Three new vintages released this summer

This summer, Paserene has seen three new vintages by winemaker Martin Smith, adding a new chapter to this luxury range of wines.

To start, the Bright 2021 form the Elements range captures the fun side of Paserene illustrated by the set of swings of the label art. The Bright is a Chardonnay made with grapes from the three regions, Franschhoek, Elgin and Tulbagh, creating a blend that combines the best of these unique terroirs. This Chardonnay shows bright green and gold in the glass that captures and reflects the ambient light. The nose is forward with citrus blossom neroli and yellow peaches, followed by an elegant savoury sea spray and mineral chalk rounded with gentle oak. On the palate, this wine is balanced by the fruit-forward character, soft mouthfeel and crisp acidity that give the wine great length.

The Bright perfectly pairs with any form of poultry, from light chicken salads to roast chicken dinners to something rich and decadent like sous vide chicken breast with a savoury sabayon. The Bright is also ideal for a range of pork and seafood dishes like crumbed pork chops or cream-based pasta with smoked salmon. This versatile wine is perfect for weeknight dinners and dinners with special friends.

Paserene’s flagship wine, the Marathon 2020, is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from our Tulbagh vineyards. These special vines were planted in 2018 with the top vine clone CS 338 grafted on quality rootstock, 101-14, and the first harvest went into this exquisite vintage. The region is hot at the western corner of the Breede River Valley, with decomposed shale soils producing fruit with intense colour and character. The wine is made in open-top French oak barrels, carefully punched down not to over-extract the wine. The Marathon was matured in 50% natural form barrels ensuring just the right level of wooding. This luxury wine spent six months in the bottle before release allowing the wine to integrate.

As you pour a glass of the Marathon, you first notice the depth of the black-to-purple colour, a testament to the quality of fruit and attention to detail in the cellar. The nose is full of ripe black currents, deep crème de cassis and intensity of balsamic. The initial nose opens to dried flowers, black peppercorns, and allspice. Well-integrated tannins carry this complexity with a polished quality, building this elegant wine’s finesse. Drink the Marathon now after a good airing in your favourite decanter, or better yet, cellar it for five years and see this beauty mature.

Imagine a luxurious dinner with friends sipping the Marathon from mains to a decadent cheese board. The Marathon’s elegance, body, and weight make it ideal for pairing with rich meats like grilled lamb with lashings of rosemary or a thick-cut marbled ribeye, flame-grilled to perfection. The ripe berry notes open this wine to a range of other dishes, such as duck or game birds, and it is perfect with aged, semi-hard cheeses like sharp cheddar or tangy Red Leicester.

Finally, the next instalment of the mystery novel with the Shiner Red 2019 is here. The Shiner NV #3 is a red blend with 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 48% Petit Verdot and 4% Carmenere from a selection of specific vintages grown on our Franschhoek vineyard. Each wine selected builds to add character and depth to this wine, much like the mystery novel written jointly by Deon Meyer and Martin Smith. The Shiner #3 shows a deep black and red core with a forward nose of black currents, chocolate, espresso roast and charcoal. The Cabernet in the blend brings out incense, balsamic and black peppercorn. The gentle oak character and layered richness give the wine an integrated and lingering finish.

Pair the Shiner #3 with a medium-rare steak or wild game grilled for that intense smoked-wood flavour or a selection of aged Gouda and Stilton with a deep berry preserve. This wine is also suited to pairing with a dark chocolate tart with a rich, buttery crust to bring out the sweetness of the wine.

Come and visit the Nest, Paserene’s tasting room in picturesque Franschhoek, to taste these new vintages and the full range of wines. The knowledgeable and inviting team share beautiful detail and stories of these luxury wines that are guaranteed to make Paserene one of your favourite vineyards.

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