Match of the week | Asparagus mousse, peas and oyster with Donkiesbaai Steen

Match of the week

Asparagus mousse, peas and oyster with Donkiesbaai Steen

I’ve been reminded during the last few days in the Cape Winelands of the great versatility of Chenin Blanc also known locally by its Afrikaans name Steen but this was the standout pairing.

It was a starter at the Rust-en-Vrede winery restaurant which was described as Asparagus Mousse, Oyster, Pea and Truffle Water, Biltong but I didn’t get much of the biltong, more the delicious fresh taste of the asparagus and peas. You can just about see from the rather blurry picture to the right that there was some shaved asparagus in there too - and the clean briney flavour of the oyster.

The wine is a comparatively new label only available on the South African market at present - a top level old vine Chenin from a coastal area called Piekenierskloof. It was the brainchild of Rust-en-Vrede’s owner Jean Engelbrecht who felt there should be more top level Chenins and sells for around 201 rand (£14.42 at the time of writing) - if you can get hold of a bottle

I wish it was available in the UK as it’s absolutely lovely - intense, crisp and citrussy - though not in an obvious way. More like a top level Sauvignon than a premium chenin like FMC. Delicious - and a top match!

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