For a perfect introduction to South African style Cabernet Sauvignon, there’s no better way than to open a bottle of Fairview Estate Range Cab.
In a normal world (without a global pandemic) at the time this blog goes life, I would usually unpack my bags after a trip to the stunning South African Cape Winelands.
But we are not living in a normal world (or maybe this is the new normal) and what used to be a more than 10-year long cherished year-end tradition has been on hold now for the second year in a row.
In keeping it as positive as can be, while I cannot experience the many wonderful wineries and their fantastic wine tasting and culinary offers of the Cape in person, at least I can still enjoy the excellent South African wines at home, as many are sold internationally.
So I was quite excited finding this Cabernet Sauvignon from one of my favourite wine estates of the Cape, stunning Fairview at my local wine store.
South Africa has a long history with Cabernet Sauvignon with the regions climate and soils making it a New World meets Old World type of ripe and fruity, not excessively soft, with plenty acidity and moderate alcohol, and this Cab from the Fairview estate range is no exception.
It’s an excellent, full-bodied wine that works well with a range of red meat, game, and cheese.
But if like me, you are looking to keep your meals quick and easy in January, after all the festive food on the menu over the past few weeks, this wine also pairs perfectly well with the classic Hasselback potatoes.
A type of baked potatoes, Hasselback potatoes were first served in a tavern in Sweden called Hasselbacken (hence the name), and they are looking just that bit more gorgeous and fancier. Yet they are actually very easy to make and only require few ingredients.
Hasselback potatoes also make a great side with your Sunday roast or a nice steak. But they are just perfect for an easy weekday dinner, topped with cheese or a creamy mushroom sauce.
Nestled at the foot of Paarl Rock in the Paarl area of South Africa’s Cape Winelands, Fairview is a working farm that is not just making excellent wine. Some might even go as far to say, they are even more famous for their goat’s cheese. Or the quite unique goat tower – which also figures on the estate’s wine caps.
For someone who is not a huge cheese lover, my preference remains on the wines though. But I can’t deny that thinking of Fairview, one of the first things that comes to mind is their unique goat’s tower.
Founded in 1693, today Fairview is a collection of various micro-businesses that mostly evolve around wine and cheese.
When in the area, don’t miss the wine and cheese tasting in the lovely tasting room. Or stock up on wine, cheese, yoghurt, all sorts of different breads, pastries and more at the Fairview Daily and Bakery.
For those that can’t visit in person, check out the wine range including single variety bottlings under the Fairview label which come from the estate’s older vineyards; the regional revival range of blended wines with a local twist, a limited selection of single vineyard bottlings, along with the La Capra (fruit-forward single variety wines) and Goats Do Roam ranges, a mix of southern French and Italian style blends.
Tasting Notes: Fairview Cabernet Sauvignon
Grapes for this estate range Fairview Cabernet Sauvignon are hand-picked, destemmed, and pressed. The mash is fermented cold in stainless steel tanks before the wine ages in French and American oak barrels for 18 months.
In the glass, a bright ruby red.
On the nose, intense aromas of juicy black current, black cherry, and blackberry followed by notes of vanilla and hints of eucalyptus and mint.
On the palate, rounded grippy tannins are well integrated into the wine. Energizing with lively notes of fruit acid. Spicy hints of leather and tobacco and an even more subtle note of barrique.
This is a typical Cabernet Sauvignon that pairs perfectly with steak, braised beef, venison, roast or grilled lamb, a nice burger or a cheese platter.
I have enjoyed Fairview Cabernet Sauvignon with a simple plate of the classic hasselback potatoes topped with cheese. Absolutely delightful.
Recipe: Hasselback Potatoes with bacon and cheese
800 g potatoes, preferably the same size
4 tablespoons olive oil
8 – 10 thyme stalks
3-4 slices bacon, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves
200 g Taleggio or brie cheese, in slices
Preheat oven to 200°C.
Wash and brush the potatoes clean.
Slice thin sections about two-thirds the way down into the potato, making sure there remains a solid base to keep them together. To avoid accidentally cutting too deep, put a pencil or wooden spoon at either side of the potato, stopping the knife cutting through.
Carefully place the bacon between every few slices and place in a large roasting pan.
Mix half of the thyme with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Drizzle the potatoes with the oil-thyme mix.
Lightly press the garlic cloves and place between the potatoes.
Bake for about 40 minutes until the potatoes are starting to become crispy.
Cover potatoes with the cheese and continue to bake for another 7 to 10 minutes until the cheese has melted.
Serve topped with the remaining thyme.