De Grendel Shiraz 2015

As I have said when referring to the 2015 vintage, the dry windy conditions during flowering in late 2014 resulted in lower pollination and led to a drop in the harvest of about 15%.  The harvest was earlier by about 2 weeks and though the bunches were smaller there was a greater concentration of flavours and for the red wine grapes, more intense colours.

Charles Hopkins, De Grendel’s Founding Winemaker

Charles Hopkins, De Grendel’s Founding Winemaker, feels that the De Grendel Shiraz 2015 could well be the finest they have made for 12 years.  The grapes came from two Wine Appellations, Paarl and Stellenbosch Faure.  The grapes from Paarl were harvested early in the ideal ripeness window. Two weeks later two pickings took place in Faure.

The grapes were destemmed and crushed, and then the Paarl grapes were fermented in open tanks, fermented in open tanks using the more delicate aerated pump over method to ensure softer tannins, delicate spicy flavours and deep colour.

The view of Table Mountain from De Grendel

The two Faure pickings were separately fermented in open tanks, using the pneumatic punch down method where the fermenting cap was punched down 4 times a day and night to produce more robust tannins with excellent structure and concentration. The 3 portions were then blended and allowed to undergo natural malolactic fermentation in stainless steel tanks.

The wine was then moved to oak barrels for 13 months of maturation with 10% new American oak barrels, 10% new French oak barrels while the remainder went into a mix of 2nd and 3rd fill barrels. The wine was then prepared for bottling.

Shiraz grapes ripening on the vine

It looks like
Packed in a Burgundy shaped bottle under cork.  Elegant simple label design. In the glass a deep opaque ruby at the core, paling out to a purple garnet at the rim.

It smells like
Berry, cherry, bramble and mulberry. Grinds of white pepper. Beautiful oak in undertow.

It tastes like
Sweet red fruit on entry building to a broadly flavoured mid-palate filled with bloodplums. Hints of charcuterie lurking midst the silken smooth tannins and violets in the slowly waning aftertaste.

Alida Ryder’s Steak Sandwich with whipped goat cheese butter

It’s good with
This is the most perfect food wine.  Ian Bergh, the chef at De Grendel Restaurant, will offer a number of dishes at the Estate’s Award winning restaurant.  Get there if you can, it’s only 20 minutes from Cape Town’s city centre. Also, good as that after dinner bottle with a piece of snappy dark Belgian chocolate.  Fabulous with the traditional Sunday Roast lunch with crispy potatoes and real gravy.  Good too with a well-cooked midweek supper dish when you want to have a bottle of fine wine. Alida Ryder’s Steak Sandwich with whipped goat cheese butter.  Click here for her recipe.

Alida Ryder at work in her Pretoria Kitchen

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