WBW#6 – Morgenhof Estate 2001 Chenin Blanc with Dhufish Fillets and Omlette Soufflée Sucrée


I know it may seem , having got past the initial step of being able to identify wine as wine, that I stumbled at the next stage of distinguishing between red and white. I could ask for pity as I suffer from the debilitating genetic illness of partial red-green colour blindness and subsequent humiliation at the hands of Ishihara test administrators. I’m also prone to the “hardware store effect” as well double-entedric distraction. As a result, I humbly submit to Wine Blogging Wednesday #6 heads down south – South African Reds, a chenin blanc.

The occasion was Greg Manthatcatchesgreatfish was bringing over some dhufish fillets from said great fish for cooking. Joining us was Anonymous of Floreat, glorying in topping the sales figures for Supermart and handily bringing an Australian chenin from a winery bought by a South African. How apropos.


First off was the Halina Brook Estate 2003 Chenin. Unusually north for a West Australian wine with a vineyard near Bindoon. I can only tell you what I wrote on my kitchen whiteboard and that was “densely packed citric bite in an oily enteric coating“. Thinking back it was better than that sounds, a sharp hit that grabbed the tongue with a heavyweight refreshing linger.

Unusually further west was, from Stellenbosch South Africa, the Morgenhof Estate 2001 Chenin Blanc (or “Steen” as they say on the veldt). Immediately noticeable, even to me, was the richer gold colour of the wine. A shade over $20 a bottle, it’s midplaced between equivalent budget bests and lower premiums in price which sets up certain expectations. It has a simple trick and I fell for it. Like any song with a cow-bell, any wine that can tranport its flavour across my tongue in a sherbety fashion will have my love. And it does. Nothing else interfered with it, not the stone fruitiness or the warm nose. If you like this effect I don’t need to tell you any more, in fact I can’t. Thank you South Africa.


As for the meal. The dhufish fillets were cooked on a stovetop griddle just in butter. They are not to be messed around with. I found “done” occurred just as the fillet looked like it was going to flake. For a simple match I had Pommes Veronique without the garlic and good dab of goose fat; oven roasted asparagus; and a bernaise without the sorrel tarragon sauce on the side. It’s a magnificent piece of fish, sweet and unfishy without being bland. A West Australian must have.

Egg whites to be rid of led to the soufflé omlette. The combination of 4 egg yolks with 115gm of caster sugar, whisked until pale and creamy with 30ml of Cointreau added once done. Egg whites whisked until stiffly peaked with a little extra caster sugar added slowly for extra hold and gloss. A third mixed in with the yolks and then the rest folded in. Baked in a long baking dish in the oven at 150C for 10 minutes, some strawberries dropped in and then warmed brandy and Cointreau poured over. Light the match and ….. oh well, must have gone straight to the bottom. The dessert that wasn’t there, sugar and booze mysteriously appears in the mouth.

Rest of the meal spent with readings of The Philosopher in the Kitchen. Hilarious. Best thing since the Scarlet Pimpernel.


Typically well written red round-up from Jeanne at A barrel of South African reds – WBW#6 round-up, Part I and Part II

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  1. Jeanne’s avatar

    OK, so Spiceblog is starting a new trend – not so much blind tasting as blind buying – you buy as if blindfolded with no regard for colour, varietal or label. Interesting!! ;-) Don’t worry – you’re in good company – Sam from Becks & Posh got a rose wine instead of a red…

    Was the Chenin wooded?? I was a bit worried about its being over the hill at 4 years, but apparently all fears were unfounded – yaaay! Food sounds totally sublime. How about sending over some vac-packed dhufish (which sounds like something Homer Simpson might eat…)

    Great post. Clearly the 20 push-ups helped.

  2. Anthony’s avatar

    No it wasn’t quite so random somehow the red vanished from memory while I was thinking about the fish. Lucky I didn’t have to get some milk as well or I would have forgotten the SA bit as well. Glad Sam went for the rose rather than hover in red/white purgatory for all eternity.

    It was wooded and seemed much the better for a few years. Specially the colour. A fine and interesting drop.

    Sure, but wouldn’t they get all dusty?

    The push ups do help, the upside down ones rush the blood to the head and the one fingered ones build up my typing finger. Hoo Ha!

    Top job hosting, a huuuuge result. Any news from J. Assmond? ; )

  3. Sam’s avatar


    There’s definitiely something ‘special’ about people like us. We stand out from the crowd! Plus – I think was the first WBW wine I have tasted that I actually really really like. So something good came out of my idiocy!

  4. Anthony’s avatar

    Jeanne’s ‘special’ friends : ) No foolishness that ends in good wine can be that bad.

    Must also compliment you on the colour matching compostion of your photo, still working over the freudian implications.

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