Burgundy is one of the best-known wine regions of France. Just South of Champagne and bordering on Alsace in the North-East, it is the famed producer of two exceptional wine varieties, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
While both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay make for exceptional wines on their own, it is when used in Champagne that they are usually blended to combine the structure, spices and berry flavours of Pinot Noir with the creaminess and minerality of Chardonnay. But that does not mean that this blend cannot also be enjoyed as a beautiful still wine.
In fact, this interesting blend of red and white varietals does not only result in a beautiful pink or salmon coloured wine, but also one that is very versatile – really a wine for all seasons and tables.
It was with tables in mind that Leopard’s Leap designed its Culinaria Collection of wines. It is in this range, celebrating traditional French blends and their affinity for food, that the Pinot Noir Chardonnay was introduced to represent Burgundy.
With 60% Pinot Noir in the blend, the 2015 vintage offers upfront fruit such as strawberry, raspberry, red currant and pomegranate with interesting nuances of spice adding depth. Although complex and layered, the structure is accessible with a lingering freshness.
As a partner on the dinner table, the Culinaria Pinot Noir Chardonnay shines when partnered with rich textures and flavours, aromatic spices, Asian cuisine, sweet and savoury combinations and all kinds of charcuterie. Versatile indeed. Cellarmaster Eugene van Zyl and Chef Pieter de Jager recommend it with duck breasts and a sticky sauce made with fruit, honey or soy.
Both varieties were harvested at an average of 23.5 degrees Balling and then bunch-sorted and whole-bunch pressed. Fermentation took place separately in oak barrels and the wine was left on the lees for six months prior to blending, another three month maturation and then bottling.
A staple red and white wine in many households, the always on-trend Leopard’s Leap Classic Collection of wines have recently introduced their own version of the Burgundy blend. The Leopard’s Leap Chardonnay Pinot Noir uses 70% Chardonnay as its base for an easy-drinker with a beautiful creaminess and warm citrus notes without compromising the Pinot Noir’s succulent strawberries, hints of spice and contribution to a beautiful deep blush in the glass.
Lighter in style than the Culinaria Collection, but just as versatile, the Leopard’s Leap Chardonnay Pinot Noir is ideal for alfresco lunches, charcuterie platters, pastries and Mediterranean-style food. The culinary team at Leopard’s Leap loved the wine with a late-summer fig tarte tatin, but it is just as delicious with a warming seafood paella with beautiful strains of saffron.
Vinified separately, the two varietals were bunch-sorted and whole-bunch pressed and left on the lease for six weeks to ensure flavour intensity and structural elegance before being blended and bottled.
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