Friday, October 5, 2012

Balance Tops at Spar

Last night's launch by Tops at Spar of their new packaging and new vintage for own brand Olive Brook at Kleine Zalze's Terroir Restaurant was a remarkable balancing act.

Michael Broughton's cooking displayed both intensity and restraint as did Tops at Spar's consulting winemaker Tinus van Niekerk. All the wines displayed wonderful juicy elegance and sheer drinkability that is bizarrely lacking in so many of our wines.

sadly not the journo's goodie bag but rather the end of aisle gondola which should de-clutter the offering

 The other good news from Olive Brook is the value for money for these wines would surely rule the Good Value Awards but currently are not entered - perhaps because they are sponsored by a rival - but imagine the impact if they did garner all manner of gongs from the Good Value Awards. 

Wines costing R56 complemented rich dishes including the Pinot Noir / Chardonnay (beautiful colour) with terrine of foir gras and the Shiraz / Cabernet (R35) with ragout of duck sausage. However they could just as easily be quaffed without any accompaniment in a remarkable show of versatility.

On the other end of the spectrum they offer something for the wine geeks and fyn proewers which, while considerably more expensive, still offers great value for money. The Le Geminus - a Sauvignon Blanc / Semillon blend from the Icon Collection is as good and serious as you can find in the Cape at R160 bottle. Again lovely vibrancy without being over the top and beautiful tangy poise on the palate.

Le Geminus is partnered with Quintette, a classic Bordeaux blend made by Etienne le Riche at the same price point with the same power and restaint - the holy grail of fine wine.

Tinus has also covered the fun and frivolous with Sweet Spot - low alcohol natural sweet rose and white wines in magnums for only R50 a bottle. Surprisingly low in kilojuiles these can be made even lighter with sparkling water and ice for gevaarlik pool-side sipping.  




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