De Grendel Wine Estate, owned and managed by the Graaff Family, is situated on the South West facing slopes of the Tygerberg Hills in the small Durbanville Wine Appellation. The Estate looks South onto Table Mountain and the Cape Town City bowl, a mere 20 minutes away and west to Robben Island and Table Bay. The cold Benguela Current runs up South Africa’s West Coast. The cool breezes from the Atlantic Ocean are a major part in the production of fine wines on the Estate slowing down the ripening and increasing the flavours in the grapes. The awful drought which scourged the Cape was broken in the Winter of 2018, and, as a result the crop was smaller and produced some fine wines. Harvested by hand, the bunches were destemmed and crushed. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks with gentle aerated pump overs taking place for one hour, four times a day. This ensured softer tannins. After pressing and racking, the wine went into 33% each of new French Oak Barrels, second fill, and third fill for 13months. After this, the wine was prepared for bottling.
Recently announced is that the De Grendel Merlot 2019, received a top score in the Winemag Prescient Report 2021.
From a Bordeaux shaped bottle, closed with a screw cap. The label is simple and elegant. In the glass, the wine is a deep bloodplum at the heart and pales out to a purple tinged ruby at the edges. The aromas segue into the palate. Black berries [Merlot is old French for blackbird.], Morello Cherries, plums and coffee chocolate fill the palate, soft velvety with perfect integration of all the components, each in its placed and well balanced. Long ending with a cedary oaky spice and vanilla. An impressive glass. The wine will reward you handsomely with a couple of years of coo cellaring.
While the De Grendel Merlot 2019 is a perfect sipping wine, it is made for food. On the Estate, Ian Bergh, the Head Chef of the De Grendel Restaurant, provides great plates to pair perfectly with the wines. At home a tranche of meat off the grill, the braai, the stove top or the oven would be a great partner.
Listen to my podcast about the De Grendel Merlot 2019, first aired on Fine Music Radio, Cape Town – CLICK HERE
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