What a pleasure it was to experience the amazing cooking of the Mount Nelson’s Executive Chef Rudi Liebenberg at our lunch-time launch of the 2010 vintage of Avondale’s Cyclus. I was joined by award-wining wine writer, Joanne Gibson, and it is not every day that you are seated and served at the Chef’s Table in the iconic hotel’s kitchen. I really enjoy Rudi’s focus on fresh produce that he never over-works. He came up with a truly inspired 4-course menu, with each delicious dish highlighting yet another facet of Cyclus’s delightful complexity. The new vintage really shows what a beautiful wine Cyclus is, with so much richness and character. For each course the wine was served in different styles and different sizes of glasses so that it had the opportunity to breath differently for each dish.
The amazing opening act was a Prawn and shrimp salad with mango, paw paw, wild sour fig and passion fruit dressing. We then went on to relish a bolder dish, Duck breast confit with elderberries, the richness of the food was perfectly complemented by Cyclus’s creamy, long-structured finish. The wine’s intense fruit flavours of pear, pineapple, apricot and fig really came to the fore in the pairing of Cyclus with Rudi’s delectable Pork neck with apples and pickled cabbage. This special occasion was elegantly finished off by pairing Cyclus with a dessert Brie and roasted fig, which was phenomenally clean and fresh taste sensation.
Avondale’s Cyclus is made from 45% Viognier grapes with the balance made up of Chenin Blanc, Roussanne and Semillon grapes. The organically-grown vines range from 8 to 25 years in age, and have low yields from 4 to 8 tons of healthy, balanced grapes. Cyclus’s emblem is the vortex which represents the way Nature uses the spinning, turbulent flow of the vortex to energise and revive fluids. Biodynamic farming mimics this powerful stimulating motion in the hand-stirring of preparations as a connection to the universal forces.