Sunday, 20 May 2018

#WineRoutingWithLloyd - Creation Wines (Part 2)

So I feel like you need to know a bit more about Creation Wines. Where they come from, where they are going & why Creation Wines is more than just really good wine.

Creation Wines was started back in 2002 by Jean-Claude & Carolyn Martin, when they 'took up the challenge' of opening a winery in the Walker Bay wine region. The Swiss born JC & South African born Carolyn both come from a rich heritage & background of wine spanning over 3 generations & 2 continents.

Just thinking that a few years ago, where the vineyards are today, there was pretty much nothing but Wilderness. And today, a magnificent 40 hectares of model wine farm. So in the small amount of time to produce wine of such high quality, in my opinion is quite an amazing achievement. For those of you who are not sure where Creation Wines is; the estate is in the upper Hemel-en-Aarde ridge near Hermanus, where the vines climb the steep hills of the Babylon Toren mountain. The terroir is, as they call it, a 'Heavenly' setting that produces full-flavoured grapes of a high quality.

What I think is pretty amazing, besides the wine that is, is that Creation is very much about giving back. Be it giving back to nature or the community. Creation is a member of the Biodiversity & Wine Initiative & are committed to conserve the natural heritage by implementing long-term biodiversity & sustainability programmes. All recent releases all boast the 'green seal' & they are one of nine wineries in SA to have received the coveted EnviroWines accreditation. 

Creation also is a very proud supporter of the Pebbles Project. Pebbles project provides support & intervention in five key areas, namely; Education, Health, Nutrition, Community & Protection. But their main aim & emphasis is placed on education. Which in my mind is the most important point in our country, that needs to be addressed. As education is the basis of all the other elements. They strive to enrich lives of disadvantaged families in the Wineland farming communities. "We focus on the entire life of the child & the challenging circumstances in which they live in order to make a significant & lasting difference." 

To read more about the Pebbles Project & how you can get involved, check out their website here.

See why I say that Creation is really more than just really good wine?

Now on to some the part where you can win some wine.

If you read my previous post about the Brunch Pairing at Creation, you will know that my favourite wines were the Creation Sauvignon Blanc Semillon & the Creation Pinot Noir. And so, in collaboration with Creation Wines, 3 lucky readers will each win a bottle of each of my favourites. So you get the Creation Sauvignon Blanc Semillon & you get the Creation Pinot Noir.

How to enter:
1. Like As Seen By Lloyd & Creation Wines on Facebook or Follow @Lloydi_Boy & @creationwines on Twitter.
2. Repost the competition Post on Facebook or Retweet the competition Tweet on Twitter. Remember to include the #WineRoutingWithLloyd in your post/tweet.
3. Tag 2 friends in your post who you'd share a glass of Creation Wines with.

NB. Remember, you have to include #WineRoutingWithLloyd otherwise your entry is not valid & can not be counted.

Good Luck!

#WineRoutingWithLloyd - Creation Wine

I've only ever heard of the Hemel 'n Aarde Valley & I've drank lots of the wine that comes from the area. But this was my 1st ever visit to Hermanus. So 1st on my list for the area was Creation Wines.

Now imagine arriving at a tasting room & this greets you as you arrive.

Escourted to the best table in the house... Oh, I also just need to add this was around 9:45 am already. And my activities for the visit had been kept a secret, so I had no idea what I was in for.

Now how about this. A Brunch Pairing. (In my mind it was still pretty much breakfast, but hey.)

And did I mention that it's a 5 course pairing?  Something very new & unique that I had never experienced before, so I was quite excited to see what this whole experience had in store for us. 

Naturally, 1st a glass of bubbles just to 'line' the stomach. Then onto the 1st course: Honey Granola with a Passion Fruit Mousse, Cherry Pearls & Oreganum.

Paired with the Creation Sauvignon Blanc. What I loved about this wine was that when you held it up against the light was that the colour is a gorgeous pale yellow, but then every now & then you get a touch of a green that comes through. A distinct nose of tropical fruits, crisp yet elegant. With a bit of minerality that comes through subtly. This wine is crisp on the palate, with a very nice full mouth feel & a touch of acidity that pulls through on the aftertaste.

2nd Course: Green Pepper Puree with Asparagus, Smoked Salmon & a Poached Quail Egg served with Hollandaise.

