Babylonstoren, which has an exceptionally well-preserved werf dating from 1690, is a Cape Dutch farm with vineyards and orchards, waterblommetjie and trout ponds and vegetable beds backed by the majestic Simonsberg and surrounded by the dramatic mountains of the Drakenstein Valley. It stands in the shadow of a little ziggurat-shaped rocky outcrop named for the Babylonstoren – The Tower of Babel.
The Cellar master on Babylonstoren is Charl Coetzee, who has an extensive job description and is responsible for the cellar, olive oil press, the water and juice department and now manages the digital department as well. He also serves on the Babylonstoren Board of Directors.
The grapes for the Babylonstoren Nebukadnesar 2017 grow on the east facing slopes of the iconic Winelands mountain, the Simonsberg, in the Paarl Wine Appellation. The soils are of Malmesbury Shale, Hutton and Oakleaf. There is a high percentage of decomposed Granite which could have watched down from the Simonsberg.
The blend for this Bordeaux style red wine is made up of 49% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot, and 5% Malbec, the lost grape of Bordeaux. After harvesting 5 varieties are separately vinified and then matured in new French oak barrels for 23 months. The blend was then made up and the wines given a chance to ‘marry’ before being prepared for bottling.
From a Bordeaux shaped bottle and closed with natural corked. The numbered label is of unusual design, one day perhaps I will learn what it means. In the glass, it is a deep bloodplum at the heat which pales out to ruby at the edges. The whiffs are all of black fruit, blackcurrants, sappy ripe plums and roadside brambles. The palate, from entry is one of generous dark fruit, particularly in the mid-palate, with a golden thread of acidity and gently grippy tannins, all indicators of the ability to age. All supported by the well applied oak with its concomitant spice and vanilla. While eminently accessible now, the wine will reward with a year or two, or more of cool cellaring.
This is a food wine of stature. It will complement the traditional Sunday Roast Lunch; it will add greatly to a midweek supper when a bottle of good wine is the only answer to a busy day. With the hunting season upon is, many are shooting for the pot. Ina Paarman’s Hunter’s Pot with Potato Topping is a great dish for the Babylonstoren Nebukadnesar 2017. Click HERE for Ina’s recipe.
Read more about Babylonstoren – CLICK HERE