Mention a few truly South African icons and the Alto Rouge will be just as well-known as Kook & Geniet, koeksisters, Table Mountain and Bo-Kaap. It is, therefore, no surprise that the Alto Rouge 2015 was recently awarded in the category “Voluptuous and Rich Reds” at The Sommeliers Selection Awards.
The awards, established in 2014, are judged by SA’s top sommeliers on the criteria of a wine’s age worthiness, suitability to food, and the overall value for money.
“I feel very honoured to be making this particular wine, a wine which has been enjoyed by so many people for the last couple of decades”, says winemaker Bertho van der Westhuizen. But what makes this wine so unique? Each year, the Alto Rouge tells a story, a story of that particular vintage. According to Van der Westhuizen the wine is an indication of what happened during the season.
“We try to keep the blend similar each year, but if we are not happy with a particular cultivar we will not use it. My fellow winemakers can agree that 2015 was particularly an outstanding year in the vineyards. We had good winter rain and an ideal, dry summer. This resulted in smaller bunches, with an unbelievable concentration of flavour. For us, it was a near perfect harvest.”
This vintage was also awarded 89 points at this year’s Wine Magazine’s Signature Red Blends Report. A total of 82 entries were received from 62 producers, some which are producing a lot less than Alto. Van der Westhuizen acknowledges that it is in particular an achievement noting that even when producing on a much larger scale, Alto is still able to maintain a very high quality.
Each year, grapes harvested from the estate are vinified and oak matured separately, where after the blend is created. The Alto Rouge 2015 shows a powerful nose of berry fruit with cigar box, chocolate, vanilla and oak spices. The tannins are rich and ripe, but elegant enough to enjoy on its own, or with meat dishes such as duck and game.
Alto is situated on the Annandale Road off the R44 between Stellenbosch and Somerset West. It is part of Distell’s Luxury Wines, a collection of superlative quality, award-winning wines from several boutique estates situated in and around the Cape Winelands. For more information about Alto and its wines, visit www.alto.co.za, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 021 881 3884 or make contact on Facebook.
The wines, available at retail outlets nationwide, are found on many restaurant wine lists. You can also have your wine delivered to your door when purchased online through the Vinotèque.
Information from Hatch Communications