Second Helping – and Tasting – at Oak Valley
OAK VALLEY WINES
Sunday 2 July 2017
I recall writing after my first visit to Oak Valley on 5 March 2017 that I must bring my partner here. Today was the day. I booked a table for lunch and we made the trip for a leisurely Sunday day out from Cape Town. It was just as well I booked as the restaurant is now closed for 3 weeks for kitchen alterations and staff holidays.
I described the wines previously. They were just as excellent today and I could easily have bought every one of them. It comes as no surprise that the average Platter’s Guide score for the last 10 years for Oak Valley wines is 4½ stars. The Sauvignon Blanc was sold out. The Riesling was shy but nonetheless with classic kerosene aromas. Delicate also was the Sémillon, wooded Chardonnay too, that grew on the nose with fruity herbaceous and citrus flavours as it warmed in the glass. The red wines too were as good as I had remembered them: elegant, sour to sweet Pinot Noir; superb and unusually light- to medium-bodied cool climate Shiraz; and vibrant, smooth complex and well-balanced Bordeaux Blend. I bought a bottle of the Chardonnay and the Shiraz.
I was here for the food today and it was every bit as much a treat. We both chose the Sweet Potato and Truffle soup. Beautifully decorated with sweet potato chips, fresh coriander and a purple flower, it was creamy and luscious in taste. My partner ordered the Pan Fried Line Fish and a glass of the superb lightly oaked Chardonnay, her favourite wine, to accompany. The Line Fish was an excellent choice. It looked delicious on the plate, with colourful cauliflower purée, sautéed broccoli, Rosa tomatoes, and cashew nut and Cape Malay cream to go with.
I chose the cut-of-the-day Sirloin Steak, from wagu cattle on the Oak Valley farm. Salty hand cut chips and lemon-herb aioli added extra flavours. A glass of the Bordeaux Blend was the perfect match. I resisted the temptation for a dessert – though the strawberry and chocolate mousse looked especially appetising – and opted for a coffee instead.
Chef Gordon Manuel, and all the staff, did us proud. I so often forget about vineyard restaurants when wanting to go out for a meal and that is remiss of me. I highly recommend the Pool Room at Oak Valley Wines. The menu is concise but there’s plenty of variety to choose between. The view too across the elegant turquoise pool to the Groenland Mountains is superb too. Book as it is popular, even in winter. Gordon and his staff have certainly well earned their holiday break …
Wines tasted (bought *):
2016 Stone and Steel Riesling – R85
2014 Oak Valley Sémillon – R95
2015 Chardonnay – R160*
2014 Pinot Noir – R195 FAVOURITE WINE
2015 Shiraz – R120*
2011 Bordeaux Blend (45% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Franc, 15% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon) – R160