I recently visited Paserene’s “swallow nest-inspired” tasting lounge in Franschhoek and was impressed! They have now expanded their tasting room to include a function venue too.
The name, Paserene is taken from the Latin word Passeriformes, the order of “travelling and free” birds containing swifts and swallows. If the architecture is anything to go by, the beauty of the venue is definitely reflected in the quality of their wine. Paserene is home to an impressive portfolio of award-winning wines. These include a 5-star in the 2021 Platter Guide rating as well a Robert Parker Top 100 Discoveries Award. Their attention to detail is impeccable, evident from their bespoke labels created by exceptional artists and their elegant wines from three distinctive terroirs.
Comprising three high-end luxury ranges – The Elements, The Paserene and The Shiner – each with their own unique features, but guaranteed to tell you a story in each sip. As we head into the festive season three new vintages have recently been launched, which makes for the ideal gift for any wine enthusiast looking to add to their expansive collection.
The Elements range with its drawing of a swing on the label describes the contents perfectly. Representing Paserene’s playful side, each bottle is unique and not only does this wine stand up to some of the best in a luxury wine tasting, but it is the ideal mid-week tipple. Made from different elements from each of their vineyards, the Bright 2021 provides you with an easy-drinking experience. Made from 100% Chardonnay grapes the nose offers fresh citrus-centric aromas, which carry through to the palate, resulting in a smooth dense note for the ultimate drinking experience. The perfect summer tipple, enjoy the Bright 2021 – a lighter styled Chardonnay – on its own or with a light seasonal salad, any type of poultry dish or with fresh tuna and salmon. Available directly from the Tasting Lounge at R190 per bottle.
Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon grape, the Marathon 2020, the flagship wine in the Paserene range, is a deep black to red, black in colour which is a true reflection of the quality and condition of the hand-sorted berries which made it into the cellar. Intensely perfumed with aromas of black currants, lilac and crème de cassis with black peppercorns. On the palate, the sheer size of the wine is evident, as the tannin, fruit and alcohol come together in perfect harmony. This wine will reach its full ageing potential within the next five years is cellared correctly. This robust ‘investment’ wine pairs perfectly with fatty meat such as grilled lamb with Rosemary, or marbled ribeye steak from the barbeque. Also the perfect partner for ducks or other game birds. Guaranteed to be a popular wine this summer, it sells for R670 per bottle.
Completing the new vintage lineup is the Shiner #3 Non-Vintage Red. What makes this range so special is that it is a vintage-specific wine made from grapes grown on their own Franschhoek vineyard. Each vintage is different depending on the harvest, representing the next chapter in the story of The Shiner. Another talking point is the eye-catching label of a boxer, which has been spray painted on the bottle and is a taster of the book Martin is currently writing about the character on the bottle, with the help of renowned South African author, Deon Meyer. This latest instalment is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (48%), Petit Verdot (48%) and Carmenere (4%), and the bottle reflects the contents, which Martin describes as a deep black and red core. On the nose, there is an abundance of black currant, chocolate, espresso roast and charcoal aromas. The Cabernet brings out incense, balsamic and black peppercorns. The gentle oak impression and incredible richness lead to a well-integrated palate. A wine guaranteed to last at least 20 years. Don’t be left out in the dark by missing out on this limited-release showstopper, which is available directly from the estate at R300 per bottle.
Visit the tasting room
Not only is Paserene a wine experience, but it’s also about lifestyle, and this summer season it will be the place to be when visiting the Franschhoek region. The contemporary, yet classically understated Tasting Lounge, resembles a swallow’s nest. Light wooden cladding is used to create a modern-style ‘cryptoporticus’ offset against rough slate accents, resembling the mud and clay swallows use to build their nests. Glass stack doors allow for the whole building to become an open structure, transforming the beautiful exterior into a natural extension of the interior. The facilities overlook a small dam on our wine estate, a clever nod towards the swallow’s habit of swooping over the water.
Relax in the comfort of this breathtaking ‘nest’ whilst sipping on superb wines and indulging in their small plate offerings. Using locally sourced produce the small plates range from cured organic olives to classic Bitterballen. For those with a bigger appetite, the Paserene Platter – a selection of their small plates – will hit the spot.
A bucket list Winelands gem you’re guaranteed to return to.
For more information visit www.paserene.com.