2016 was an interesting vintage. Bang in the middle of the worst drought in living memory, yields were down, though the quality of the grapes, and the concentrated berry flavours was excellent. Fortunately, the grapes benefitted greatly from the cooling breezes off the cold Benguela Current which runs up the West Coast from the deep cold Southern Ocean. The vines are in a West facing vineyard on the Tygerberg Hills in blue shale soils.
Proposal Hill was named after the place on the De Grendel Wine Estate where Sir De Villiers Graaff, second Baronet Graaff of Cape Town, proposed to Ina, his wife and mother of their three children.
Once hand-picked early in the morning before the Summer heat rose in the vineyard, the grapes were taken to the cellar where they were whole bunch pressed. The juice was then cold settled, and the fermentation of the base wine took place. Afterwards the wine lay on the lees for three months, during which time malolactic fermentation took place. The wine was then bottled and given a shot of Champagne type yeast and the second fermentation took place creating the tiny bubbles which are the main attraction in a wine like this. For two years the wine lay on the lees before being disgorged, corked and tiny wire muzzle applied.
From a Champagne shaped bottle, closed with natural cork and a wire muzzle. The label is befitting of the stature and the story behind this wine. In the glass, an enchanting pink with a mass of the tiniest bubbles rushing to the surface and forming a crown around the edges. Aromas of strawberries and black cherries abound. On entry there is a long line of raspberry acidity which runs through the weighty mid-palate into the long and gently waning aftertaste. A beautifully constructed wine, an impressive glass.
A Pinot Noir Méthode Cap Classique is one of the most versatile and food-friendly wines in the world. And food loves the De Grendel Proposal Hill Brut Rosé MCC 2016. There is sufficient acidity for the wine to cut through richness of dishes like a terrine of smoked fish, a creamy chicken and forest mushroom risotto or even some delicious crisp buttery pastries. Alida Ryder’s Sticky Cinnamon Buns with Pecan Nuts are a great reason to open a bottle of this wine at teatime in the afternoon. Click HERE for her recipe.
Click HERE to watch my iMovie about this wine, first aired on Fine Music Radio.
Read more about De Grendel Wine Estate, its wonderful hospitality offerings, and buy their wines online –