De Grendel Wines launches De Grendel Amandelboord Pinotage 2015

De Grendel Amandelboord Pinotage 2015

De Grendel, which dates to 1720, has been home to the Graaff family for five generations. Eleven years ago, in 2006, Sir David Graaff, the 3rd Baronet, having established the vineyards, built a wine cellar.

The late Sir David Graaff amongst his vineyards

Eminent winemaker Charles Hopkins, member of the Cape Winemakers Guild, was appointed as Cellarmaster. Charles has at his disposal a cutting-edge cellar which is backed up by well-tended vineyards and combines the most modern winemaking techniques with a nod to the farm’s heritage, eco-caring ethos and commitment to quality.

Sir David Pieter de Villiers Graaff, 1st Baronet
Mayor of Cape Town, Cabinet Minister, High Commissioner to UK
Delegate to the Treaty of Versailles, businessman & founder of De Grendel

De Grendel is on the western slope of the Tygerberg Hills, 7 kilometres from the Atlantic Ocean.  Cooling breezes off the cold Benguela current run up the West Coast, ameliorate the Summer heat. The Pinotage vines are planted in well drained broken blue shale and provide an even handed 7 to 8 tons per hectare.

Sir De Villiers & Lady Graaff

For 4th Baronet Sir De Villiers Graaff, director of De Grendel Wines, this wine is meaningful, as it is made in honour of his grandfather, Sir De Villiers Graaff, eminent South African politician and war hero.

Sir De Villiers Graaff dancing with Princess Elizabeth
during the 1947 visit of the Royal family to South Africa

De Villiers says, “I had a very close relationship with my grandfather, who was a true patriot having served his country during the Second World War and as a political leader of the opposition. Pinotage was his favourite cultivar and he was particularly fond of the grapes from the Durbanville ward. I remember, as a young boy while horse riding in the almond orchard, him telling me stories of how he managed to escape, in a cupboard, from a German concentration camp.” The De Grendel Amandelboord Pinotage 2015 was named after this almond orchard, which was later grubbed up and the land planted to Pinotage.”

Charles Hopkins, De Grendel Cellarmaster

Charles Hopkins is very enthusiastic about this newcomer, the grapes for which were picked just after dawn. The bunches were destemmed and the grapes crushed after which they were fermented in open tanks. During this time, pneumatic punch-downs took place 4 times each day and night. The wine was then basket pressed and transferred to barrels for malolactic fermentation. Once complete, it was racked and transferred to 225 litre barrels for 11 months of maturation in 20% new French oak, 10% new American oak, with the remainder being divided amongst 2nd and 3rd fill American and French barrels.  Says Charles “I’ve worked successfully with Pinotage before, so it’s a bit of a homecoming for me. It’s great to work again with this truly South African variety with its unique characteristics. To be able to put together a proper Pinotage for De Grendel is very special. I always say that a well-structured five-year-old Pinotage can be a drink to write home about. At present this wine is perfumed, accessible and elegantly balanced wine with a bright cherry-plum red colour.”

Our experience of this wine is similar.

A handful of Pinotage

It looks like
Bottled in a Burgundy shaped bottle as part of the Black Label range. In the glass a deep plum at the core which pales out to a purple garnet at the rim.

It smells like
Undertow of banana caramelised in a vanilla syrup midst big, and lovely fruit. Plums and mulberries. Undertow of oak and its concomitant spices.

It tastes like
Smooth on entry with a generosity of fruit and sweet brown spices. Mouth filling with good tannin structure supported by excellent oak. Mulberries and roadside brambles with an undertow of cacao. Excellent balance of all the elements, fruit, acid, oak, tannins and the lovely long gently waning aftertaste.

Modest, passionate, quiet Ian Bergh

It’s good with
Ian Bergh, the De Grendel Restaurant chef, has a number of dishes on his menu which will pair well with this wine. It is good with red meat from the braai, the oven, the grill or a casserole. Do serve it lightly chilled for added enjoyment. And it will even go well with a rich chocolate mousse which contains some tea soaked prunes.

The wine is available at the Estate and online to Loyalty Club members.

Read more about De Grendel Estate and buy the wines online – CLICK HERE

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