2018 was the last vintage before the longest drought in living memory was broken in the winter of that year. Careful irrigation was given where necessary. The extremely dry conditions meant freedom from disease in the 14 to 17 year old vineyards, providing around 8 tons per hectare.
Once hand harvested, the grapes were brought to the cellar to Charles Hopkins and his team. They were destalked, crush and then fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks. Once fermented dry, the wine and skins were pressed and the wine taken for maturation to 1/3 new French Oak, 1/3 in second fill French Oak and 1/3 in third fill French Oak for 13 months. The wine was then prepared for bottling.
From a Bordeaux shaped bottle, closed with a premium screw cap. The label is simple classical De Grendel. In the glass, the wine is a deep blood plum at the heart which pales out to garnet at the edges. The aromas are of red berries, cherries and plums and petrichor. The palate is rich and generous with a beautiful line counterbalancing line of fruit acidity running through from entry to the silken long ending. Medium of body, great texture, with soft ripe tannins. While eminently drinkable now, the wine will reward you later after three to five years of cool cellaring. Impressive glass on its own. The most ordered wine by the glass.
The De Grendel Merlot 2018 is a food wine par excellence. Serve it chilled and it will partner perfectly with any number of dishes from chicken to beef, and a number of lusty vegetarian dishes. Dianne Bibby’s Ginger & Turmeric Chickpea Stew makes for a happy match. Click HERE for her recipe and to look at her website.
Read more about De Grendel Wine Estate – CLICK HERE