For the 2013/14 season, Belthazar Restaurant at the V&A Waterfront will list a vertical selection of Idiom’s top two blends. With arguably the largest wine by the glass selection in the southern hemisphere, Belthazar is a hot spot for tourists and locals alike in search of superior steak and fine wine. The Idiom Bordeaux-style and Cape Blends, compete with each other on an annual basis for the position of flagship blend in the range. Both regularly garner top awards at both local and international competitions. The 2005, 2007 and 2008 vintages of both blends will be available by the bottle or by the glass, allowing diners the chance of a vertical or horizontal tasting of the two wines.
Roberto Bottega, proprietor of Idiom wines comments ”It’s 50-50 when it comes to what our fans and club members prefer, I guess it depends on their palate and frame of reference. People from the UK who have grown up on real Bordeaux tend to like our Bordeaux style blend a lot, Stephen Spurrier commented at a recent Decanter event that the 2007 was ‘very Bordeaux’, while our Canadian friends from Quebec liken it to a good Pauillac. The Cape Blend appeals to those with more of a new world palate. Probably the Pinotage component makes the wine more accessible, it is definitely softer than the Bordeaux with concentrated red fruit.”
Even though Idiom may be better known in some circles for its single varietal wines made from Italian cultivars, the family’s vineyards in Sir Lowry’s Pass were laid out with the aim of making top quality blends. Alberto Bottega, patriarch of the family affirms, adding, “When I started the Idiom project in the late nineties, I initially set out the vineyards with the aim of trying to make a great Bordeaux blend, as I considered that to be the epitome of winemaking. I still consider the Idiom Bordeaux-style blend to be our flagship. Traditionally it is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc but more recently we’ve also added some Petit Verdot. It can be quite austere when young and needs to be laid down for a few years after bottling before it can be enjoyed. The wine is incredibly complex due to its multi-clone construction but still manages to be elegant with a long lingering finish that suggests a wine which is greater than the sum of its parts. What makes the wine interesting is that it has multiple flavour peaks, a bit like a mountain range, and often bamboozles local judges who are unable to pinpoint the various notes as the wine dances in the mouth.”
The vintages of Idiom Bordeaux on the Belthazar list are all award winners. The 2005 vintage won no less than four gold medals locally and abroad, and was one of only two South African reds to be awarded Gold at the 2009 UK Sommelier Wine Awards, a competition that has received increased attention from the London restaurant trade. The 2006, which unfortunately is no longer available in the trade and isn’t part of the vertical listing, was the Regional Trophy Winner at the 2010 Decanter World Wine Awards in London for Best SA Bordeaux Blend – Idiom’s top accolade to date. The 2007 followed in the footsteps of its predecessors by claiming Gold at the 2009 Michelangelo Awards, whilst the 2008 vintage will make its debut in the local trade as it is unreleased as yet, although it too has received awards.
The Idiom Cape Blend in recent vintages has challenged the Bordeaux-style’s flagship standing. With Pinotage making up at least 30% of the blend components and being the chief difference between the two blends, the wine is opulent yet elegant and refined with a classy structure, a hallmark of the Idiom blends. “We wished to create a wine in the Cape idiom and in these wines, we have crafted something exceptional of South African provenance,” notes Bottega,
The 2005 was the maiden vintage for the Idiom Cape Blend, however it was the 2006 which truly put the blend on the map for Idiom, as it scooped the Grand d’Or at the Michelangelo Awards, Diamond Award at the Investec Winemakers Choice Awards and Gold at the Veritas Awards. The 2007 followed in the footsteps of its predecessors by claiming Gold at the Michelangelo and 4 ½ stars in the Platter Guide, whilst the Belthazar listing is the first placement of the 2008.
With its impressive selection of chargrilled meats, Belthazar is the perfect arena to pair the Idiom Bordeaux-style and Cape Blends and affords guests the opportunity to understand the journey both blends in the Idiom Collection have taken since the initial vintage in 2004.
Contact Belthazar on 021 421 3753 to make a booking or check out their website here. The new wines will be available from the middle of June.
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