Layered – that’s the best way to explain Leopards Leap Family Vineyard’s latest release, the 2014 Culinaria Grand Vin. The wine breathes new life into Bordeaux-style blends, especially in the way it encourages you to be playful.
A good blend lends itself to a broader approach because it gives you a free hand to find new and exciting pairings – when it comes to blends you simply don’t have to stick to tradition. Included in my delivery of the new wine was a copy of Antonio Carluccio’s The Complete Mushroom Book and it’s no coincidence. Leopard’s Leap culinary team suggest pairing the wine with mushrooms. The umami qualities of mushrooms have been explored for a while now.
I remember last year when the South African Mushroom Farmers’ Association hosted a pairing evening that celebrated umami and showed how many wines pair expertly with mushroom – centred dishes. As it happens, Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the wines said to perfectly accompany mushrooms.
The Culinaria Grand Vin is blended from 28% cabernet sauvignon, 26% merlot and 22% cabernet franc – and rounded out with some petit verdot and malbec. It’s interesting to find a release consciously being paired with mushrooms and it makes sense. In the carb-conscious and diet world we live in mushrooms are budget, waist and wine friendly.