The Red Wine Romp held at Catharina’s Restaurant at Steenberg was the perfect occasion to revisit one of our favourite hotels and wine farms. The concept was simple: Celebrate the great red wines of the Constantia area, paired with a veritable winter feast prepared by Chef Garth Almazan and his team and the outstanding service and warm hospitality one always experiences at Catharina’s.
The starter of pea and smoked ham hock soup served with hot vetkoek paired exceptionally well with the Steenberg 2013 Nebbiolo – one learns new things every day, especially with food & wine pairing! Braised oxtail and Coq au Vin with carrots and green beans made up the mains and served as a perfect backdrop to the wines from Klein Constantia, Beau Constantia, Groot Constantia, Eagles’ Nest, Constantia Glen and Buitenverwachting and Steenberg, of course. I do hope that this is the first of many Red Wine Romps – we will be back.
We have stayed at the Steenberg Hotel in 2012 and it was, in our opinion, the best 5 star hotel in Cape Town. The dinner at Catharina’s gave us the perfect opportunity to revisit the hotel and see if things had changed; they have not. Beautifully appointed, spacious rooms with surroundings that can only be described as scenic and service that goes above and beyond.
It’s the small things that make you understand the attention to detail that is so important to a 5 star hotel guest: Fresh milk in the fridge, tea selection that goes beyond Rooibos and facilities to dispose of hot tea bags and coffee pods at the kettle (not miles away in the bathroom). You even have your own iPod docking station!
Room service is quick and the food delicious – even though Catharina’s was no doubt abuzz with activity, preparing for the evening’s feast. The hotel also boasts a spa, which we sadly had no time to visit as it was time to taste some wine. We have also mentioned the wines at Steenberg before, as we are big fans of the Magna Carta and their Nebbiolo and I decided to revisit their current range while The Navigator went for an afternoon jog.
What a range of wines and every one of such good quality! I did enjoy the new style of the Pinot Noir MCC, (R180) now 2 years on the lees with 1 additional gram of sugar and the Klein Steenberg Rosé (R55), a Shiraz/Grenache blend – delicious stuff. The Steenberg Black Swan 2014 (R170) has now grown up and is reflecting its own identity and the 2013 Semillon (R170) should be classified as one of their best vintages yet. Aged in a 600l barrel for 9 months that was constantly being topped up, leading to an incredible round, creamy palate due to the slower fermentation and maturation. This is an incredible wine.
The service at the tasting room is also top notch and every single person working behind that counter could give me the same in-depth information when I needed it. Unfortunately Bistro 1682 is closed for renovations, so no late afternoon snacking was possible (which was a good thing, given the feast that awaited us at Catharina’s).
Saturday morning saw us, a tad “tired” from the evening’s festivities, exploring the beautiful farm grounds. As a parting gift we even spotted 2 Eagle owls observing the human traffic from a huge tree in front of Catharina’s – probably wondering what the rumpus of the Friday evening was all about. It was all about wine, food and friends. What more do you need? Steenberg has it all.
Kindly note that we were staying at the hotel and attending the Red Wine Romp as guest of the estate. All the wine we purchased and took home was, of course, paid for in full.