De Grendel Rubaiyat is named for the collection of quatrains from Omar Khayyam, the 11th Century Persian poet and astronomer. A fine red blend, using grape varieties originally from Bordeaux, which the late Sir David Graaff requested founding winemaker Charles Hopkins to make as an extension of this fine Estate’s wine range. And what a success it has been.
2015 is currently regarded as the finest vintage of the century and as part of the worst drought in living memory and the weather leading up to the harvest still produced excellent concentrated fruit and high colour berries.
The grapes for the blend are 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Petit Verdot, 4% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc. The Cabernet Sauvignon comes from vineyards in Firgrove which are 6 km from False Bay, source of cooling summer breezes which allow for slower ripening, thus greater flavour. The remaining grapes grow on De Grendel, itself only 7 km from Table Bay and the cold Benguela current. The grapes were vinified in two components, one in a closed tank with aerated pump overs and extended skin contact. The other used the punch down method four times a day. These were separately pressed and the blended before being taken to all new French oak barrels where malolactic fermentation took place. The wine was matured for 18 months before being prepared for bottling.
From an elegantly labelled Bordeaux shaped bottle, closed with natural cork. In the glass, the wine is a deep bloodplum at the heart which pales out to a gem bright ruby at the edges. The aromas which follow in to the palate are those of crème de cassis, and ripe red plums and roadside brambles. The oak and its concomitant spice and vanilla are in perfect support of the fruit. From entry there is an elegant lusciousness of black fruit and berries, a golden thread of acidity and cashmere clad tannins all perfect in their harmony. Little whispers of chocolate and fynbos herbaceousness will also surprise and add to the delight of this wine. While eminently accessible now, this flagship wine will benefit from cool cellaring for up to ten years after vintage.
Ian Bergh, the chef at the Award Winning De Grendel Restaurant has a number of dishes on his menu which would perfectly match this wine. If you live on the region or are on holiday there, it is well worth the trip. Also, only about 20 minutes from the airport if you are down on a business trip and have time to spare. The De Grendel Rubaiyat 2015 is a perfect food wine and will match a lust vegetarian dish as much as it would meat. Dianne Bibby’s Red Wine Beef Stew with Potato Gratin, a perfect match for this household. Click HERE for her recipe.
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