Cellarmaster Richard Duckitt and the Bellingham team set about crafting the latest addition to the Bellingham Series, the Bellingham Homestead Red Blend 2017, they wanted to make a wine that can be enjoyed every day. “For me, the Homestead Red Blend is a chameleon – suitable for all occasions. It’s delicious when paired with a lazy Tuesday night dinner but will go just as well when served alongside family Sunday lunch,” says Duckitt. “It’s unpretentious yet will surprise you with its full-bodied flavour profile and juiciness.”
The grapes used for the maiden 2017 vintage are cool-climate Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon varieties – two of the Bordeaux origin grapes used in making the Right Bank style blends. These grapes come from the cooler parts of the Elgin and Stellenbosch Wine Appellations. While 2017 was the last year of the worst drought in living memory, Richard says that he 2017 vintage was one of the best on the books. “Everything worked in our favour,” he says. “I rate it higher than 2015, possibly even as good as 2009. Certainly, the wines are a lot more accessible earlier than we’ve had for a long time.”
When the grapes were ready for harvesting, the bunches were selected in the vineyard and brought to Richard and his team at the winery at the Bellingham Cellar. Here they were destemmed, and a further sorting took place to remove any green grapes that ensured only the most perfect berries entered the fermentation tanks. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks and the wine making was kept as natural as possible to promote the individual, unique and natural terroir expression within the wine. The wine was aged in 100% French oak 300l barrels and 10% new wood. The wines were then blended and prepared for bottling.
From an appropriately shaped Bordeaux bottle, closed with natural cork. The label is elegant and French Chateau in style with a charming engraving of the Bellingham Homestead on the label. In the glass, the wine is a deep bloodplum at the heart which pales out to ruby at the rim. The aromas are of red and black berries and plums, with a strong undertow of blackcurrants. The palate is full and rounded upon entry. A line of raspberry acidity runs through into the long and gently waning aftertaste. The mid palate is rich round and generous, good balance and fine tannins all in harmony with the ample fruit and acidity. An impressive glass. Eminently drinkable now.
The Bellingham Homestead Red Blend 2017 is a fine wine for drinking on it own, perhaps after dinner watching the embers of a braai fire dying down. It is just brilliant with food. Jane Anne Hobbs’s Monkey Gland Steak Kebabs make a perfect partner. Click HERE for her recipe.
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