural wines) but the wine doesn’t feel right. The best comparison I can think of is a child dressing up in their parent’s clothes trying to be smart, but ends up looking slightly ridiculous; or a child wearing make-up; ill-fitting, it is an ill-fitting wine.
The wine doesn’t taste bad, it just doesn’t taste right.
So this what happened on the night: 25 people from the trade were served the sweet Mourvedre alongside six cheeses: a Gouda, the Fairview Roydon Camembert, an Asiago, a Tallegio, a Gruyere and a Gorgonzola. The attendees were then to tweet the experiences as the night went along.
These wine ‘tweetups’ seem to be gaining popularity, and this one worked very well. A screen with a twitter fall would have been good to get those not on twitter involved.
A slightly dodgy take on social media from Winemaker Ian. No one seemed to bothered, but then again, I haven’t read anything bad about the wines and cheeses yet. If this blog goes quiet, you’ll know I’ve been hunted down for my ‘spoofy’ comment.
This was the second favourite pairing of the evening. A solid start, but not very exciting.
So far, nothing had really excited me. Nothing had fancied my tickle. Until the Asiago was brought out. Asiago is produced in the province of Vicenza, in the Veneto region and for me this was the best paring.
I was so excited I forgot to mention what the pairing was killing, (it).
I found this pairing made me think the most, going back to the cheese and wine until I ran out of both. So much complexity, a burst of mulberry leaves, then some nuttiness with the acidity quickly kicking in, elevating the fruit flavours. The cheese seemed to give the wine a more persistent, angular finish. I gave that pairing a big “hell yeah.”
Obviously I wasn’t a big fan of this pairing. It didn’t feel balanced. However, our wine loving Balkan friend Dusan did enjoy the pairing.
I responded with
But as most people were not reading the tweets, just this failed to elicit much of a response.
This was a fun pairing although not my favourite. It was fun for the burst of mushrooms that appeared in my mouth after the wine had been swallowed. It was kind of like a burp after eating a handful of porcini mushrooms.
Jan was excited and it seems he was spot on. This pairing was unanimously voted the favourite among the attendees. I however, was less impressed.
The launch was a success, the wine went down well, the pairings were all enjoyed and many positive tweets were sent. And although I was not completely won over by the sweet Mourvedre, the Naudé White 2009 had me at the first sip. It’s a blend of Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chenin Blanc. The blend offers a glimpse of each variety while still presenting a singular wine. There is intense tropical fruit at the start which flows into a slightly flinty citrus flecked finish. I think it offers pretty good value at around R110, which is the recommended retail price.