If you look at a wine like Bellingham The Bernard Series Small Barrel SMV 2014 and see the awards is has won, The National Wine Challenge Top 100 South African Wines 2017 [Double Gold], the Shiraz South Africa Wine Challenge [Top 3 Shiraz Blends], IWSC 2017 [Silver], Decanter World Wine Awards [Gold – 95], Tim Atkin Scores 2017 , Veritas Awards 2017 [Double Gold], Platter’s Guide to South African Wine [5 Stars], you would want to buy the wine on that record alone. The range honours Bernard Podlashuk, the man who bought Bellingham in the late 1940s and transformed it into a modern wine estate.
The blend is made up of 87% Shiraz, 10% Mourvèdre and 3% Viognier. The grapes were all hand harvested from one farm in the Agter Paarl region. The vineyards are planted in decomposed granite and overlying clay soils which have good water retention for hot summers. The vines are trellised and low yielding.
Bunches were selected in the vineyards, followed by berry selection in the cellar. All three varieties were co-fermented. The wine underwent malolactic fermentation in French oak barrels and then left to mature for 14 months before being prepared for bottling.
It looks like
Handsome Burgundy shaped bottle, with a natural cork closure and an elegant livery. In the glass, it is a deep plum at the core which pales out to crimson garnet at the edges.
It smells like
Aroma and palate are closely intertwined in the wine. Whiffs of red and black berries and cherries, florals present with sweet brown spices and dark chocolate.
It tastes like
From entry, full rich and round, filling the palate. Iron hand in velvet glove fruit, supporting excellent acidity, tannins and oak. Sublime mouthful with a long ending.
It’s good with
Perfect as a post prandial philosophical glass, perhaps with a snappy bar of dark Belgian chocolate. It is of course a red meat wine, happy to tackle spicy foods. Perfect partner to a lusty vegetarian main course, Iberian sausages, roasted lamb or braaied rib eye steaks. Carey Boucher Erasmus’s Chorizo, Chickpeas & Kale in Spicy Tomato Sauce is a great partner. Click here for her recipe.
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