Testalonga - El Bandito Queen of Spades Tinta Amarela 2019

$78.00
Sale price

Regular price $78.00

CRAIG'S PERSONAL NOTE:

We came across this vineyard (0.1ha) through our good friend Rick Mcgrindle, a farmer from Abbotsdale/Paardeberg region. Thought to be Tempranillo when planted but turned out to be Tinta Amarela, which is a grape I personally love from my experiences of working in Portugal. The label is a photo taken by one of our friends Bryan Short's brother (Kevin Short) during his time spent at Burning Man in the USA. I adapted the photo to portray a perception of a “Love/Hate” relationship between the Queen of Spades and the Queen of Hearts.

NAME OF VIGNERON: Craig Hawkins

VINTAGE: 2019

CELLAR LOCATION Bandits Kloof, Eendekuil, Piketberg, Swartland

(MICRO)CLIMATE: Mediterranean

TERROIR: Decomposed Granite, East facing, 150m above sea level, from the Abbotsdale/Paardeberg region.

VITICULTURE:

Dry land bush vines planted in 1999, organically farmed, no shoot thinning is done, rather leaves are left to provide shade which I find brings more elegance to the wine. Cover cropping with legumous nitrogen fixing plants is done every year. There are only 300 vines so it is tough to manage this on such a small scale but we try our best to fill a barrel every year.

GRAPE: 100% Tinta Amarela

YIELDS: 20hl/ha

VINIFICATION:

Hand-harvested, 100% whole bunch fermented for 15 days in open tank, where it was then pressed and aged in one 300l French barrel. No yeast added, ambient fermentation. 100% malolactic fermentation (mlf bacteria not added). Unfined, light clarifying filtration. SO2 added after racking in August and then none at bottling. The wine has a great definition to it at that sets apart from our other wines, and we think this comes from the stem tannin that lifts it and the fruit profile with it.

TECHNICAL:

Alc           11.17%
TA            5.4g/l
pH            3.55
RS             1.0g/l
VA            0.55g/l
fSO2         0ppm
tSO2         4ppm

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

Testalonga

Testalonga is Craig  and Carla Hawkins' baby and they are South Africa’s nominated “Natural Wine King and Queen”. They are producing some of the most innovative wines in the country.  They source most of their grapes from farmers with old-vine plots scattered across Swartland, 2 hours North of Cape Town, in the Western Cape.  Thanks to their loyal growers they are able to get access to a wide range of grapes such as Grenache, Chenin Blanc, Muscat, Carignan, Cinsault, Viognier and Harslevelu, amongst others.

 

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

Tinta Amarella

Tinta Amarela or Trincadeira is a red grape that is commonly used in Port production. The grape is noted for its dark colouring. Its use in the Douro region has been increasing in recent years. The vine performs well in dry, hot climates.

It is one of the most widely planted grape varieties in Portugal. It is the oldest and most widely planted grape variety in the Alentejo region, where it is called Trincadeira. The wine tends to be full-bodied and rich, with aromas of blackberries, herbs and flowers.


 

--------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. 

CRAIG'S PERSONAL NOTE:

We came across this vineyard (0.1ha) through our good friend Rick Mcgrindle, a farmer from Abbotsdale/Paardeberg region. Thought to be Tempranillo when planted but turned out to be Tinta Amarela, which is a grape I personally love from my experiences of working in Portugal. The label is a photo taken by one of our friends Bryan Short's brother (Kevin Short) during his time spent at Burning Man in the USA. I adapted the photo to portray a perception of a “Love/Hate” relationship between the Queen of Spades and the Queen of Hearts.

NAME OF VIGNERON: Craig Hawkins

VINTAGE: 2019

CELLAR LOCATION Bandits Kloof, Eendekuil, Piketberg, Swartland

(MICRO)CLIMATE: Mediterranean

TERROIR: Decomposed Granite, East facing, 150m above sea level, from the Abbotsdale/Paardeberg region.

VITICULTURE:

Dry land bush vines planted in 1999, organically farmed, no shoot thinning is done, rather leaves are left to provide shade which I find brings more elegance to the wine. Cover cropping with legumous nitrogen fixing plants is done every year. There are only 300 vines so it is tough to manage this on such a small scale but we try our best to fill a barrel every year.

GRAPE: 100% Tinta Amarela

YIELDS: 20hl/ha

VINIFICATION:

Hand-harvested, 100% whole bunch fermented for 15 days in open tank, where it was then pressed and aged in one 300l French barrel. No yeast added, ambient fermentation. 100% malolactic fermentation (mlf bacteria not added). Unfined, light clarifying filtration. SO2 added after racking in August and then none at bottling. The wine has a great definition to it at that sets apart from our other wines, and we think this comes from the stem tannin that lifts it and the fruit profile with it.

TECHNICAL:

Alc           11.17%
TA            5.4g/l
pH            3.55
RS             1.0g/l
VA            0.55g/l
fSO2         0ppm
tSO2         4ppm

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

Testalonga

Testalonga is Craig  and Carla Hawkins' baby and they are South Africa’s nominated “Natural Wine King and Queen”. They are producing some of the most innovative wines in the country.  They source most of their grapes from farmers with old-vine plots scattered across Swartland, 2 hours North of Cape Town, in the Western Cape.  Thanks to their loyal growers they are able to get access to a wide range of grapes such as Grenache, Chenin Blanc, Muscat, Carignan, Cinsault, Viognier and Harslevelu, amongst others.

 

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

Tinta Amarella

Tinta Amarela or Trincadeira is a red grape that is commonly used in Port production. The grape is noted for its dark colouring. Its use in the Douro region has been increasing in recent years. The vine performs well in dry, hot climates.

It is one of the most widely planted grape varieties in Portugal. It is the oldest and most widely planted grape variety in the Alentejo region, where it is called Trincadeira. The wine tends to be full-bodied and rich, with aromas of blackberries, herbs and flowers.


 

--------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.