Adega on 45th Estate Winery’s Cabernet Franc is known for its amazing flavour and great grip. “It’s the best in the valley” says Karen Valckx, the estate’s wine shop assistant.
A big wine with 17.2 per cent alcohol, it’s boozy, but not heated. It flows nicely into jammy notes. The aromas are wonderful. Think raspberry, plum and cherry with soft oak, vanilla and pepper tones. The tannins are smooth with a hint of spice, caramel and toffee to round out the finish. It pairs beautifully with steak.
Another favourite is the 2013 Quarteto Tinto, which means “four reds” in Portuguese. It won a Silver at the prestigious Finger Lakes International Wine Competition in 2016. This Bordeaux blend is a full-bodied red. Its silky tannins consist of dark berries with hints of cigar, black pepper, spice and vanilla with nuances of plum and prune. This sumptuous wine has a long-lingering fruit and oak flavour on the palate.
Contrasting with these reds is the estate’s Riesling. This off-dry Riesling, with its aromas of green and McIntosh apples and grapefruit, has a wide appeal. Even those who usually don’t like wine often enjoy it. Well-balanced and approachable, it’s medium bodied, with a crisp, clean finish that has a slight sweetness and lasting flavours of pear and floral spice.
Whether you’re a devoted port connoisseur or just learning about it, you can’t leave the Adega’s tasting room without trying the Portao. Karen gave me a piece of chocolate to take with my second sip which enhanced its flavours of vanilla, chocolate and tobacco. The Portao is a Merlot blended with distilled spirits. It is softer than most with a big fruity finish. Asked what this pairs best with, Karen recommends, “PJs and bed, dessert — on ice cream — and chocolate.”
I couldn’t agree more.