Steenberg Ruby Rosé 2017 & my Deconstructed Sushi

Monday, 18 September, 2017
Michael Olivier Communications
Recently Steenberg Farm released a range of wines named for three of the Royal Navy Battleships which participated in the Battle of Muizenberg which took place in 1795. The Steenberg Ruby Rosé 2017 is one of these battlehships.

The grapes for the Steenberg Ruby Rosé 2017 wine are Syrah (51%) and Cinsault (49%). The Syrah grapes were harvested from Steenberg’s Syrah Vineyards with some from Robertson.  The Cinsaut comes from old bush vine vineyards in Stellenbosch and the Swartland. There is a lot of discussion about old vines and the quality of the grapes they produce - no problem here. The vines are from 16 to 39 years old.

The grapes were hand-harvested in the early morning. Once in the cellar     they were whole bunch pressed using a champagne pressing cycle to extract a pale and delicate juice. The Syrah and Cinsault juice were fermented separately in order to retain the beautiful varietal characteristics of each cultivar. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tank with a small percentage in neutral oak. The Syrah and Cinsault were then blended, and prepared for bottling.

It looks like
Bottled under screw cap in a clear glass Burgundy shaped bottle. In the glass, a gem bright pale cherry blossom pink.

It smells like
Ripe rustic berries, roadside black brambles, mulberries. Chunky watermelon sherbet whiffs. Touch of fynbos herbaceousness

It tastes like
From entry, the wine is full and rich and interestingly creamy.  It is bright fruited, with raspberries, fraises des bois and sliced fresh ripe white fleshed peaches.

It’s good with
Perfect as a mid-morning refresher and as an aperitif before a springtime meal. If you enjoy sushi and would like to make it yourself and not go through all the rolling, you might like to try my Deconstructed Sushi with Avocado & Salmon Trout.

What you’ll need
8 sheets nori | 1 small carrot - cut into matchsticks | ¼ English Cucumber - peeled & cut into matchsticks | 1 red pepper - cut into matchsticks | 1 ripe avocado - diced | 100g smoked salmon trout - cut into matchsticks | 500ml cold cooked sushi rice | red, white or rice wine vinegar | castor sugar | sea salt | freshly milled black pepper | soy sauce | pickled ginger
wasabi flavoured mayonnaise.

What you’ll do
Toast the seaweed briefly over an open flame.  Prepare the vegetables, avocado and fish and set aside.  In a bowl season the rice well with the vinegar, castor sugar, sea salt and freshly milled black pepper.  Gently stir in the vegetables and fish.  Place a sheet of nori on each of 4 plates and divide the rice/vegetable mixture between them.  Cover with a sheet of nori and serve with pickled ginger and wasabi flavoured mayonnaise.

Serve 4 as a first course to a meal.

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JD Pretorius, Steenberg’s Award Winning Winemaker
JD Pretorius, Steenberg’s Award Winning Winemaker

Syrah grapes ripening on the vine
Syrah grapes ripening on the vine

Cinsaut on the vine in large loosely packed bunches
Cinsaut on the vine in large loosely packed bunches

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