Held in the private Onyx room, I arrived early and walked through the door which automatically closes behind me. Then everything was silent, but the air was wafting with the addictive, but delicate, aromas of all wines being opened and prepared for serving, including the back vintages. Nothing of the restaurant outside could be heard and I felt I really was here to concentrate on the food and wine experience to come… Soon all the guests arrived and we started the night.
On Arrival – the first wine on tasting/drinking was the 2009 Cape Mentelle “Wallcliffe” Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon. The wine refreshingly moves away from the sweeter style of Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon blends, and more into an elegant, floral, citrus, slatey style. More delicate, and will drink another 5 years.
Entrée – Warm Wild Mushroom Salad with toasted bread custard and savoury granola. Then 2 Cape Mentelle Chardonnays were presented at the same time – 2006 Cape Mentelle Chardonnay and 2011 Cape Mentelle Chardonnay. Both wines were both still very fresh and vibrant, with seamless acidity, elegant body and texture, following through to a long, clean finish.
Main – Lamb Loin, with Potato Puree, Wood Grilled Vegetables and Roasted Lamb jus. 3 Cabernet wines were presented with the main course: 2009 Cape Mentelle “Wilabrup” Cabernet Blend, 2009 Cape Mentelle Cabernet Sauvignon and the 1991 Cape Mentelle Cabernet Sauvignon right out of Wine Ark cellars. All displayed full flavoured intensity, with the 2009s having a long way to cellar further and allow its true characters to open. The 1991 has aged well and still going strong, with old-fashioned tobacco, black fruits and holds elegance through its structure and acidity.
Dessert – Warm Courverture Ganache, Dulce de Leche Ice Cream and Peanut Butter Mousse. Now I loved this dessert!! A big dark chocolate sphere, with a gold flake on top which swayed with the slightest air movement, all laying on a bed of peanut/caramel nibs and a fine white powder. I opened the sphere to reveal the hazelnut ice cream. Soon hot chocolate sauce was served, poured all over – as I mixed the sauce with the peanut/caramel and white powder it was like it made another sauce – another dimension! Then I crushed the whole thing together and devoured it down excessively quick. Yum! The 2010 Cape Mentelle Zinfandel accompanied dessert – A great example of Zinfandel produced in Australia. Aromas of dark berries, prunes, roasted coffee and dark chocolate. Bright, spicy and concentrated fruit flavour, balanced with good structure, acidity and well integrated oak. Can drink now or cellar to 2029!