Wine & Champagne

About sense and taste. About my life.

星期四, 9月 01, 2005

--Meet Wine-- 晚風徐徐,南非酒之微醺

2003-05-18


酒友AA來自南非,應說自小AA即移民南非,所以仍是生的一副黃種人樣,既非黑人,也非白人。三月中我們和幾名酒友共同喝了不少澳洲好酒,AA興奮之餘,即說要提供他的南非酒與大夥同享。AA將酒單開給我後,我立即幫他召集各路人馬,當晚竟有15人在羅西尼廚房齊聚一堂,好不熱鬧,酒似乎不是很夠,但是也算是有意猶未盡的另一股餘韻。


當天的酒單有:
1. Boschendal Brut 2000
2. Neil Ellis Chardonnay 2002
3. Neil Ellis Cabernet Sauvignon Jonkershoek Valley Vineyard Selection 2000
4. Stellenzicht Syrah 1998
5. Delaire Cabernet-Merlot 1993
6. Le Bonheur Cabernet Sauvignon 1989
7. Vin de Constance 1995
8. KWV Port 1947


大家分別點了自己想用的餐點,一開始先品嚐的是Boschendal Brut 2000,這是一款氣泡酒,葡萄是於1997年採收的,Chardonnay和Pinot Noir各佔50%,所有葡萄皆是一串一串地篩選。此氣泡酒在1999年除渣,並在2000年釋出,主要是為了慶祝千禧年的到來,產量僅2000瓶。初聞Boschendal Brut 2000,覺得有一股頗集中的果味與烤麵包香,不過入口後卻覺得香氣不若聞來的濃,散散的,不甚有尾韻。且把它當作一款簡單的開胃酒,就別花太多心思吧!


Neil Ellis Chardonnay 2002是BB帶來的,現在Costco有賣,一瓶NT$300,不過經過TWG的報導後,不知還買不買的到。我覺得此酒有一種涼涼的香氣(真是難以形容),再加上一些百香果,酒體飽滿,酸度宜人,不過尾韻中有一點點苦味。醒酒並回溫後,有一些烤奶油小餅乾的味道透出,口感中的烘堅果與礦石香氣也增強了。喝這酒沒什麼負擔,十分輕鬆自在,而且知道它的價格後,更覺得喜愛。


接下來上場的第一款紅酒為Neil Ellis Cabernet Sauvignon Jonkershoek Valley Vineyard Selection 2000,此酒一開始果香即很濃郁,因尚屬年輕,橡木桶的味道較重,口感強勁厚實,有薄荷、黑醋栗香氣,單寧頗強,尾韻有點帶苦。


AA這時開始為大家作了一些南非酒的解說,原來南非在很早以前,約西元1654年就開始種植葡萄樹了,而第一次採收釀製葡萄酒則發生在西元1659年。不過後來南非的釀酒業開始沒落,原因大致是:英國在1861年將法國進口酒的關稅調低,而將南非酒的關稅調得很高,使得南非酒喪失競爭優勢。而1885年時,葡萄根瘤芽蟲病侵至南非,葡萄樹幾乎都死光,南非的釀酒業可說是進入黑暗時期。等到葡萄樹種植復全之際,南非酒卻又因為種族歧視條例被國際社會所制裁並打入冷宮(約70年代)。直至1992年,黑人人權領袖曼德拉被解放出來,並在1994年透過第一次的民主選舉當選總統,在那段時間,南非釀酒業才開始復甦,當時,全球可說是沉浸在一股南非熱當中,此外一些國外酒廠也是選在1994年左右來投資南非酒廠。


南非的氣候十分炎熱,葡萄可以生長地很成熟,所以南非的酒精度大多可超過13.5%,甚至達14%以上。這種氣候型態讓葡萄的內部果肉成熟很快,但是表皮卻未到達相對的成熟度,所以釀出來的酒,其中的單寧通常會讓覺得缺乏成熟度,有點青澀,而且對於Pinot Noir這種很嬌嫩的葡萄十分不利。不過南非的Pinotage(Pinot Noir + Cinsault)算是作的很成功,只是這種葡萄所釀成的酒是難以成為主流之列。


在一片祥和的用餐氣氛中,此時AA突然驚四座地說:「其實葡萄樹是種蠻賤的植物......」,大家凝神靜氣繼續聽下去,「因為南非的土壤太肥沃了,所以葡萄樹往往不願再向下紮根,以致南非的葡萄樹根僅有50公分左右,不像法國的Bordeaux、Burgundy一樣,葡萄樹根可以向下紮至數公尺之深,所以礦石氣息就很難出現在南非酒上。除此,南非酒並不是適合久藏的,通常在年輕時,就能展現出圓熟易飲的特性。」


AA講完沒多久,大家的主菜也紛紛上桌,紅酒也進入第二款Stellenzicht Syrah 1998和第三款Delaire Cabernet-Merlot 1993。Stellenzicht Syrah '98有一股很可愛討喜的藍莓果醬香氣,郁郁散發,口感滋味甜美,充滿黑色漿果與櫻桃香氣,還有一點煙燻、葯草味。AA補充這款酒的'94年份在1995年時,打敗了Penfolds Grange '91,於是聲名大噪,酒價也扶搖直上*1。而且這款酒在南非恐怕也不容易買到,因為每年僅生產約一、二百箱,每一公頃僅採收2.25噸,產量極低。Delaire Cabernet-Merlot '93有著波爾多酒的影子,不過酸度嫌高就是了,感覺已經過peak,單寧已很柔順,尾韻留下梅子的香氣。


最後一款紅酒是Le Bonheur Cabernet Sauvignon 1989,由AA在南非的兒時玩伴Sophia所貢獻的。我覺得此酒也是過peak,單寧很軟,香氣不強,雖然很順口易飲,但較高的酸度突出,影響了整體的balance。AA說他可以接受這樣的酸度,不過他也補充說有可能是他也習慣了南非酒如此的酸度。喝到最後兩款紅酒,我覺得也印證了AA先前說的:South African wine is not made for cellaring.


大家愉悅地用完主菜,換上甜點,甜酒Vin de Constance 1995的蜜糖琥珀色般緩緩倒入大家的杯裏。濃郁的蜂蜜、鳳梨、百香果等香氣又夾雜著一些些冬瓜糖味,口感馥郁濃稠,酸度很不錯,讓這款甜酒變得不膩人且十分易飲。


最後壓軸的是比我老很多的KWV Port 1948,酸酸甜甜的口感,有著焦糖與些微果味,finish有一點點澀感。我對Port是完全沒有研究的,也不知好或不好,只覺得是一次很新鮮的經驗。


最後大家對紅酒的排名統計如下:
Stellenzicht Syrah 1998與Le Bonheur Cabernet Sauvignon 1989並列第一名
Neil Ellis Cabernet Sauvignon Jonkershoek Valley Vineyard Selection 2000第二名


當天的氣氛如同南非酒給人的感覺如出一轍,輕鬆愉快,沒什麼負擔,大家在餐門口互相道別,沉浸在晚風徐徐,南非酒之微醺中......


--------------------------------------------------------


*1 Penfolds Grange '91年釋出的時候正是1995年,當時正有一場南非酒V.S.澳洲酒的比賽,Stellenzicht Syrah '94就是在這場比賽上打敗Penfolds Grange '91。

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