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Testalonga - El Bandito I am the ninja 2019 Pet Nat Chenin Blanc

$46.00
Sale price

Regular price $46.00

PERSONAL NOTE: This is our latest addition to the portfolio. We love Methode Ancestral wines and the texture they bring. We wanted this wine to be drier than the “I wish I was a Ninja” as we feel Chenin has more depth when it is drier . The photo was taken by our friend Martin Shambrock in London of his neighbour’s dog “Layla”. We love the photo and think it suits this wine perfectly, it serious but playful at the same time.

NAME OF ESTATE/DOMAINE: TESTALONGA                            

NAME OF VIGNERON: Craig Hawkins

VINTAGE: 2019

LOCATION: Bandits Kloof, Eendekuil, Piketberg, Swartland

CLIMATE: Dry Mediterranean

TERROIR: Decomposed Sand stone, flat, 95m above sea level.

VITICULTURE: Planted in 1961, dry land bush vines (un-trellised), farmed organically. This is a block we started working with in 2017. It is a 4-ha block of Chenin planted on the sandstone soils of the Piketberg foothills on the way to Redelinghuys. It’s our oldest block of Chenin vines on soils that lie adjacent to a river, this provides enough water throughout the growing season. The section of this block used for the wine is a small piece right next to the river that gives more neutral clean fruit flavours which is why we chose this part of the block for the wine.

GRAPE: 100% Chenin

YIELDS: 45hl/ha

VINIFICATION: Hand-harvested then fermented in fibreglass tank at a temperature of 8 degrees. It was racked 6 times during fermentation to remove the sediment. At a sugar of 35g/l it was bottled under crown cap where it was left to finish fermentation and build up a natural pressure of carbon dioxide. After 10 months the bottles were riddled and disgorged and topped with the same wine (from other decanted bottles) and crown capped again. No SO2 was ever added to the wine and neither was any settling or fining agent.

TECHNICAL:

Alc            11%
TA            8.3g/l
pH            3.12
RS             6.2g/l
VA            0.43g/l
fSO2         0ppm
tSO2         5ppm

Pressure: 620kpa

--------THE PRODUCER--------

Testalonga

Testalonga is headed by Craig Hawkins, South Africa’s nominated “Natural Wine King”. He, and his wife Carla (also a winemaker), are producing some of the most innovative wines in that country at the moment, sourcing most of their grapes from farmers with old vine plots scattered across the Swartland region North of Cape Town. Thanks to their loyal growers they are able to access a veriety of old-vine, organic grapes such as Cinsault, Chenin Blanc, Muscat, Carignan and Harslevelu, amongst others.

 

--------THE GRAPE--------

Chenin Blanc is a versatile white grape varietal that is producing a wide range of white wines all around the world. Its origins are in the Loire Valley in NW France with South Africa's Western Cape the second home.

 

--------THE REGION--------

Swartland

Swartland is a small area that is just north of the Paarl district. It is surrounded by mountains - the most famous of which is the Paardeberg. It has quite a varied topography with shallow valleys and high slopes in the foothills of the mountains which allows for a wide variety of wines to be made here. Overall it is known for its extremely ripe and complex Riesling and Chenin Blancs and its fruit-forward Syrahs.

The best place to start when you are pairing food and wine is to think about the structural elements of both the food and wines. These elements are: sweetness, acidity, bitterness, umami, chilli heat and fat.

We have listed these elements in foods and how you can add wines with similar or contrasting elements to help create harmony in your matches.

Sweetness 

Sweet foods can overpower dry wines, white or red, making them appear acidic, neutral or bitter. In order to reduce this effect you should pair sweet foods with sweet wines. 

Acidity

Acidic foods, like fresh citrus, tomatoes or salads laden with vinaigrettes, will overpower the acidity in a wine making them appear flabby or less acidic than they were. In order to reduce this effect you should pair acidic foods with wines that have a higher acidity such as Champagne, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.

