Toast democracy with award-winning Constitution Road wines
Flagship range from Robertson Winery in the Breede River Valley
In the week that we’ve exercised our right to vote, it seems apt to look at a wine linked to the founding document of our democracy.
Robertson Winery is well known for their vast range of good quality, easy everyday wines in both box and bottle, but less well known are their flagship Constitution Road wines, launched in 2004 on the 10th anniversary of democracy in SA.
Named after the winery’s home at No1 Constitution Road in the pretty Breede River Valley town of Robertson, these are elegant, complex wines sourced from the winery’s premium vineyards and they’re regular local and international award winners.
The latest vintages – 2015 Shiraz and 2016 Chardonnay – both rate 4.5 stars in the 2019 Platter’s, while the shiraz won a Michelangelo gold and the chardonnay double gold at Michelangelo and silver on the international Chardonnay du Monde Awards.
Barrel-aged for 36 months, the shiraz (about R220) is inky dark and velvety, with intense ripe berry and plummy flavours and a touch of liquorice, its full body and opulent fruit lifted by the warmth of black pepper on a lingering finish. Balanced and complex, layers of flavour continue to open up in the glass.
Golden and richly fragrant with vanilla, marmalade and buttery toast, the chardonnay (about R150) has 18 months in wood, making for a rich, bold wine. It’s everything a chardonnay- lover wants – rich and creamy, with citrus, pear and butterscotch flavours balanced with just enough zesty acidity to hold it all together.
The winemaker suggests the shiraz with hearty full-flavoured meat dishes, such as slow-roasted barbecue pork or grilled pepper steak with blue cheese sauce, while the chardonnay is recommended for rich dishes, such as butternut ravioli with burnt sage butter, or grilled prawns or salmon with garlic butter.
On the subject of food and wine pairing ... chef-proprietor Brian Hall of funky-casual Southeast Asian eatery Otak-Otak in Mount Pleasant has been singing the praises for a while now of Bosman Fides Grenache Blanc as an ideal partner to the complex flavours of his Vietnamese, Malaysian and Philippines dishes.The Fides is an “orange wine” – white grapes are fermented on the skins, for three weeks in this case, but sometimes even longer, resulting in an intensely orange-hued wine with complex texture and flavours.And Brian is right, the intense savouriness of the wine, slightly sour and the fruit more secondary, with its bold texture, just really comes into its own and complements the intricate, umami flavours of chili, ginger, lime, soya and sesame found in his unusual, and very tasty, dishes.The food is reasonably priced, the wine not a cheap date (around R220), but worth splashing out on for an overall taste sensation.