The Kenyan Nomad

The Kenyan Nomad

Monday, June 15, 2015

Wine Tasting with Spier

Last Thursday night found me at a wine tasting held at the Nairobi Wine Gallery on General Mathenge Drive, featuring wines from Spier Wine Farm (Western Cape, South Africa) which dates back to 1692 and is one of South Africa's oldest wine farms. Also in attendance was the lovely Jean Wandimi, of the Wine and Food Review.

We got to try 7 delicious wines, 4 white and 3 red, under the tutelage of Danie De Kock from Spier. I'll list them and share a brief description in the order I enjoyed them from most favourite to least (although all were delicious), first whites and then reds! The reds were definitely much harder to rank than the whites.

If you want any more information on these wines, please check out their website. All of these are available at the Nairobi Wine Gallery for those of you in Kenya, and hopefully at your local stores for those of you abroad. I do have some rough prices for them too, so message me if you'd like those.


1) Spier Signature Chardonnay: 

Spier Signature Chardonnay
Vintage: 2012

This was by far my favourite out of all the whites, and I went and bought a bottle after the wine tasting! It was straw-coloured. Its bouquet was slightly smokey tinged with a hint of citrus, and it was wonderfully creamy and woody with a citrus aftertaste. While the citrus was the prime flavour for me, there were hints of apple too that others picked up as being stronger.

Danie recommended that this wine be served with a grilled chicken salad with peach slices in it. I absolutely agree, and would also happily drink it on its own!

2) Spier Signature Methode Cap Classique

Spier Signature Methode Cap Classique
Vintage: NV (the grapes were not harvested in one particular year)

This was served as an aperitif before the official wine tasting started, and I would love to drink this at breakfast! The blend for this wine is 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir (sounds wonderful, right?). It was light gold and bubbly, and had a light fruity bouquet with a tinge of apple. Danie described this wine as dry, but hinting at sweetness, and I think that describes it perfectly! This is a light wine, and doesn't require much work to drink (those of you who drink heavier, spicier wines probably know exactly what I mean!). The apple flavour followed through in the taste, and there was the slightest taste of citrus. The wine overall was quite crisp, and left a fresh, smooth aftertaste.

3) Spier Discover Medium Sweet: 

Spier Discover Medium Sweet 
Vintage: 2012

The reason this ranks third on my list is not because it's not a great wine (which it is). It's just that I personally tend to favour those which are not as sweet, so please don't let its position on my list influence your choice!

This wine is a white blend (sorry, I forgot to ask which grapes!), and would work well as a dessert wine. It was a very pale gold, bordering on straw. The bouquet was grassy with a tinge of vanilla, and it was a lighter, sweet wine that had tastes of mango and papaya (and if I'm not mistaken, this means that the grapes were harvested in a warmer region). This wine would work well with spicy meat and poultry, or even as a dessert wine.

4) Spier Signature Chenin Blanc

Spier Signature Chenin Blanc
Vintage: 2014

I'm sorry to say that this wine was my least favourite out of all the whites. While it is a really, really good wine, it didn't cater to my personal taste (but that shouldn't prevent you from trying it out; in fact, I encourage you to do just that). The wine was sweet and slightly acidic, with crisp, tart flavours of pineapple and guave coming through (and these indicate grapes grown in cooler regions).


1) Spier Creative Block 3

Spier Creative Block 3
Vintage: 2012

Like the Chardonnay amongst the whites, this was the clear winner out of the reds! This is a wine inspired by the Creative Block art initiative. (And yes, I bought a bottle of this too).

This is a blend of Shiraz, Mourvedre and Viognier grapes; the first two are red, and the last is actually a white which helps to bring out the fruitiness of the wine! The spice of Shiraz and the mulberry of Mourvedre combined well too.
The wine is a deep, purplish red, and has an earthy, smokey bouquet, with clear notes of berries and plums, and a slight hint of pepper. It was a rich, smooth, fuller bodied wine that was on the drier side. Slightly spicy, the flavours of plum and berry lingered, and left a pleasant aftertaste. I highly, HIGHLY recommend this one! Food recommendation? Ribeye!

2) Spier Signature Shiraz

Spier Signature Shiraz 
Vintage: 2013

This one was a close second to the Creative Block 3. The wine was a blood-ruby red, and its bouquet had strong hints of pepper and smoke, with a slight undertone of coffee. Plums, pepper and spice came through in the taste, and it definitely came through as a bold wine! While I'd be tempted to drink this without any food, I think I'll take Danie's advice, which was to pair this with pepper steak, nyama choma, or good old barbeque.

3) Spier Signature Pinotage

Spier Signature Pinotage
Vintage: 2012

This was a great wine too; as mentioned before, it was so hard to rank the reds! The colour was a clear, plummy red, and the bouquet was light, plummy and earthy. The red berry taste was soft and creamy, with lighter hints of coffee.

1 comment:

Simple Letters said...

This is an outstanding venue, with great and thoughtful staff, and a fantastic chef. The location is well situated. We has been delighted to host our annual event at this location for the past few years, and the event venues space has been perfect for our group of roughly 300.

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