Acidity is a key element in creating balance in a dish or a food-and-wine match. If the foods are going to reduce the acidity in the wines then you need to add your own bit of acidity by bringing a more acidic wine to the table. It is the same principle behind adding lemon juice to seafood dishes, as seafood tends to have quite low natural acidity.

Bitterness

If a food is high in bitterness then it will make the wine appear bitter, or it will increase the perception of bitterness (tannins) in the wine. In order to reduce this effect you should pair bitter foods with wines that are not bitter but rather have refreshing acidity.

Umami (Savoury)

Foods that are highly savoury, like mushrooms, will increase the bitterness or acidic perception we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair umami rich foods with wines that are very fruity and do not have medium-high tannins. 

Often foods that are more savoury are best matched with white wines like Chardonnay or Soave as these do not have tannins but have lots of fruity flavours nor do they have extremely high acidity.

Chilli Heat

Chilli heat is similar to umami rich foods where by it will increase the bitterness or acidic perception as well as the alcoholic burn we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair chilli heat rich foods with wines that are very fruity but also have higher sweetness.

Wines that are just a touch off-dry like many Gewurztraminer or Riesling work best with chilli foods like a curry as they will be both a bit sweet but also very fruity. If you aren't a white wine drinker then you should consider red wines that have lower tannins such as a Pinot Noir or a Gamay Noir. 

Fatty

Foods that are high in fat will make the wines feel flabby and less fruity. In order to reduce this effect you should pair fatty foods with wines that have high acidity. This is similar to the rule of adding in acidity (in the form of citrus) to seafood to help balance out not just the acidity but to cut down the perception of fattiness in the seafood. 

This is why when you are having a piece of red meat that is high in fat, like lamb, then you should pair it with a Pinot Noir instead of a Merlot as a Pinot Noir will have a higher acidity and will help to balance out the dish.

 

 

These rules will help you with starting to think about how to create pairings. It often isn't helpful to think about 'red wine and red meat' or 'white wine and fish' because it is actually the structural elements of the wine and food that are what need to be balanced. It is the acidity in white wines that work well with cutting through the fattiness of a piece of fish but you could get that acidity through a Pinot Noir. 

PERSONAL NOTE: This is our latest addition to the portfolio. We love Methode Ancestral wines and the texture they bring. We wanted this wine to be drier than the “I wish I was a Ninja” as we feel Chenin has more depth when it is drier . The photo was taken by our friend Martin Shambrock in London of his neighbour’s dog “Layla”. We love the photo and think it suits this wine perfectly, it serious but playful at the same time.

NAME OF ESTATE/DOMAINE: TESTALONGA                            

NAME OF VIGNERON: Craig Hawkins

VINTAGE: 2019

LOCATION: Bandits Kloof, Eendekuil, Piketberg, Swartland

CLIMATE: Dry Mediterranean

TERROIR: Decomposed Sand stone, flat, 95m above sea level.

VITICULTURE: Planted in 1961, dry land bush vines (un-trellised), farmed organically. This is a block we started working with in 2017. It is a 4-ha block of Chenin planted on the sandstone soils of the Piketberg foothills on the way to Redelinghuys. It’s our oldest block of Chenin vines on soils that lie adjacent to a river, this provides enough water throughout the growing season. The section of this block used for the wine is a small piece right next to the river that gives more neutral clean fruit flavours which is why we chose this part of the block for the wine.

GRAPE: 100% Chenin

YIELDS: 45hl/ha

VINIFICATION: Hand-harvested then fermented in fibreglass tank at a temperature of 8 degrees. It was racked 6 times during fermentation to remove the sediment. At a sugar of 35g/l it was bottled under crown cap where it was left to finish fermentation and build up a natural pressure of carbon dioxide. After 10 months the bottles were riddled and disgorged and topped with the same wine (from other decanted bottles) and crown capped again. No SO2 was ever added to the wine and neither was any settling or fining agent.

