Hot on the heels of the launch in May of his celebrated luxury Asian eatery, TANG, which was awarded the Luxe Restaurant Award 2021 by the Hospitality Counsel just a month into existence, the posh Nelson Mandela Square-situated restaurant and bar was once again the host venue for Nicky’s latest venture.
The occasion was graced by South Africa’s who’s who, among them businesswoman Johanna Mukoki, the Real Housewife of Joburg star Tarina Patel, radio personalities Lerato Kganyago and Bridget Masinga, chef Nti, TV host Dan Nicholl, former Miss SA Tansey Coetzee, actress Mulisa Mudau and renowned wine expert Michael Fridjhon.
World famous resident DJ Ravin of Buddha Group (Paris) kept us entertained throughout with some pretty catchy numbers, and even took turns striking a few poses for paparazzi with the entire Van der Walt brood, including Nicky wife Lee-Ann Liebenberg, the couple’s two daughters and six-month-old son Jagger.
“Today is a very special day for me as it marks a dream come true,” Nicky said. “I am proudly launching Mirabelle Rosé, the first step in hopefully a very long and beautiful journey in the wine industry which I love.”
Though a proudly South African creation – thanks to a new generation of winegrowers who sought to experiment with new ways of producing Cinsault (a black wine grape variety used mainly to produce Rosé wines and some of SA’s top blends) over the past years to prove that the once famous grape variety has the potential to produce excellent wines when managed properly – with this brand new baby, the father of three set out to create a world-class Provençal-style rosé, famous for its heady aroma of fresh flowers; it’s no wonder guests were decked out in their finest (as per ‘Spring Style’ dress code protocol) – with interceptions of bright spring colours here and there.
“Historically, rosé was always an afterthought in South Africa,” Nicky said . “And it is only in the past decade or so that local producers have upped their game. With Mirabelle, I set out to create a light and fresh wine with a beautiful pink hue that one can drink from brunch right through the day without getting palate fatigue.”
The making of Mirabelle Rosé
Mirabelle Rosé is superbly crafted from the old Cinsault noir and Mourvèdre grape wine varieties both grown in the Swartland. Made of 75% Cinsault from two different vineyard blocks and 25% Mourvèdre (often blended with Cinsault to soften intense perfume flavors) from a single vineyard block, it has top notes of cherry, strawberry, and candyfloss, a subtle rose petal perfume, with a lemon twist finish.
The collection was conceptualised by Nicky, with the help of celebrated SA winemaker, Pieter Carstens from Leeuwenkuil, during the first hard lockdown last year.
He says he chose not to go with either Chardonnay, Chenin blanc, or Sauvignon blanc because he “wanted the first Mirabelle wine to express my adventurous spirit and my willingness to explore uncharted territory”.
Interested to know the origin of the term ‘Mirabelle’? It’s derived from the French word ‘mira’, which means ‘wonderous’, and is combined with ‘belle,’ meaning ‘beautiful.’ Interestingly, Belle is also the nickname of Nickly’s youngest daughter, Gabriella, which gives it a whole special meaning. How sweat!
Mirabelle Rosé: availability & pricing
In addition to Tang, Mirabelle Rosé will be sold at Norman Goodfellows, both in-store and online for R135 (750ml) and R265 (1.5lt). It will also be available on location in exclusive liquor outlets such as the Saxon in Johannesburg, and the Grand Pavilion in Sea Point.
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