Bellingham Farm rose, phoenix like, from the ashes after Bernard & Fredagh Podlashuk brought it back to life again after World War 2. The focus was on quality wine making. Bernard, a self-taught wine maker bottled the first estate Shiraz in 1951. There has been a bit of Shiraz focus since then. Richard Duckitt, Bellingham Wine Maker, says of the 2017 vintage, one of the best he has had so far, “Everything worked in our favour. “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.”
The grapes for the Bellingham The Homestead Series Shiraz 2017 come from the Paarl Wine Appellation, specifically the North and East foothills of Simonsberg known for its decomposed granite, ideal for farming top quality Shiraz. Upon harvesting, the grapes were taken to the Bellingham Cellar where the bunches were destalked, and the berries sorted before slow fermentation on the skins with regular punch downs to extract gently the flavours, colour and gentle tannins. Malolactic fermentation took place. The wine was then prepared for bottling.
From an elegant shouldered Bordeaux bottle and closed with natural cork. The label is classy Bellingham with an etching of the Homestead. In the glass, the wine is a dark bloodplum at the heart and pales out to the rim. The aromas are of plums, Crème de Cassis, a grind of pepper and oak and its concomitant spice and vanilla. The palate is rich and generous with its plums and blackberries and has a delicate line of fruit acidity running through the fruited midpalate into the long and waning aftertaste. Eminently drinkable now, it will reward with a couple of years [5?] of cool cellaring.
The Bellingham The Homestead Series Shiraz 2017 is a fine food wine. With its wonderful fruit, spice and chocolatey undertow, it is ideal for mildly spicy foods. Dianne Bibby’s Bobotie Filo Parcels with Apple Ring Chutney is made for this wine. Click HERE for her recipe.
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