The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam is a selection of quatrains attributed to Omar Khayyam, Persian mathematician, philosopher and poet. One of the lines, often not quoted completely is ‘A jug of wine, a loaf of bread, and thou beside me in the Wilderness.’ The De Grendel Rubaiyat 2015, first vintage 2006, came about when the late Sir David Graaff asked his Founding Cellarmaster Charles Hopkins to make an Iconic wine for his wine Estate. Sir David’s son, De Villiers, Fourth Baronet Graff continues the tradition.
The blend for the De Grendel Rubaiyat 2015 is made up of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon grown in a contracted vineyard in Faure, with 25% Petit Verdot, 4% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc grown in Koffieklip soils on De Grendel.
The Rubaiyat was made in two components, one using aerated pump overs in a closed tank, the other using a pneumatic punch four times a day. Punch downs add flavour as the extraction of aromas, colour flavours and tannins adds so much to the flavours of the final wine. The two portions were pressed separately, blended and then taken to all new French oak barrels for malolactic fermentation and further matured for 18 months, before being prepared for bottling.
It looks like
Elegant in a Bordeaux shaped bottled closed with natural cork. The livery is elegant and befitting of a wine of this stature. In the glass, it is a deep plum colour at the core which pales out to gem bright garnet at the edges.
It smells like
Sappy cassis and blackberries, bloodplums, a grind of black pepper, fynbos herbs. Excellent usage of the new French oak in undertow.
It tastes like
From entry, the dark berries, mulberries and roadside brambles are accompanied through to the long aftertaste by cashmere clad tannins, sweet brown spices which are all beautifully interwoven into the long, slowly waning and satisfying aftertaste. Really truly a great wine. Well cellared, it will age well for up to 12 years.
It’s good with
I can imagine Sir David Graff sitting in his De Grendel study, pipe in hand, enjoying the Rubaiyat and watching the dying embers in the fireplace. It is the wine for a fine haunch of beef ribs, roasted, with Yorkshire Pudding, real gravy and crunchy roast potatoes. But it is an excellent match with any meat well-cooked for a mid-week supper when you want a truly great bottle to take the edge off the day. If you are close by, Ian Bergh, award winning chef of the De Grendel Restaurant might tempt you with his Beef Fillet & Short rib, the vegetarian Crumbed Wild Mushrooms, Grilled Lamb Loin or Smoked Springbok Loin. At home, I would recommend Nina Timm’s Fruity leg of Lamb, perfect with a Karoo two toothed hogget. My grandfather always maintained that lambs scratched with their right legs, so the left leg was more tender. Click here for Nina’s recipe, originally planned as a Christmas meal, and very acceptable in winter.
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