On the De Grendel Wine Estate on the rolling Tygerberg Hills, the temperature during the ripening period were hot and dry with cool to moderate night time temperatures. The grapes were healthy and there was a crop increase of about 15% on the 2016 vintage. The grapes for the De Grendel Viognier 2017 grow high on the slopes on soils which vary from broken blue shale, to gravel and with sub layers of clay. The vineyard is just 7 kilometres from the Atlantic Ocean with its cold Benguela Current which plays so much of a part of ameliorating the summer heat and allowing for slower ripening and greater flavour in the grapes.
Viognier grapes tend to start shrivelling as they reach ripeness, which means that Kudzai Mwerenga, Vineyardist and Charles Hopkins, De Grendel’s founding Cellarmaster, are constantly taste and test the grapes to ensure the balance of acidity and sugar is perfect and that the flavours are complex. The bunches are hand harvested and taken to the cellar where they are destalked and crushed. They juice is allowed to cold settle and then 70% is taken to stainless steel tanks, while the balance goes into Romanian oak barrels for three months. This oak maturation adds a creaminess to the mid palate and obviously builds complexity. The oaked wine is blended into the tank wine and the final blend is then prepared for bottling.
It looks like
Bottled under a superior screw cap with the classic De Grendel Livery. In the glass, it is a gem bright pale golden straw.
It smells like
Generous with its white tropical flower aromas and there are whiffs of ripe white fleshed peaches.
It tastes like
Zippy citrus, lemony lime with a touch of windfall orange. Ripe kiwis and marzipan in undertow with lovely peachy flavours. The ending is long and totally integrated and satisfying.
It’s good with
This is a serious food wine which will go really well with your Sunday Roast lunch of a large organic sumac and olive oil roasted chicken. Chicken skewers in a marinade or a game fish like yellowtail are also good matches. Alida Ryder’s Grilled Asparagus & Lemon Risotto is the deal for me. Click here for her recipe.
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