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The newest addition to Nederburg's gourmet collection of hand-made Heritage Heroes wines is the maiden 2012 vintage of The Beautiful Lady.
The single-vineyard Gewűrztraminer returns the varietal to the Nederburg portfolio after an interval of 15 years, according to the winery. The new wine is sourced from the same Stellenbosch farm used by Günter Brözel to produce the Gewűrztraminer entry that earned him the title of Diners Club Winemaker of the Year in 1985.
The gracefully aromatic wine with a subtle sweetness is the ideal accompaniment to aromatic and spicy dishes, says cellar master Razvan Macici. It also extends the food pairing repertoire of the Heritage Heroes line-up that includes two wooded whites and two red blends.
The Beautiful Lady takes its name from a description of Ilse Graue, the wife of Johann Graue, a German immigrant who bought Nederburg in 1937. He is credited with introducing far-reaching wine-growing and winemaking changes at Nederburg.
Ilse brought her own changes to Nederburg, remodelling the 1800 manor house to accommodate her Bechstein piano and to include a second storey for the bedrooms.
"She brought a gracious sense of hospitality to Nederburg, planting a fine rose garden that still occupies pride of place in our garden. She brought her fine china, crystal glass, silver and paintings from Germany, when she settled here with her husband and son, Arnold. She played her grand piano for her guests and entertained regularly," says Macici.
It was former winemaker Günter Brözel who called her "the beautiful lady". She made him feel welcome when he joined Nederburg as winemaker in 1953. Ilse moved from Nederburg to Hermanus when she was widowed in 1959 and lived there until her own death 25 years later.
Macici believes the elegant, fragrant and lively wine with a haunting, almost elusive sweetness, is an apt tribute to Ilse. "The rose petal aromatics remind us of the rose garden. The wine's litchi, pineapple and Turkish delight characteristics are very alluring and its sweetness is more suggested than overt, enlivened by good acidity. It closes on a lovely, lingering finish."
He enjoys it as an aperitif or with fruity curries and fragrant Thai and Indian dishes made with butter or coconut milk, Cantonese and Schezhuan seafood and poultry dishes. "It also makes a great partner to fruit flans."
The Beautiful Lady joins The Anchorman, a wooded Chenin blanc; The Young Airhawk, a wooded Sauvignon blanc; The Brewmaster, a Bordeaux-style red; and The Motorcycle Marvel, a Rhône-style red, to complete the Heritage Heroes collection. The whites are available from Nederburg in Paarl for R95 a bottle and the reds for R110. The wines are also available from the Vinoteque, fine dining establishments and selected fine wine shops.