Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Nederburg Troika

Finding South African wines in Kentucky is not unusual. Various Graham Beck, Goats do Roam, Golden Kaan, Serengeti and other not-so-famous-newer-brands from South African can be found if you look carefully. Finding three different red wines from one of South Africa’s top producers, Nederburg, is.

On a recent spending trip to Liquor Barn, Lexington’s largest liquor store outlet, I was pleasantly surprised to find “die drie menere”, these three gentlemen, in the store at the same time.

About sixty percent of the time you will find a Pinotage, a uniquely South African cultivar, created in the 1920’s as a cross between the Pinot noir and Cincaut cultivars, and as typical of South African reds it has a notable earthy flavor, in Liquor Barn. It will be either a Graham Beck or a Nederburg. Whenever someone ask me what is a good red wine for a braai or barbeque I always reply: If you can afford a reasonably priced Pinot noir, by all means, otherwise go for a Pinotage. You can’t go wrong. Of course, if you are in South Africa or are so lucky to find Chateau Libertas, a blended red, overseas you can’t go wrong either. South Africans are really spoiled with the ability to buy good wine at reasonable prices.

Now Nederburg’s Cabernet Sauvignon is also a so-so regular visitor at Liquor Barn, depending on which store you visit. You will have more chance of finding it at the store near Hamburg Pavilion than the store at Beaumont Centre. I have not yet visited the store in Richmond Road. I have never seen Nederburg’s flagship Paarl Cabernet Sauvignon in Lexington.

But to find an Edelrood, one of Nederburg’s and South Africa’s top blended wines, usually 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, more or less, is rare. I have heard from other South Africans about finding it locally, but this was my first time. Of course, I have this eternal wish I could find more South African wines here in Lexington.

Obviously the couple of bottles I bought went straight to the bottom of my wine rack, waiting to be drank at a special moment with a Le Daube De Boeuf Provencale, a French provincial beef casserole, Hunter’s leg of lamb, or a simple Argentinean guisado de carne de vaca. Bon Appetit!

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