De Grendel Wine Estate is in the Durbanville Wine Appellation and is situated on the South West facing slopes of the Tygerberg Hills. The vineyards look onto Table Mountain, the city centre is a mere 20 minute drive away. The Atlantic Ocean is 7 kilometres away and plays an important role as the cooling breezes off the Benguela Current which runs up our West coast from the deep cold Southerly Atlantic Ocean.
Viognier is not a grape well known, however it should be. Interestingly Viognier berries begin to shrivel towards ripeness, a unique variety characteristic that needs careful sampling and tasting before harvest to ensure balance and complexity of flavour is achieved in the wine. The bunches are hand harvested and brought to the Cellar by Vineyardist Kudzai Mwerenga and his team. Charles Hopkins, founding winemaker, and the cellar crew destalk and crush the grapes. 70% of the juice is fermented in stainless steel tanks, while the balance is fermented in Romanian barrels and then aged for 90 days. This adds a creamy complexity to the wine. The two are blended and then the wine is prepared for bottling.
From a Burgundy shaped bottle, closed with a screw cap. The label is simple and De Grendel elegant. In the glass, the wine is a gem bright lemon in colour. The aromas virtually crawl out of the glass. Yellow fleshed peaches and apricots mingle with white tropical flowers, ripe yellow melon and gentle spice. From entry, you will find a gentle wine, good but not excessive acidity, and medium weight. There is an unctuousness in the mid palate. A truly delicious glass. Worthy of being cool cellared for up to three years from vintage.
The De Grendel Viognier 2020 is a serious sipper with a little nibbly something. It is just made for food. Ian Bergh, award winning chef of the De Grendel Restaurant, has a number of dishes on his menu which would be good with this wine. I think his Gnocchi, wilted spinach, smoked tomato sauce, walnuts, basil pesto, parmesan cheese would be the perfect partner. At home, a butter roasted organic chicken with rustly roast potatoes and some real gravy would work really well.
Click HERE to listen to my podcast about the De Grendel Viognier 2020
Read more about De Grendel Wine Estate and its offering. The Estate has an excellent shop from which you can buy wine which will be delivered once the COVID19 ban has been lifted. CLICK HERE