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Mon Vieux Hell’s Heights Sauvignon Blanc 2013

Mon Vieux Hell’s Heights Sauvignon Blanc 2013

It’s always a bit hairy doing a live food and wine pairing if you haven’t had a chance to have a run-through first - and even if you have some variable, usually the food, invariably changes.

So I was hugely relieved to find the both the wine and the cheese I showed at the Three Wine Women session with Kate Goodman and Jane Dowler at the Manchester Food and Drink Festival yesterday evening struck sparks off each other.

The wine, which was supplied by local Manchester wine merchant Hanging Ditch (thankyou, guys!) was a lush sauvignon blanc from Boutinot called Mon Vieux Hell’s Heights and comes from 535 metre high vineyards in South Africa’s Banghoek district which lies between Stellenbosch and Franschoek. It’s not as herbaceous as New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc with more of a tropical fruit than a gooseberry character and is very rich and textured thanks to being aged in oak for 6 months and left unfined. At 14.5% it’s quite high in alcohol but doesn’t seem at all heavy or cloying. For the price (Hanging Ditch is currently offering it for £12.50 a bottle or 3 for £30) it’s a real bargain. Other stockists are already on to the 2014 vintage which I haven’t had the opportunity to taste but which has picked up several medals - check wine-searcher.com for prices.

I paired it with a rich crumbly Vernieu goats cheese log from Booths and that was perfect but it’s also recommended with spiced seafood, octopus with parika, pasta arrabiata with clams (sounds good!) and “rich oily mediterranean dishes”

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