The Creation Sauvignon Blanc Semillon was next on the table. This is a Bordeaux-style white. Again, a beautiful light-straw colour wine with a fresh & crisp aroma on the nose. Coming though on the palate is quite a few 'green' flavours. I most definitely picked up on a ripe green fig that's just been plucked from the tree & cut open. A very easy drinking wine that I can see myself sipping on, on a hot summers day.

3rd Course: Brioche French Toast with Smoked Duck Breast, Maple Syrup, Raspberry Powder served alongside King Oyster Mushroom Chips.

Probably served with my favourite bottle of Creation, the Art of Pinot Noir

A deep robust red that when held up to the light is almost a shiny red wine. Beautiful dark red cherries giving the nose the full body, but a slight hint at rose petals giving the wine a slightly more light & almost feminine characteristic. A slightly more complex full bodied wine that has layers of those red cherries & plums coming through on the palate.

4th Course: Grilled Aubergine & King Oyster served with Prosciutto wrapped Fig, Gorgonzola & Sumac Puree served with Balsamic Reduction.

Paired with the Creation Reserve Merlot. Berries and lots of it. On the nose & the palate. Deep, dark, red berries. Even a slight hint of a fresh cigar box & some roasted nuts.

5th Course: Sweet - Milk Chocolate Cremeaux with Star Anise Cherries, Black Olive Shortbread, Pomegranate, Marjoram & Liquorice Foam.

5th Course: Cheese - Klein River Gruberg Gruyere, Black Cherry Preserve, Black Olive Shortbread, Marjoram & Liquorice Foam. 

Best to sip on the Creation Syrah Grenache whilst savouring the last dish of the day. A deep dark purple thought provoking wine with aromas of spices & ripe dark purple fruits. Most definitely a full-bodied blend made in a Rhône-style that leaves ripe plums & soft pepper lingering on the palate.

Then I was told that I simply had to try a small bowl of their soup, which is available on the lunch-time menu. A Cauliflower & Gorgonzola Soup with Blue Berries. I almost died. Burst of flavours & textures that will leave you wanting more. No wonder this is one of the most popular dishes on the menu that people come back for time & time again.  

So I have a lot more to say about Creation Wines. So check out the other article on Creation Wines here. (Oh & you don't want to miss it, I have an exciting competition linked up to that article where you can win some wine!)

Check out Creation Wines here.


Wednesday, 16 May 2018

#WineRoutingWithLloyd - Saronsberg

Only opening promptly at 10:00 am on a Sunday, I found myself waiting outside the gate at Saronsberg at 9:50 am in the Tulbagh Valley. I was definitely going to wait the 10 minutes until the gates opened. And it sure was worth the wait.

Saronsberg is known for all the artwork throughout their property. On arrival, you are greeted by this interesting piece watching over the gate.

To kick start the morning, we popped open a bottle of bubbles with Gerhardt, because frankly, that is how every morning should start in my opinion. Then a taster or two of the white & rosè varietals that they have on offer.

But lets be honest, I was not there for the white wines, I was there to get down into tasting some of their beautiful red wines.

One of my all time favourite Saronsberg red wines must be the Seismic Rooi. What an elegant & easy drinking blend of 5 cultivars - Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Merlot, Cabernet Franc & Malbec. Beautiful dark red in colour with hints of ripe red berries on the nose & most definitely a full bodied wine that I can imagine goes very well with a good cut of well seasoned steak. 

Super stoked to have been one of the very 1st people to taste the 2016 Shiraz, a few days before it was officially released to the public.

Saronsberg is also well known for their Shiraz. As it is poured, you can see the dark purlple colour & on the nose you pick up on succulent dark berries & fruits, but yet a soft floral note followed by some spices. On the palate you get a full-mouth feel & soft oak flavours with a sort of layered fruit finish.

In the tasting room, you are welcome to take a walk about. There are a few art pieces on display for you to enjoy whilst you are sipping on a glass of their beautiful wines.

Also, if you are thinking of heading up to Saronsberg on a weekend, best be sure to get there early as it gets very busy & you want to grab yourself a seat outside in the sun to enjoy the view overlooking the dam & mountains.

Check out Saronsberg here.

Once again, driving out of Saronsberg, to head to the next estate in style & comfort in the new Ford Kuga 2.0 TDCi Titanium.


