At a recent lunch, Neethlingshof introduced the latest vintages of its premium Short Story Collection, as well as the newest addition to the collection – the Jackal’s Dance Sauvignon Blanc. Each wine represents a different facet of the Stellenbosch-based vineyard – from the farm’s 200-year-long history to their sustainable farming practices.
The Jackal’s Dance Sauvignon Blanc is the fifth wine in the estate’s Short Story Collection, and the grapes are sourced from a certified single vineyard planted 20 years ago. With the vines planted up to 180 metres above sea level, “it’s a vineyard situated high up on the farm,” says De Wet Viljoen, winemaker at Neethlingshof. “The vines face False Bay, so it enjoys the cooling effect of the south-westerly winds blowing in off the Atlantic Ocean. In the heat of summer, the winds cool down the vineyard, which contributes to the character of the wine. We decided on that specific vineyard for Jackal’s Dance because of the consistent quality that we get year after year.”
In the glass, Jackal’s Dance offers up aromas of green pepper, figs and gooseberries, with tropical notes and a crisp minerality. “The 2017 vintage is quite shy at first, so I’d recommend that the wine breathes for an hour or so before pouring,” says De Wet Viljoen. The wine will pair beautifully fatty fish such as salmon and tuna, oysters, or a salad drizzled with olive oil.
As for the name, in 1692 farmer Willem Barend Lubbe mistook a pack of indigenous jackals for wolves, naming the property De Wolvendans. The name stuck for more than a century, only changing to Neethlingshof in the late 1820s when Johannes Henoch Neetling bought the property.
Other wines in the Short Story Collection include the Six Flowers white wine blend, named for the six flowers that were placed on the Neethlingshof Manor House gable by widow Maria Magdalena who took on the job of completing the manor house after her husband passed away. The six flowers represent herself and her five children, and are also reflected in the six varietals used in the blend, namely Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, W. Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Viognier.
Maria is again honoured in the estate’s luscious Noble Late Harvest – The Maria 2017 comprises Sauvignon Bland and Weisser Riesling, and is gorgeous golden yellow in colour, with tastes of concentrated fruit cake and a bouquet of dried apricot and peach.
The Owl Post Pinotage 2016 and The Caracal red blend both reflect the estate’s biodiversity, with the latter consisting of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot, and dark ruby in colour. As expected from winemaker De Wet Viljoen, Vice Chairman of the Pinotage Association, The Owl Post Pinotage is delicious; the single-vineyard pinotage has a velvety palate and ripe fruit and vanilla flavours.
The team from Marble Restaurant in Johannesburg showcased Neethlingshof’s Short Story Collection with the following pairing menu:
- Sauvignon Blanc 2018
Grilled Asparagus, Wood Fired Avocado, Seaweed Butter, Caper
- The Owl Post Pinotage 2016
Grilled Belly of Pork, Wood Oven Roasted Red Cabbage, Orange, Sweet Potato and Date Sugar Puree
- The Caracal Red Blend 2015
Rib Eye Steak Grilled on the Fire, Malt Vinegar Onion, Creamy Potato Skin Sauce, Bone Marrow Butter, Salt and Vinegar Onion.
- The Maria 2017
Granadilla Crème Brûlée, Coconut Cream, Pineapple, Mango Curd, Kiwi
For more information on Neethlingshof, visit the website.