On De Grendel Wine Estate, there is an Almond Orchard [Amandelboord]. It was often a place where the current incumbent on the Estate, Sir de Villiers Graaff [4th Baronet] used to ride on horseback with this eponymous Grandfather [2nd Baron]. So, the memories and the emotional ties are strong. Sir de Villiers, the Elder was a lover of Pinotage, especially if it came from the Durbanville Ward.
The vineyards are planted on well drained broken blue shale on the west facing slope of the Tygerberg Hills. The vines are trellised and produce about 8 tons per hectare. Cooling breezes off the Benguela Current, which runs up the West Coast from the cold deep South Atlantic Ocean, ameliorate Summer heat in the vineyards. This allows for longer, slower ripening and thus greater flavours and colour in the resulting wine.
The grapes for the De Grendel Amandelboord Pinotage 2018 were handpicked and taken to the cellar where founding Cellar Master, Charles Hopkins and his team destalked and crushed the grapes which went into open top fermenters and were subject to pneumatic punch downs four times a day during fermentation. Once basket pressed and malolactic fermentation completed, the wine was taken to 225 litre Oak barrels to mature for 11 months. Interesting oak regime with 20% new French Oak, 10% new American Oak, and 70% in a combination 2nd and 3d fill French and American Oak. The wine was then prepared for bottling
From a Burgundy shaped bottle, closed with a premium screw cap. The label in black with gold lettering is classical simple, elegant De Grendel. In the glass, the wine is a gem bright blood plum, just on the lighter sight of opaque, it pales out to the rim. The aromas are of red fruit echoing the Pinot Noir parent, cherries and frais des bois with a sprinkle of Dutch Cocoa. The palate is rich and layered, with a line of refreshing food acidity running through from entry to the long and gently waning aftertaste. Dry, with forward fruit which is supported by the oak blend with its concomitant spice and vanilla. An impressive glass, eminently drinkable now and will only improve with a couple of years – anything up to a further 10, of cool cellaring.
De Grendel Amandelboord Pinotage 2018, is a South African created red wine grape and it loves spicy South African Foods. A lovely spicy Boerewors off the Braai, a dish of Bobotie, or a casserole of lamb shanks. Ian Bergh, the Chef at the much awarded De Grendel Restaurant, offers his Grilled Ribeye Steak with Café de Paris Sauce. A sauce recipe, many would simply love to have. Click here for his recipe.
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