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Monthly Archives: May 2018

  • IWC Winners for 2018!

    The International Wine Challenge is in its 34th year. The IWC is a meticulously judged wine competition where each wine is judged blind for faithfulness to style, region and vintage. During the judging process, each medal-winning wine is tasted on three occasions by at least 10 different judges. Awards include medals (Trophy, Gold, Silver, Bronze) as well as Commended and Great Value awards.

    Our South African wines put on quite a show this year. Below are the winners of Trophy, Gold and Silver awards.

    LA COURONNE

    Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2016
    IWC Franschhoek Chardonnay Trophy and Gold Medal

    A bottle of La Couronne Chardonnay 2016

    Congratulations to Eldorette, Henk and the team at La Couronne in Franschhoek on winning the IWC Franschhoek Chardonnay Trophy and Gold Medal for their Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2016. This is a lovely, complex, medium weight chardonnay with scented vanilla spice, some honey and pear. A tangy, saline acidity and a long, refreshing finish.

    In addition to this Gold Medal and Trophy, La Couronne also won Bronze Medals for their Limited Release Pinotage 2015 and their Merlot Rose 2017 and a Commended for their Malbec 2015.

    ASARA

    The Bell Tower 2013
    IWC Silver Medal

    A bottle of Asara Bell Tower 2013

    Sleek, intense and packed with sweet black plum and bitter chocolate, with an edge of balsamic. A sweet intensity and structure.

    Vineyard Collection Chenin Blanc 2016
    IWC Silver Medal

    A bottle of Asara Vineyard Collection Chenin Blanc 2016

    Fresh tight lean style with vanilla oak characteristics on the finish. Warm, Waxy, ripe style, juicy melon and ripe apple fruit and some lingering honeysuckle.

    GLENWOOD VINEYARDS

    Vigneron's Selection Chardonnay 2016
    IWC Silver Medal

    A bottle of GlenWood Vigneron's Selection Chardonnay 2016

    Bold and powerful citrus burst, mouth-fillingly rich and creamy vanilla with beautifully integrated oak. Butterscotch and glycerine, creamy balance with great length and lift.

    Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc Grand Duc 2016
    IWC Silver Medal

    GW Sem Saus Grand Duc 2016

    Baked apple and cinnamon, buttered popcorn with savoury notes. Long and complex.

    GROOT CONSTANTIA

    Shiraz 2015
    IWC Silver Medal

    A bottle of GC Shiraz 2015

    The 2015 Shiraz shows textbook black pepper spice and violets on the nose with hints of Cape fynbos and black currant.  The intense fruit flavours follow on the palate with firm tannin and a fresh acidity that promises great ageing potential.

    Pinotage 2016
    IWC Silver Medal

    A bottle of Groot Constantia Pinotage 2016

    A bold, generous, rich, plummy fruit with notes of dark chocolate and mocha. A traditional style of Pinotage, of earthy farmyard qualities interlaced with full dark fruits.

    While we do have the Groot Constantia wines in stock, you will need to wait a bit longer for some of these other award winners. We expect the arrival of the Glenwood Vigneron’s Selection Chardonnay 2016 over the course of the next month. The Asara wines and the La Couronne Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2016 will be arriving at Hard To Find Wines over the next few months.

  • Food and Wine Pairing: Spring Selection

    A wonderful wine choice for the spring season is Haute Cabriere Pierre Jourdan Tranquille. Here is a beautiful, well-designed spring starter created by Haute Cabriere's chefs Nic van Wyk and Westley Muller that pairs well with this wine.

    "Beetroot and goat’s cheese is a classic combination. We added a playful element with the kataifi pastry making it perfect to use for home entertaining," says Nic van Wyk.

    Kataifi wrapped goats’ cheese with baby beets and honey vinaigrette paired with Haute Cabrière Pierre Jourdan Tranquille

    A bottle of Haute Cabriere Pierre Jourdan Tranquille with cherry blossoms

    Ingredients
    Serves 4

    2x 100g plain goats’ cheese
    250 g kataifi pastry
    12 baby red beetroot
    2 candy beetroot
    100 g baby salad leaves
    50 ml honey (and a little extra)
    50 ml white balsamic vinegar
    100 ml good olive oil
    Salt and pepper
    Oil for frying

    Method
    For the goats’ cheese, cut the logs each into 4. Wrap the quarters in kataifi pastry by winding a 1cm diameter bunch around the goat’s cheese, ensuring all the cheese is covered. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

    To make the vinaigrette, warm the honey then add the balsamic vinegar and take off the heat, add the olive oil a little at a time while whisking, once emulsified, season with salt and pepper.

    For the beetroot, boil the red beetroot in salted water until soft.  While warm remove the skin and cut in quarters, work fast so the beetroot stays warm when adding the vinaigrette. Dress with the vinaigrette and leave to stand for at least 30 minutes.

    Fry the wrapped goats’ cheese balls until golden brown, add a small squeeze of honey on each one and leave on kitchen paper to drain any excess oil. Work quickly to slice the candy beetroot as thin as possible on a mandolin or slicer, leave some aside to garnish, add to the baby leaves and add some vinaigrette, toss. To plate, place the salad down, put the goats’ cheese on top, and place the red beetroot around, along with some of sliced candy beetroot.

  • Meet Oria Palmer: an Interview

    Hard To Find Wines recently began stocking Twenty Twelve Wines, by Es Fangar in Mallorca. We put a few questions to Oria Palmer of Es Fangar about wine, Mallorca and some insider secrets for visitors from the UK.

    Question: What do you do at Es Fangar?

    I am responsible for the International Sales. I often present the wines at events to both professional and private clients to share the passion we have for the island and its indigenous grapes.

    Question: How did you get into the industry?

