There can be few wine lovers in South Africa who have not tasted Alto Rouge. Alto, as the farm is high up on the slopes of the Helderberg. Cooling breezes off False Bay ameliorate summer heat in the vineyards and allow for slower ripening which does wonders for the colour and flavours. Bertho van der Westhuizen, Alto’s 5th winemaker in its 100-year existence, has created a blend for this vintage of Cabernet Franc 31%, Shiraz 28%, Cabernet Sauvignon 22%, Merlot 10% and Petit Verdot 9%. During the wine making process each variety was separately vinified for later blending. During fermentation, fermenting juice was pumped over the mash several times a day. Maturation took place, again individually, for 14 to 16months in a combination of first, second and third fill barriques, mostly of French and American oak, before the desired blend was made up by Bertho.
From a Bordeaux shaped bottle, closed with natural cork. The label is classical, simple, elegant Alto. In the glass the colour is a gem bright opaque bloodplum. The aromas are of petrichor, plush red fruits and the supportive oak with its concomitant spice and vanilla. The palate is full and generous with a zippy thread of acidity running through form entry to the long and gently waning aftertaste. The red berry, cherry and plum fruit is bright and fresh on themed palate and iron hand, velvet glove tannins in support. This is a magisterial wine and the different components will allow for improvement over a couple of years of cool cellaring.
The Alto Rouge 2017 gives much pleasure of chilled for about 30 minutes in the fridge or an ice bucket. Its fullness of fruit and spice means that it can complement any number of dishes, for a well-prepared midweek supper, Saturday night braai, or a Sunday Roast lunch with the crispiest of roast potatoes, real gravy and suitable vegetables. It is a wine which goes really well with good cheese. In particular the utterly special Dalewood Fromage 12-month matured Huguenot, their international award winner, from Rob and Petrina Visser. Read more about this fabulous. cheese – CLICK HERE.
In this period of COVID19 lock down, you will find Alto Wines in your local supermarket, when you go out to buy your food.
Listen to my 60 second podcast, click the red arrow on the left.
Read more about Alto Wine Estate – CLICK HERE