As the winter chills thaw, and spring steps to the fore, Laborie, the proudly South African wine brand rooted in an effervescent French tradition, invites wine lovers to pause and appreciate the indications of seasonal change this October – the most beautiful month of the year.
In keeping with its French roots, Laborie invokes this culture’s reverence for the efflorescence: from fashion designer’s Christian Dior’s obsession with roses and general unbridled passion for flowers to the House of Chanel’s rolling jasmine fields in southern France. The French have cultivated a deep appreciation for the potent symbolic power of flowers, and it is little wonder that they are recognised as the nation of origin for the ‘Langage des Fleurs’ – the ancient symbolic system of the language of flowers.
And certainly, in October this ‘language’ is spoken most loudly: From the intensity of the yellow canola fields in the Western Cape, to the purple bursts of Gauteng’s jacaranda trees and the delicate orange daisies in the Northern Cape, October carries an air of celebration, a jubilance that Laborie aptly reflects in its mantra ‘Le Grand Vie’: a commitment to seek and inspire the high life. Already, this inspiration is manifesting in Laborie’s vines, which in September broke from their overwintering crown. In October this anticipatory bud break progressed to delicate flowers and vivid green shoots carefully starting their climb towards the sun.
There is no end to October’s beauty, a commodity that is shared freely and generously, and Laborie, together with Chef Mynhardt Joubert, have chosen to revel in this beauty with recipes and wine that reflect this seasonal generosity. Capturing the allure of October, Laborie Rosé 2021 launches onto shelves this month with all the markers of a classy, Provence-style Rosé. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Mourvèdre, Shiraz, Grenache Noir, Cinsaut and Pinotage, gives this Rosé a layered and engaging quality, with aromas of Turkish delight, raspberry, candy floss, as well as distinct notes of rose petals on the nose. The charming salmon-pink hue is a further indicator of the calibre of this wine and shows the delicate approach followed by Laborie’s winemaker, Kobus van der Merwe.
Indicative of the charming character of Laborie Rosé 2021, this wine recently received praise from two benchmark competitions: it was awarded a Gold Medal in the prestigious Michelangelo International Wine and Spirits Awards, and Laborie Rosé 2021 received recognition both for its value offering (trading at an exceptional R74.90) as well as quality from The Wine and Spirit Challenge, earning it a Double Award for Value coupled with the Trophy for Best Rosé on Show.
Kobus elaborates: “Grapes were harvested early in the morning to protect their fresh, red berry-like quality. These were directly pressed to limit the amount of time the juice had on the skins. Reductive winemaking methods further ensured that the crisp quality and beautiful acidity of the wine remained intact. Some lees contact allowed for a subtle creaminess on the palate.” Far from just contributing to the style of wine, this approach also had a distinct impact on quality – an approach reflected in the fresh and bright character of the Laborie Rosé – a perfect accompaniment to al fresco meals during South Africa’s warm summers.
Inspired by Laborie Rosé’s captivating character, Chef Mynhardt proceeded to develop a recipe to match. “I created an Asian smoked salmon and wasabi panna cotta with a pistachio crust and fresh green asparagus to match the Rosé’s fresh and invigorating flavours. The salmon-pink hues in the dish also play beautifully with the pretty pink colour of the wine, creating a sensory feast that is truly invigorating!”
“What a wonderful way to enter South Africa’s festive period,” says Tanya Blokdyk, Brand Manager for Laborie Wines, “we invite everyone to raise a glass of Laborie Rosé as an invitation to that which is beautiful only. It is our wish that the boisterous character of Laborie, and the playful charm of its Rosé, will dictate a joyful and memorable summer across South Africa’s kitchens, braais and lunch tables.”
In addition to the Laborie Rosé, Laborie’s range of elegant wines includes a Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Merlot-Cabernet blend, additionally, Laborie’s range extends to four lovely Cap Classiques and a unique fortified wine – all accessible at Laborie’s tasting room at the estate in Paarl or via Laborie’s online shop at kwvemporium.co.za.
Asian Smoked Salmon and Wasabi Panna Cottas with Pistachio Crust and fresh Green Asparagus
Serves: 6 – 8
Prep time: 25 min
Set time: 3 hours or overnight
- 4 gelatine leaves
- 250 ml of thick cream
- Handful of chopped coriander and basil leaves
- 250 ml crème fraîche
- 50 ml of pink pickled ginger
- 15 ml of soya sauce
- Juice and rind of 1 lemon
- 500 g of smoked salmon or smoked salmon offcuts
- 500 g of blanched fresh asparagus
Fresh rose petals
- Soak the gelatine leaves in water for about 5 minutes.
- Heat the cream gently on medium heat to warm, stirring continuously. Remove from heat – squeeze out the water from the gelatine and melt into the warm cream mixture.
- Using a stick blender or a food processor blend the warm cream mixture with fresh herbs, crème fraîche, ginger, soy sauce, lemon juice & rind and the smoked salmon until smooth.
- Divide into 6 – 8 panna cotta moulds, chill overnight or for three hours.
- Un-mould the panna cottas by dunking mould into hot water for 2 seconds, serve with fresh green asparagus, lime-flavoured olive oil, fresh rose petals and salmon ribbons.