    I’m from Stellenbosch, South Africa, so wine is in my blood! I started doing cellar door sales as a part time job while at university. I quickly became fascinated by the complexity of each grape variety. The patient winemaker took me under his wing and opened my eyes to the magic in the vines and the cellar. It has stayed my passion ever since!

    Question: Tell us about a highlight since starting at Es Fangar.

    Jumping into the turquoise Mediterranean while still sticky from grape juice after a long hot day during the harvest!

    Question: What is special about the way Es Fangar creates wines?

    Organic Excellence! Wine is made in the vineyards, and we give ours the utmost respect, nurturing the ecosystem at every level. On Mallorca we have the gift of indigenous grape varieties and it is important to us to use these to show the real character of the island. And of course, all of this is done to the highest level of quality.

    Question: What sets Twenty Twelve wines apart from other wines?

    Twenty Twelve embodies the Mediterranean spirit! They are fun and fresh, but at the same time offer us intensity and complexity.

    Question: Which is your favourite Twenty Twelve wine? Tell us why?

    Twenty Twelve PINK is my favourite as it is just perfect for every occasion. It is a super apero with my girlfriends, as well as the perfect accompaniment to tapas, sushi, Mexican and fusion foods of all variations! I never go to a BBQ without a bottle, or 2!

    Question: What about wine are you most passionate?

    My passion for wine stems from pure wonder: in wine we combine the powers of nature and man's creativity to produce something that is both a work of art and a living changing being. This is alchemy!

    Question: What do you do on your day off?

    I am a huge fan of a lavish picnic! It combines my love for nature, adventure and fantastic food and wine! On Mallorca it’s either off to a hidden cove, a sea side cliff or into the Tramuntana mountains for a hike, followed by a well-deserved bottle of Twenty Twelve!

    Question: What off-the-beaten-track secret can you divulge about Mallorca for Hard To Find Wines visitors?

    Come in spring! Avoid the crowds, see the island in fresh green. Make an appointment to come and visit us at Es Fangar Vins and you will be given a tour of our magnificent property with vines, horses and a nature reserve. Enjoy a tasting at an old stone cottage in the middle of the vines to really see and feel our unique terroir. This is the heart of Mallorca.

  • Spring wines for all occasions

    With the return of spring bulbs and cherry blossoms and longer days, comes a shift in what we like to drink. Spring is a tough time of year for wine choices. Some days it’s warm and whites and roses are the wine of choice and other days it’s like winter is holding on and you really want a glass of red.

    Here is a selection of wines that will get you through this slightly awkward spring season!

    SPARKLING

    Galanti
    Prosecco Extra Dry NV
    £13.99

    A bottle of Galanti Prosecco

    A fine, persistent, soft fizz surrounds a fruit spectrum of apple, pear with a hint of peach. This extra dry Prosecco from Galanti in Veneto, offers a quality sparkling wine at great value for money. Produced using the traditional grape variety in the region, Glera, this is a great wine for spring parties.

    WHITE BLENDS

    GlenWood
    Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2016
    £10.99

    A bottle of GlenWood Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2015

    This Bordeaux style blend of Sauvignon Blanc with its higher acidity and prominent passion fruit and Semillon with its weight and structure produces a refreshing white for warmer spring days. Pairing well with a BBQ or lighter dishes like grilled fish or goats cheese, this blend of 50% Sauvignon Blanc and 50% Semillon works equally well on its own.

    GlenWood produces two other Sauvignon Blanc Semillon blends: GlenWood Vigneron’s Selection Semillon Sauvignon Blanc and GlenWood Grand Duc Semillon Sauvignon Blanc.

    Mont Rochelle
    Little Rock Blanc 2015
    £11.99

    A bottle of Mont Rochelle Little Rock Blanc 2015

    Blended using four different grapes: Semillon, Viognier, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, The Little Rock Blanc is a very fresh, clean wine, ideal for spring. Pale straw green in colour with a delicate peach and citrus profile, the wine is elegant with balanced texture and acidity. A great wine for everyday enjoyment!

    ALBARIÑO

    Qunita do Ermizio
    Vinha do Bouca 2016
    £12.99

    A bottle of Quinta Vinha da Bouca

    A different and very mineral single varietal Alvarinho. A delicate bouquet combined with a soft and fresh palate developing fruit and mineral hints. Good structure and mouth-filling with a long a clean finish. This is a wine with a refreshingly and harmonious aftertaste. This wine pairs well with fish or light meat dishes.

    ROSE

    Haute Cabriere
    Pierre Jourdan Tranquille NV
    £8.99

    A bottle of Pierre Jourdan Tranquille wine

    The fragrant bouquet introduces a wine with a fine fruit and dry finish. The colour is a slight blush of pink, to be expected, as it relates to the Pinot Noir component of the blend. Tranquille displays an extended after taste, giving the imbiber the opportunity to contemplate and enjoy the wine whilst the flavours linger on the palate.

    Bladen
    Pinot Rose 2017
    £13.99

    Bladen Rose 2016

    Salmon-blush with a pink hue. Lifted red fresh fruit notes, such as strawberry and raspberry on the nose with a touch of thyme and fresh herbs adding to the complexity. Juicy watermelon and fresh summer fruits on the palate, with a hint of creaming soda. The palate is crisp and refreshing, with a dry finish.

    REDS

    Haute Cabriere
    Unwooded Pinot Noir 2016
    £11.99

    A bottle of Haute Cabriere Unwooded Pinot Noir

    A light fruity red, with a vibrant colour and fresh strawberry nose, perfect for spring. Totally unwooded allowing the fresh soft red fruits to emerge, an ideal summer red which can be served slightly chilled.

    Visit our website to make your selection today from our wide range.

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