Sunday, 13 May 2018

#WineRoutingWithLloyd - Waterford Wine Estate

Just a few minutes drive out of Stellenbosch, in the Blaauwklippen Valley, is a farm that is the epitome of structure & order, & I think that's why I just love it so much. I got to pay a visit to Waterford Estate & it sure was an experience that needs to be shared.

As you drive up into the estate, you are welcomed by the aromas of citrus, lavender & rosemary. When you walk into the courtyard, you are transported to an Italian Villa up on the Mediterranean coast line.  

The Ord family owned estate is 120 hectares in size, but only half of that is under vineyard as to keep a balance & preserve the natural fauna & flora of the area. 

A name that needs no introduction in the wine industry, Kevin Arnold, is the Cellar Master here. He has made a wine that good, that he has even put his name on the label. And in my opinion it is a brand on its own. The Kevin Arnold Shiraz is a delicate wine with lots of structure & every vintage is dedicated to one of the children of the Arnold or Ord Families.

A true gem can also be found at Waterford. The JEM, which is a master blend of 8 different red varietals & is different each year according to what the year has had in store for the estate. Named after the owner of Waterford Estate - Jeremy Ord, it is usually characterised by red & black berries with some spices on the nose. A full bodied wine with textured mouthfeel & a soft velvety aftertaste. 

Just look at how beautiful this cellar is! And when those doors are opened, you get a beautiful smell of aging wood & good wine. Check out my walkabout through the red wine cellar here.

I need to mention that Trent completely made this entire visit a whole lot more memorable. He was an incredible host & his passion for wine was something that we shared. If ever you end up at Waterford Estate, then you need to ask for Trent to do your tasting & tour, you will not be sorry. 

There are a few Waterford Experiences that you could look at doing & each one is as unique the estate itself. From the Portfolio tasting to the Library Collection tasting, you can get to try out a variety of estate wines & a wide variety of different grape varietals .

For some of you that love your chocolate. They offer a Wine & Chocolate experience that has been put together by Kevin Arnold & chocolatier, Richard von Geusau to taste with with the Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon & Natural Sweet wine.

Check out Waterford Estate here.

Safely driven by Ford South Africa in the new Ford Kuga 2.0 TDCi Titanium AWD.


Friday, 13 April 2018

Dinner Time at Aurelia's

Aurelia's at the 5-star Peermont D'oreale Grande hotel at Emperors Palace offers a world class fine dining experience. Chef Andre Bezuidenhout is making magic & a new range of inspired dishes are coming out of the kitchen. 

The new menu is taking your traditional African cuisine to whole new level. Building on the much enjoyed signature Aurelia's dishes, Chef Andre is excited to offer something exciting & unique. 

I popped in to sample their brand new 'degustation' menu, that has been paired by the resident sommelier - Boitumelo Maphela. 

Amuse Bouche - 
- olive ground, caramel popcorn, soya reduction, salt rock, parmesan wafer biscuit
- paired with Krone Night Nectar Demi-Sec

Entrée 1
- field mushrooms, mascarpone, scallions, dried tomato, garlic, shaved Karoo crumble, arugula, bruschetta
- paired with Diemersdal Chardonnay (Unwooded)

Entrée 2
- crab meat, shellfish putu quenelle, onions, olives, dried lemon smoked mussel tortellini, beetroot brulée, sweet basil oil, black salt, arugula dust
- paired with Hermanuspietersfontein no. 7 - Kaalvoetmeisie Sauvignon Blanc

Main - 
- beef 3 ways: fillet, cheek & oxtail tortellini, parsnip, roasted butter stamp & beans, sweet corn mousse, baby vegetables, mushroom cream
- paired with Raka Biography Shiraz

Dessert - 
- milktart truffles, cinnamon meringue, vanilla coffee ice cream, hazelnut praline, apple mousse
- paired with Simonsig Gewürztraminer

South African local cheese board - 
- local Karoo cheese, stewed fruit compote, blue gum honey, Mosbolletjies crostini
- paired with Muratie Amber Forever

It's taken the team just over 2 months to develop this new menu & ensure that all the flavour profiles are perfect before launching it to the public. Well now here is your chance to test it out for yourself.

You won't be disappointed. You even don't have to do the entire 'degustation' menu, but rather test out some of the new dishes on the menu, which now have a slight modern twist. And they are even open over lunch time for those days that a quick sandwich just won't do.