December 18, 2008

Eagles Nest & Riboville. An amazing night out.

So I have to share an experience I had recently. As in very recently. Marilu and I do a thursday experience to keep our relationship fresh. Every alternate thursday you have to do something for your better half. Easy right? Well we`re both competitive so for last thursday I thought to get something special on the burn.

There was a really really (as in really) fantastic competition to win a bottle of coveted Eagles Nest Shiraz on one of my favorite blogs, Cherryflava , recently. I put up a good enough fight (say : irritation) to win one of the 25 last bottles of this gorgeous vino, a rare Eagles Nest 2006 Shiraz, but I had to have it at Riboville . All I had to do was share our amazing experience with all of you. So on the “date” we went – and look at the view on the way there…

Whats Riboville I hear you say? This, straight from the horses mouth:

Built in 1893, the African Banking Corporation (ABC) Building in Adderley Street is both one of Cape Town’s most impressive examples of art-deco architecture and one of South Africa’s Top listed heritage buildings. The ABC bank operated from this magnificent edifice until it was sold to Standard Bank in 1940. After they left in 1999 this grand old lady stood empty until Cologne businessman, Harald Seick, and prominent Cologne architect, Peter Esser, rescued it in 2000. George Sinovich later joined the restoration project and saw it to completion in 2006. Once the bastion of big money, the ABC building has been reborn as Riboville : a bastion of fine dining and exquisite sensory pleasures.

Mnandi. And the farm?

…after being sold off, Eagles’ Nest produced vegetables for the passing trade from a stall and later, fruit was also grown. In more recent times, all farming ceased and the bulk of the land was put under Pine forest and left to grow back to indigenous plant life. In 1984, a section of the original Eagles’ Nest was bought by the Mylrea family, and later a further portion was consolidated, forming the current 38.4 hectares. Farming re-commenced, with a produce of table grapes, Kiwi fruit and export Protea flowers. Prior to 2000, a large effort had been put into eradicating alien vegetation and re-establishing indigenous species.After some 9 months of clearing up the mountainside, the decision was taken to restore the estate to its former glory. Several options were considered, including pasture lands with large natural gardens and plenty of water features, and protea farming, olive, or wine farming. After a detailed investigation, it was decided to return to the roots of the Constantia valley and produce wine off Eagles’ Nest Farm.

So, with a courtesy bottle of wine we headed off to the venue. Lets peruse that for a moment:

Niiiice. So what about the wine?

Our synopsis of the wine went as follows (blind not knowing anything about the farm might I add):

The Nose was extremely dry which was expected from a Shiraz. We both got crisp, burnt mashmellows and marzipan on the nose as well as the distinct smell of fynbos as the wine opened.

The Taste on the tongue was complex and delicate all at the same time. Crispy bacon on the front and as it slid across the pallet we got first green then black peppers, an earthy combination of warm espresso and a real earthyness to the wine. Gorgeous all around.

We (that would be in our humble opinions) would pair the wine with delicate decadent foods i.e. tuna, carpaccio, gammon, dark chocolate. Please do not combine the wine with spicy foods as it overpowers the beauty of this wine completely. Its not a Cab Sav no no.

So what did we eat?

and what happens when you give hungry athletes the most amazing tappa`s in the whole world?


We sat and discussed the amazing service the restaurant has, the cellar downstairs built in the old vault, and spoke about life, love and again, how amazing the food & particularly, the wine were. The wine seemed to age with the maturity of a Burgundy Pinot Noir in the glass, its decadence was incredible.

The desert arrives and it went perfectly with the wine.

Many thanks to Riboville for hosting us (even if we paid for the food, it was SOOOO worth it) and to Eagles Nest for the Wine, and to Cherryflava for combining the two for us. We are so greatful for the experience. A truely world class dining occasion. You must must must get a group of mates together and go enjoy the spot, its legend.

We strolled out at 11:30pm, totally pleased with out experience.

PS: Upon review of the Eagles Nest website after the night out, I discovered that the farm burnt down in 2000 and this might (possibly – maybe Eagles Nest could advise) explain the burnt marshmellows we got on the nose. They were a lovely addition to the wine, by the way.

What a night. A Louis Armstrong song comes to mind…

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