De Grendel, the Graaff wine estate on the Tygerberg Hills looking south to Table Mountain, uses not only its own grapes, but also grapes from contracted vineyards from other Wine Appellations. The De Grendel Elim Shiraz 2016 is such a wine. Born out of the midst of the worst drought in the Western Cape in living memory. Cool breezes off the nearby oceans ameliorate the summer heat and cause slower ripening, thus more fully flavoured grapes. In Elim, there was a little more rainfall. Essentially though the dryness produced smaller bunches, perfectly formed and free of disease.
After a long search, virgin land was sourced in Elim specifically for the production of Shiraz with the unique and sought after Rotundone characteristic – the delicate black pepper compound. The combination of a cool maritime climate, careful vineyard management and soils ranging from shale, to Koffieklip, to decomposed granite and clay, results in a remarkable growing region, producing our Rotundone style Shiraz.
A small harvest of handpicked grapes is picked in the cool of the early morning, was brought to De Grendel where 30% of the fruit was left as whole bunches. Fermentation took place in open stainless-steel tanks with automated punch downs took place 4 times a day. This to produce more robust tannins with excellent structure and concentration of fruit. The wine was then matured for 13 months in 2nd and 3rd fill French oak barrels to preserve the unique terroir driven characteristics of the wine. It was then prepared for bottling.
It looks like
Bottled in a magnum under natural cork, in a magnum sized Burgundy shaped bottle. Elegant De Grendel livery. In the glass, a deep bloodplum at the core which pales out to a purple tinged garnet at the edges.
It smells like
Whiffs of black pepper amongst the generosity of sweet berry fruits and oak spices.
It tastes like
From entry, it fills the mouth with dark berry, red cherry and plum fruits. Beautiful line of acidity running through to the aftertaste where it meets the tannins, dark chocolate in perfect harmony. Ready for drinking now, though well cellared it will last for up to 8 years from harvest.
It’s good with
This is a perfect post prandial wine for serious discussion, many of which must have taken place in the De Grendel Manor House with some of our best-known politicians over the last century. A food wine which will match many a dish on the De Grendel Restaurant Menu prepared by the award-winning chef, Ian Bergh. Lizet Hartley’s 5 Spice Pork Spare Ribs is a great match. Click here for her recipe.
Lizet Hartley of Melkkos & Merlot
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