It’s not every day that one gets the opportunity to experience the taste of “a century in a bottle”, but that is exactly what we did last night at an exclusive dinner hosted by Louis XIII Cognac at the magnificent Delaire Graff Estate.
An early evening arrival at the Delaire Graff Estate is always a delight for the senses… after a scenic sunset drive up the Helshoogte pass, you take a turn up the steep incline to the Estate and wind your way through the spectacular gardens, with sculptures by Anton Smith and Dylan Lewis greeting you as you make your way to the front door. Being greeted at the entrance by the Delaire Graff staff and a glass of Delaire Graff Sunrise MCC, dinner was served in the Vinoteek, complete with a roaring fireplace on one side and the cellar extending on the other side behind a glass wall.
Dinner was kicked off with beetroot-cured salmon, pancheta crisps, fresh spring peas, crispy pickled shimeij mushrooms, salmon caviar and a glass of Delaire Graff Coastal Cuvee 2010… With a start like that we knew it was going to be a spectacular evening!
Jörg Phutzner, the private client director for LOUIS XIII Cognac welcomed the guests and gave us some insight to to the wonderful, rich history of Louis XIII. Next up was the intermediate plate: seared scallop, cauliflower purée, roasted cauliflower and butter-roasted hazelnuts, paired with a glass of Delaire Graff White reserve 2013. This was followed by a main course of Karoo Springbok loin, orange sweet potato and heirloom beets which paired up perfectly with the accompanying Lawrence Graff Reserve 2013: one of the most spectacular red wines we have had the pleasure of tasting in a long time! Simply a sublime red.
We couldn’t help but wonder what it must be like working on a product as amazing as this, but never being able to taste your own handiwork, as only after another hundred years will the next generation be able to enjoy the fruit of your labour. As if to illustrate this point, the movie which was studiously filmed, edited and finished, was closed up and sealed only to be opened and watched in a hundred year’s time.
Then it was time: the big moment had arrived. The breaking of the golden seal, the pouring of the golden liquid into the most beautiful crystal glasses…and of course, the tasting.
Words could never do a drink like this justice, but just know that you have never tasted complexity, depth and richness like this.
Heaven in a glass would be an understatement!