TECHNICAL:

Alc            11%
TA            8.3g/l
pH            3.12
RS             6.2g/l
VA            0.43g/l
fSO2         0ppm
tSO2         5ppm

Pressure: 620kpa

--------THE PRODUCER--------

Testalonga

Testalonga is headed by Craig Hawkins, South Africa’s nominated “Natural Wine King”. He, and his wife Carla (also a winemaker), are producing some of the most innovative wines in that country at the moment, sourcing most of their grapes from farmers with old vine plots scattered across the Swartland region North of Cape Town. Thanks to their loyal growers they are able to access a veriety of old-vine, organic grapes such as Cinsault, Chenin Blanc, Muscat, Carignan and Harslevelu, amongst others.

 

--------THE GRAPE--------

Chenin Blanc is a versatile white grape varietal that is producing a wide range of white wines all around the world. Its origins are in the Loire Valley in NW France with South Africa's Western Cape the second home.

 

--------THE REGION--------

Swartland

Swartland is a small area that is just north of the Paarl district. It is surrounded by mountains - the most famous of which is the Paardeberg. It has quite a varied topography with shallow valleys and high slopes in the foothills of the mountains which allows for a wide variety of wines to be made here. Overall it is known for its extremely ripe and complex Riesling and Chenin Blancs and its fruit-forward Syrahs.

The best place to start when you are pairing food and wine is to think about the structural elements of both the food and wines. These elements are: sweetness, acidity, bitterness, umami, chilli heat and fat.

We have listed these elements in foods and how you can add wines with similar or contrasting elements to help create harmony in your matches.

Sweetness 

Sweet foods can overpower dry wines, white or red, making them appear acidic, neutral or bitter. In order to reduce this effect you should pair sweet foods with sweet wines. 

Acidity

Acidic foods, like fresh citrus, tomatoes or salads laden with vinaigrettes, will overpower the acidity in a wine making them appear flabby or less acidic than they were. In order to reduce this effect you should pair acidic foods with wines that have a higher acidity such as Champagne, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.

Acidity is a key element in creating balance in a dish or a food-and-wine match. If the foods are going to reduce the acidity in the wines then you need to add your own bit of acidity by bringing a more acidic wine to the table. It is the same principle behind adding lemon juice to seafood dishes, as seafood tends to have quite low natural acidity.

Bitterness

If a food is high in bitterness then it will make the wine appear bitter, or it will increase the perception of bitterness (tannins) in the wine. In order to reduce this effect you should pair bitter foods with wines that are not bitter but rather have refreshing acidity.

Umami (Savoury)

Foods that are highly savoury, like mushrooms, will increase the bitterness or acidic perception we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair umami rich foods with wines that are very fruity and do not have medium-high tannins. 

Often foods that are more savoury are best matched with white wines like Chardonnay or Soave as these do not have tannins but have lots of fruity flavours nor do they have extremely high acidity.

Chilli Heat

Chilli heat is similar to umami rich foods where by it will increase the bitterness or acidic perception as well as the alcoholic burn we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair chilli heat rich foods with wines that are very fruity but also have higher sweetness.

Wines that are just a touch off-dry like many Gewurztraminer or Riesling work best with chilli foods like a curry as they will be both a bit sweet but also very fruity. If you aren't a white wine drinker then you should consider red wines that have lower tannins such as a Pinot Noir or a Gamay Noir. 

Fatty

Foods that are high in fat will make the wines feel flabby and less fruity. In order to reduce this effect you should pair fatty foods with wines that have high acidity. This is similar to the rule of adding in acidity (in the form of citrus) to seafood to help balance out not just the acidity but to cut down the perception of fattiness in the seafood. 

This is why when you are having a piece of red meat that is high in fat, like lamb, then you should pair it with a Pinot Noir instead of a Merlot as a Pinot Noir will have a higher acidity and will help to balance out the dish.

 

 

These rules will help you with starting to think about how to create pairings. It often isn't helpful to think about 'red wine and red meat' or 'white wine and fish' because it is actually the structural elements of the wine and food that are what need to be balanced. It is the acidity in white wines that work well with cutting through the fattiness of a piece of fish but you could get that acidity through a Pinot Noir.