Delaire Graff Wine Estate is situated on the lower reaches of Botmaskop, one of the almost Alpine Mountains you can see from the Estate in its eerie at the top of the Banghoek Valley in the Stellenbosch Wine Appellation. A wine Estate which has, not only sublime award-winning wines, but luxury lodges, a spa and two fine restaurants, the eponymous Delaire Graff Restaurant and Indochine, which is in the lodges public area.
The Estate has recently opened the Owner’s Villa, a stunning extension of the Graff brand, which is the most exclusive private villa in South Africa. Nestled amongst the unrivalled natural beauty of the Cape Winelands, it is a sumptuous showcase of the very best South Africa has to offer. Exquisite interiors with an inspiring collection of artworks, a dedicated butler service and private chef, its lofty setting and impressive panoramic views elevate the experience.
The 2017 vintage took place at the height of the drought which has now mercifully broken. However, it will take the vines a good couple of vintages to recover. The dry, warm weather allowed for healthy small berries with great fruit intensity. Warm days and cool nights resulted in excellent colour, aroma and flavour.
The grapes for the Delaire Graff Botmaskop 2017 were hand harvested from a selection of premium Stellenbosch vineyards in the cool early hours of the late summer days. The blend is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Cabernet Franc, 11% Petit Verdot, 8% Merlot and 3% Malbec, a classic blend in the Bordeaux style. Once in the cellar, Winemaker Morné Vrey and his team destalked the grapes. Whole berries were taken to fermentation. Regular punch downs ensured gentle extraction during fermentation. Pressed in a basket press, the wine was taken to French oak barrels for a period of 16 months, during which time malolactic fermentation took place. Half of the barrels were new, and the balance were previous fills. The wine was then prepared for bottling.
From a Bordeaux shaped bottle and closed with natural cork. The label is an elegant black with white and red printing. The red is counterpointed by a red top on the foil enclosing the cork. The aromas are of black fruit, blackcurrants, blackberries and crushed fennel seeds. These follow seamlessly onto the generous palate where the oak and its concomitant spice and vanills are in undertow. The tannins are cashmere clad and all are interwoven into the long and gently waning aftertaste. A truly great glass. With cool cellaring, the wine will reward in 5 plus years’ time.
This is a brilliant glass, so excellent with food. Both the restaurants on the Estate offer many options to complement this wine. If you have not visited, please put it on your urgent bucket list. At home, Alida Ryder’s Slow Roasted Lamb Shanks really tick all the boxes as a partner to the Delaire Graff Botmaskop 2017. Click HERE for her recipe.
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