Uncorking Notes - Asara Cape Fusion 2015
From Hard to Find Wines owner Mark Davies.
For the Asara Cape Fusion why not start with the accolades! National NWC top 100 SA wines, national NWC double platinum winner, Frankfurt International Trophy Gold Medal 2018, Veritas 2017 Silver Medal, Vitis Vinifera Gold Medal 2018.
This is a wine bottle where the award stickers over run the actual wine label. Generally I am not a big fan of all this self indulgent fan fair, not to name names but I recently saw a wine bottle proclaiming an award for best wine label!?!
That said we have been importing wines from Asara for a good few years now, still at the better value end of Stellenbosch but offering superb quality. A white Cabernet Sauvignon is amongst their stable, but this Cape Fusion blend has always been one of my favourites. Unlike many of the Stellenbosch “Bordeaux style” blends, this wine certainly takes from the French blend tradition, but as the name suggests also throws in a South African Cape element with the addition of Pinotage to the blend. For me this encapsulates the beauty of South Africa in the ability to take the best from throughout the world but also add something that little bit different.
Let’s be honest, if you are after a Bordeaux why not just buy one, and if you want an austere Pinot Noir then Burgundy is your lady. In Tuscany if a bottle is to don a black rooster then there are strict rules on grapes that can be used, watering and of course grapes from only a strict geographical area and only from single estates. With no appellation system in South Africa and winemakers who have learnt their trade all over the globe, the world is their oyster in terms of any grape varietals known to man and blends can be conjured up in the most wild of dreams.
The Asara Cape Fusion is the epitome of this philosophy. A stylish wine paying homage to the old world whilst embracing the terroir and history of its native South Africa.
The wine is dark and opaque as you roll around the glass. The bouquet balances sweet raspberry and a touch of mocha on the nose. There is a definite subtlety on the palate, again soft red berry at the start, developing into a more pronounced chocolate earthy note on the mid palate. This is the SA element. The 2015 vintage is drinking well, not a wine for lots of further ageing but probably not quite at its peak yet. I am happy to drink now and for the next few years.